On this blog, I've featured a number of parents who were somehow inspired by their kids to get creative and write their own books. Check out these earlier interviews with Melanie Lee, Kristi Wientge, Jo Furniss and Simon Chesterman. And now here's Andy Chen, one more parent-author who has turned his reflections on fathering into a funny picture book. You can find out more about it here. It's a book that parents and grandparents will appreciate too. If you're thinking of creating your own book too, our 100 WRITERS resource list will help you along. Here's the link. Thanks to Andy for taking the time to do this interview.
MEET ANDY CHEN
Tell us about yourself, and your new picture book!
I’ve been a writer and editor at newspapers and magazines for almost 20 years. In comparison, my journey as a father has been only half as long. My book, The Swing Of Things, is inspired partly by my two daughters’ love of the swings at playgrounds and also by Shel Silverstein’s The Giving Tree.
What aspects of this book are you most proud of?
My wife jokes that she likes how shapely her body is in the pictures. I’m just happy the book found a publisher.
For the benefit of readers who want to create their own picture books, what was the most interesting lesson you learnt here?
The key lesson I learnt is that writers of picture books who are not also illustrators have to act like a film director to the artist, who’s like the cinematographer on the film set. A writer must convey a vision for the artist to grasp.
How will you promote this book?
I’ve had a launch at Woods In The Books as well as been a part of the Singapore Writers Festival. I’ve been most touched by readers of my parenting columns in The Sunday Times who turn up at these events and who buy my books.
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— 10 December 2017
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