I’d like you to meet Emil Sher. He wrote the poem “Boatiful” for June Chirp. I asked him a few questions about creating his stories. Check out what he had to say:
• What is your favourite picture book?
Choosing a favourite picture book would be like choosing one chocolate in a box filled with others that I know to be irresistible and delicious. I love the work of Ezra Jack Keats: the mood he creates in The Snowy Day and the way he uses scraps of paper to help illustrate Hi, Cat!
• Where do you get your story ideas?
Some ideas are hatched by a single image that holds a seed. I might see something on the street that catches my eye or hear a snippet of a conversation that snags my attention. The sights and sounds can take root and grow into something larger. I don’t often know where or how a story will end but I know the simple joy of standing at the beginning of a story, wondering where it will lead.
• If you travelled to Boatiful, the magical land in your story, which boat would you most like to meet?
The boats in Boatiful are like that box of irresistible chocolates: there are too many to choose from. But I do like the idea of weaving my hands around one of a thousand cups of steaming cocoa and then being swept away by a ferry tale.
• What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
In some ways, I never really stop writing. Ideas and thoughts and characters can surface when you least expect it. So I can be going for an early-morning run or taking my dog for a walk and something will pop up that I stash in a drawer in my head. I also love the quiet delight that comes with a family meal as homemade food is savoured and conversation flows.
Emil Sher also wrote the poems “Notes and Scales” and “Hairpin Avenue” for Chirp Magazine. His first middle-grade novel will be published in Fall 2014.