As a fan of Jon Klassen’s award winning I Want My Hat Back picture book, I was thrilled to be invited to participate in the Global blog tour for his latest book This Is Not My Hat. As part of the blog tour I had the opportunity to interview Jon:
Where does your artistic inspiration come from?
I think mostly I just like communicating. It's not even about communicating anything specific, I just really like the exercise of getting something across. I guess it's sort of proof that you're not crazy.
Growing up did you always want to be an author and artist? Who encouraged you?
I did always like drawing and writing, and I think I always hoped I'd be able to get a job doing something like that, because I didn't really get interested in many other things, or at least I wasn't very good at them. I've been lucky about encouragement. My parents always thought and still think that a job doing this is a totally realistic idea and a valid thing to spend your time on. They had that great balance of encouragement without the pressure. The more distance I get on it, the more lucky I feel about that. I don't think a lot of people get it.
What is your favourite thing about being a published author?
Having a book spine. A book spine with your name on it is a crazy thing to see. Also getting to sort of design them is really fun. How often do you get to design something with those kind of dimensions?
Do you have a favourite library memory? (can be a childhood memory or even now)
I think a lot of the libraries I grew up with were built in the 70s, and they have a certain way they felt inside. A lot of wide open carpeted spaces with weird raised carpeted platforms here and there, and big potted plants and very high ceilings with windows in them. It's frustrating to be in a place like that as a kid because all you want to do is run as fast as you can from one end to the other, and that's not really allowed, so you just walk around with your teeth clenched looking for book spines with the 'mystery' stickers on them until you calm
I was excited to read that you are originally from Niagara Falls, when was the last time you were back and what is your favourite activity to do when you visit?
Yeah! I try and go back a few times a year. My parents still live there. I really love driving down the parkway along the river. I used to bike it a lot, and it's still one of the nicest stretches I know of. I think Winston Churchill called it the best Sunday afternoon drive in the world, or something like that.
If you were a hat, what kind of hat would you be?
I wear a baseball hat almost all the time, so even though i might like something more original, it would be dishonest of me.
Any new books/projects in the works?
A couple, yeah! I'm working on another of my own, and another one with Mac Barnett, who wrote Extra Yarn. They are both at the stage where I take long showers and stare at nothing until the hot water runs out.
(Thanks a lot for the questions Jen! It's great to talk to somebody from the home province!!)
Thank you Jon! I have to say that interviewing and talking with authors is one of my most favourite things about blogging and one of the reasons why I blog…feeling pretty blessed right now!
I'm happy to announce that I also have 1 copy of the book and a "This is Not my Hat" hat (adult size) to give away. Check out My Little Bookcase tomorrow (October 16) for the next stop on the tour!
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