I’m sorry, what was your name again?

This is for reals my most frequently asked question. I have the hardest time saying my own first name, probably due to ten years of playing the French Horn and “tah-ing” all my Ls. Nine times out of ten baristas and deli clerks have to ask me to repeat myself, and then I get flustered and it comes out even worse and they end up raising their eyebrows and writing Wolth or Gill or Willon on my cup. Lately I’ve given up being honest with people I’ll never see again and just picked a nice crunchy, spitable name like Zach or Patrick or Bellatrix and called it good.


Children’s books, huh? Do you hope to be good enough to write real books someday?

I’ve only been asked this once, to be honest, and luckily it was a family member so my answer got to be thorough, but it seems to be something a ton of my writer friends get asked. If anyone comes at you with this ridiculous question, I recommend the classic response: “Would you ask a pediatrician if they hope to be good enough to work on real people someday?” (head tilt)


Why the bees?

I have a fair number of bee tattoos. As Eddie Izzard would say, “Help! I’m covered in bees!” I have them because to me bees–like middle grade books, Kate Bush, and rowan trees–are pure, ancient, lightning-grade magic. They make me think of moss on old rocks, shells in clear water, sparks above a campfire. Bees curl and hum through some of my favorite stories, never quite landing, always leading our younger, brighter reader’s eye on to the next heavy flower, the next golden meadow, the next hidden stream. *sighs*  I just really like bees.