Saturday, April 9, 2011

2011 Conference Series- Faculty Q & A with Tim Travaglini

Next week at this time we'll all be enjoying our 20th Annual Writing and Illustrating for Children Conference (and thinking about our fun outfits for the First Annual Conference Dance Party!). So lets celebrate with another Faculty Q & A!! Here's one with Tim Travaglini, who is on our Editorial & Art Director Faculty. You can check out Tim's conference bio here.

What is the best and worst advice you were given when you started in children's literature?
I am not sure I recall anyone giving me advice that stuck with me (which my advisers would probably tell me is part of my problem). And I doubt anyone ever gave me bad advice.

What advice would you give now to others?
Marry money.

What was your favorite book as a child? And now?
There certainly was never one single favorite book I had as a child; but I did love anything and everything by Lloyd Alexander, THE GREAT BRAIN series, THE MOOMINTROLLS, THE PHANTOM TOLL BOOTH, IN THE NIGHT KITCHEN--they all sprang readily to mind.

Can't answer what my favorite books are now, but I certainly have a passion for books I've acquired and edited; D.M. Cornish's MONSTER BLOOD TATTOO
(now retitled THE FOUNDLING'S TALE here in the US), Laini Taylor's Dreamdark books, BENJAMIN FRANKLINSTEIN LIVES. And books that were published during my adulthood; HOLES, THERE'S A HOLE IN MY LIFE, GOODNIGHT GORILLA. This is completely off the top of my head, mind you...

Which authors/illustrators do you feel are most influencing current trends in children's literature?
Anyone and everyone who is selling the most copies immediately has the most influence on current trends. Thankfully, we can all still be continually surprised by new hits, and thus the trends keep changing. Just peek at the bestsellers lists:
Whomever is on the list, and more importantly stays on the list, are the influencers.

As you know, those who are in children's literature tend to have lengthy
discussions on the important topic of snacks (usually a baked good). What's your favorite snack?
Geez...I like anything with peanut butter and bananas in it...

Attendees are often nervous to meet you at a conference. What, if
anything, makes you nervous about being part of the faculty?
Hmmm...nervous? I instantly get nervous when someone says, "I submitted X to you 3 years ago..." because I then have to say, "Well, I hope I got back to you..."

What do you like most about your job? What do you like least?
What I like most is taking a worthy book and building as great an audience for it as possible. And what I like the least is that the industry has all but completely transformed into an aggressive, money-driven commerical enterprise where human relationships take a back seat to the bottom line.

What do you most want our attendees to know about you?
Tim really likes roller derby, and if you are talking to him Saturday night
he'll be secretly thinking how he can sneak out the back to see the Rat City Rollergirls home bout.

You can check out Tim's Facebook page (The Devils Wears Bowties). Make sure you visit the event website to get your name on the waiting list (registration is full).

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