Good Saturday morning to all of you! This morning, we’re snacking and chatting with Greg Pizzoli, yet another fine faculty member for Fall Philly! Greg is the author/illustrator of The Watermelon Seed and Number One Sam, and illustrator of Not Very Scary. He also has several upcoming books, which he’s going to tell us about right here. Plus, he’s doing manuscript critiques at Fall Philly, so sign up today, here and now! Oh, and you can also visit him on the web at www.gregpizzoli.com.
Lindsay: Hi there, Greg, and welcome back to the Eastern Penn Points Cafe! We’ve got a nice, warm plate of your favorite cookies coming right up. What will you have to drink?
Lindsay: We’re so glad to have you as a faculty member for Fall Philly. Can you give us a little teaser about what you’re going to talk about?
Greg: Sure thing – I’m going to talk about my path to publication – the role that SCBWI played early on – and just the process of taking a book from sketch to final picture book. I’ll also talk a bit about my current projects, and turning personal projects into professional bill-paying work. I’m also signed up to do portfolio reviews for anyone interested – always happy to give constructive feedback.
Lindsay: Can you tell us a little bit about the two books you have coming out next year, Tricky Vic and Templeton Gets His Wish?
Greg: Yes, definitely! Tricky Vic: The Impossibly True Story of the Man Who Sold the Eiffel Tower is my first nonfiction picture book, and it tells the unbelievable life of Robert Miller aka “Count Victor Lustig” – a notorious criminal and con-artist who most infamous scam was “selling” the Eiffel Tower to some French scrap metal dealers. It’s a crazy story – and I think kids will love reading about all of his various cons – but it also uses sidebars and a glossary to introduce the topics of Prohibition, Counterfeiting, the Eiffel Tower’s critics, and other interesting historical facts. It’s being published in March by Viking Children’s Books.
In May, my next book with Disney Hyperion (same team from The Watermelon Seed, and Number One Sam) will come out, right after I finish up the PA One Book tour for Number One Sam. The new book is called Templeton Gets His Wish and is about a little cat who wants his family to leave him alone. They’re always yelling at him to clean up, or go to bed, or taking his toys. So he buys a magical diamond and makes one wish . . .
Lindsay: We’ve had requests to hear more about your process after your last interview. We’ll bring out another plate of cookies if you’ll tell us a little bit about your process for one of your books.
Greg: I’m going to go in depth with a lot of this stuff in my talk in November – so I don’t want to give too much away here, but I use the computer a lot – and I try to get away from the computer a lot. Every book is a little different – and I’ll show lots of process pics at the event, really!
Lindsay: Okay, if you’re going to make us wait, you’ll get your second plate of cookies at Fall Philly.
On a more serious note, congratulations, you’ve won a Throw Back Thursday contest for Best 80’s Sweater! Your prize is $100 to spend on anything FUN and frivolous. What do you buy
Greg: Fun and frivolous? I’d probably just go wild at the Whole Foods Olive and Salad Bars. $100 would disappear in no time . . . If I had any money left over I’d pick up a back up LP copy of The Clash’s “Give Em Enough Rope” – just in case.
Lindsay: And now for rapid-fire favorites! Name your favorite….
Midnight snack – Snap peas
Movie – Too many to pick a favorite, but I just saw “Boyhood” and really loved it
Song or band – The Stooges – Search and Destroy
Book as a child – The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar and Six More by Roald Dahl
Book right now (as in, today!) – Danny, Champion of the World by Roald Dahl
Book or other resource on writing/illustrating – Writing with Pictures by Uri Shulevitz
Piece of playground equipment – Ummm… the swings?
Thing about Philadelphia – The art community, and BYOB restaurants
Thanks so much for stopping by to chat with us again, Greg! We’re looking forward to hearing more from you at Fall Philly.