Tim J. Myers is a writer, songwriter, storyteller, and senior lecturer at Santa Clara University. His children’s books have won recognition from the New York Times, NPR, and the Smithsonian; he has 15 out and more on the way. He’s published over 140 poems, won a first prize in a poetry contest judged by John Updike, has four books of adult poetry out, published a nonfiction book on fatherhood, and won a major prize in science fiction. He won the West Coast Songwriters Saratoga Chapter Song of the Year and the 2012 SCBWI Magazine Merit Award for Fiction.
Tim can whistle and hum at the same time, though he hasn't won any awards for that--yet.
Find him at www.TimMyersStorySong.com or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/TimJMyers1.
Things you may have wondered about--or never thought to ask!
Well--how could anyone NOT love writing? I mean, I understand, of course, that not everyone does. But to me this is like asking, Why do you love chocolate? Because it's CHOCOLATE.
Any time. All the time. When an idea flickers into life in my head, or a dream sticks with me when I get out of bed. When I read something and my heart beats fast--or when something breaks my heart. When I learn something and just can't help saying, "That's. So. Cool." When an image or idea or a string of words just won't leave me alone, and I keep working it in my head like your tongue works a loose tooth. When I feel most alive.
One of the best things a human being can do is to really be himself or herself. Sometimes it isn't easy; sometimes the world wants you to be someone you're not. But most of the time it's the most natural thing in the world. My "style" as a writer comes from my trying to be myself, my best self. That's one of the greatest things about making art: You can't help being yourself when you do it, so you might as well be yourself all the way!
I know a guy who flies small planes, a pilot. When he talks to me about it, I can tell that in his head, he sees the area we live in in a HUGE way, sees it from the air, knows it intimately and in every direction. In his head he carries a much bigger map of the world than most people do. This is exactly what reading can do. I'm a guy who flies books, a writer. And I can see, to quote that rock band The Who, "for miles and miles and miles..." Through books I get to experience the world in a way non-readers don't. It's miraculous.
My "Yao Bai and the Egg Pirates" is coming out from Graphic Arts on April 4 next year, 2019--and I'm psyched! It's the story of a Chinese boy during the California Gold Rush, when there were so many miners it was hard to feed them all. So Yao, his father, and his uncle, sail out to the Farallon Islands to gather seabird eggs to sell. But--as the title suggests--they run into egg pirates! I won't give the story away--but I can tell you that the ending involves some delicious trickery... And the illustrations by Bonnie Pang are fantastic!
I never planned to write for children; I write for adults, and I just assumed that's who I was as a writer. But one day when my sons were little, I picked up a library book to read to them. By the time I finished it--which took about five minutes--I was a children's writer. That book was "Where the Wild Things Are." Maurice Sendak taught me--like lightning out of a blue sky--that a book for children could be a literary masterpiece. He changed my life in that instant.
Yes. My favorite is still unpublished, though I've tried to publish it any number of times. It's called "The Great Snail Race." When I first moved to California, I loved watching snails. We didn't have any in Colorado where I lived. And it still cracks me up that they're just--so-slo-o-o-o-w--I think it's hilarious. So I wrote a book about a snail Olympics, focusing on the big race. I based my book on Homer's "Iliad." But it also includes trash-talking snails who think of themselves as lightning-fast, and some unfortunate bird doo.