July 11 ~ Middle Grade Event - Middle School: Born to Rock
Join us on Thursday, July 11 at 4pm for a special middle grade event with author Chris Tebbetts! Chris is the co-author of the Middle School series with James Patterson and the Stranded series with Survivor's Jeff Probst!
I was born in Ohio, and spent the first six months of my life, as well as ages two to eighteen, in the great little town of Yellow Springs. I loved growing up there, and still enjoy going back to visit.
Like a lot of writers, I was a big reader as a kid. My mom took me to the library all the time, and I loved walking up and down the endless shelves of books, picking out a stack to take home. Some of my early favorites were the Little Bear books, the Curious George books, The Snowy Day, A Fly Went By, Harold and the Purple Crayon, and anything by Richard Scarry.
Later on, I loved the books of Scott Corbett, Beverly Cleary, Donald Sobol, and most especially, Roald Dahl. James and the Giant Peach remains one of my favorite books of all time. I also would have given just about anything to be Charlie Bucket, and go through Willy Wonka’s factory.
I worked as a carpenter, lighting assistant, stagehand, and stage manager for several years, jobbing my way through the various technical aspects of producing plays. Eventually, I started directing as well. My strangest job was directing a musical based on the old German collection of cautionary tales, Struwwelpeter, all about the horrible things that can happen to children who misbehave!
They say persistence is key in publishing, and that’s what I had. I took classes, I went to conferences and workshops, and I read, and read, and read. Oh, and of course, I wrote a lot of stuff that never got published. Then one August, at a manuscript workshop, I met a teacher, who knew a guy, who knew an editor in New York, who was looking for someone to write a new four-book fantasy adventure series. (In other words, I also got lucky.) That eventually became The Viking, my first novels, and I’ve been writing ever since.
When I think about everything I’ve always enjoyed doing the most, there’s one thing that holds it all together: storytelling. Whether it was all those stacks of books from the library; the t.v. that I watched way too much of as a kid (I’ll admit it!); the movies I fell in love with; or the process of putting on a play for an audience, it was always about sharing a story. It’s what I love to do, and I hope to continue doing it for a long time.