"This way to the library!"--Inside the Kidlit Studio with Author Christine Evans
Fred Rogers famously said that during a time of stress or trouble, we should "look for the helpers." In the Kidlit world, I take a slightly different twist--I look for the supporters. They're easy to find: the creators who retweet the books and news of other authors way more than they talk about their own books and news. They're the truly kind and supportive cheerleaders of the industry, and it's clear that Christine Evans is one such writer.
Her new chapter books series, The Wish Library, debuted recently, but she was retweeting and sharing about others' books the very same week it came out! Christine also serves as the Co-Regional Advisor for SCBWI's San Francisco/South Region, which I know from experience is a volunteer position that is ALL about supporting other creators and giving freely of your own time. In a world where everyone is (necessarily) trying to shout into the void about their own work, people like Christine are truly a gem. You can also check out her recent picture book, Evelyn the Adventurous Entomologist, which was named as an Outstanding Science Trade Books of 2020 by the National Science Teaching Association and the Children’s Book Council.
In other news, I miss pre-pandemic libraries. I think Christine would agree.
1. What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Showing my children that you can achieve your dreams if you don’t give up.
2. What is your idea of perfect happiness?
A book, the ocean at sunset, my kids playing happily, and a picnic.
3. What is your most treasured possession?
My magical coffee maker! I don’t get out of bed until a coffee appears by my side (via my
husband, the coffee maker isn’t that magical).
4. When and where were you the happiest?
When I picture a happy moment, it seems to involve the ocean at sunset. Maui, Pismo
Beach, Half Moon Bay are all places I’ve enjoyed watching the sun go down with my
family. There’s something so magical about sunsets over the ocean.
5. What is it that you most dislike?
Putting my head underwater.
6. What is your greatest extravagance?
Probably the ongoing investment in money and time in improving my craft. And books-
-I never leave a bookstore without buying at least one.
7. Which talent would you most like to have?
To be able to fall asleep easily and anywhere.
8. Where would you like to live?
Anywhere by the ocean. Preferably somewhere where it also warm all the time.
9. What do you most value in your friends?
Honesty and empathy.
10. Who is your favorite hero/heroine of fiction?
Matilda and Wonder Woman.
11. Which living person do you most admire?
Such a tough question! Michelle Obama and Dr. Fauci.
12. What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
Tidiness. Sometimes in art, writing, and even life, the most beautiful things come from
making a mess.
13. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
I’d like to be someone who doesn’t dwell on things at 2am!
14. What is your favorite and least favorite word?
Least favorite: moist
15. What is your perfect environment for creative work?
Probably a hotel room with room service within walking distance of the ocean so I
could take regular beach runs. Having silence (except for waves crashing) while not
having to cook or clean anything sounds like perfection right now!
16. What’s the weirdest thing about you that you’re willing to share?
I used to collect frogs. Not real ones, obviously, but I had ceramic frogs, erasers, fluffy
frogs, pins, mugs, you name it.
17. What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?
I’d love to be a librarian or work in a bookstore. Being surrounded by books all day and
helping people find their book-match sounds wonderful.
18. What is the best book you’ve read in the past year? (Doesn’t have to be kidlit.)
I just read The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue and loved it! I didn’t want it to end.
19. What is the favorite book of your childhood?
Matilda by Roald Dahl (closely followed by Carrie’s War by Nina Bawden)
20. If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God/Goddess say when you arrive?
I’d like her to say: “This way to the library!”
More about Christine:
Her website: https://www.pinwheelsandstories.com/
Another interview with Christine: http://www.katejfoster.com/general-blog/author-interview-christine-evans