Author Eric A. Kimmel answers three questions he has always wanted to be asked in this special CBC Website Feature!When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
When I was in Kindergarten, before I knew how to read or write. Our teacher read Horton Hatches The Egg by Dr. Seuss. I thought that was the best story I ever heard. I wanted to hear Horton Hatches The Egg by Dr. Seuss over and over again. I thought that was the title. I didn’t know where books came from. Our teacher had to explain that Horton Hatches The Egg was the title, the name of the story. “By Dr. Seuss” meant that a man named Dr. Seuss was the author. He wrote the words of the story. Aha! So that’s where books come from, I realized. People write them. That’s for me, I told myself. From that day on, no other career seemed as exciting or interesting. I still feel that way.
How long does it take you to write a book?
It takes as long as it takes. Every book is a different adventure. You can do it right, or you can do it fast. If you choose to do it fast, you need to find another career.
How do you feel when someone disagrees with something you have written?
I politely thank those people for sharing their thoughts with me. Then I forget about it. The only person I need to please—and the only person I really can please—is myself.
About Eric Kimmel
Award-winning author Eric A. Kimmel graduated with a master’s from NYU and a PhD in Education from the University of Illinois. He worked as an elementary school teacher in Manhattan and taught teachers as a professor of Education at Indiana University at South Bend and Portland State University. His favorite classes were children’s literature, language arts, storytelling, and handwriting. In 1993, he retired from teaching to become a full-time writer, a dream he had had since kindergarten. Eric has written more than fifty books and has won numerous awards, including the Caldecott Honor Medal. He and his wife, Doris, live in Portland, Oregon.