Ask the Author: Jonathan Roth
What would you like readers to know about you?
I’m a teacher (elementary art) as well as an author, and my overlapping mission with both roles is to help kids think, feel and create. (As of this writing, schools are off for an indefinite period, but I’m putting up fun art lessons on my site at http://beepandbob.com/blog/ ).
What is your book about for those who haven’t read it?
Beep and Bob is a funny and action-packed chapter book series about the terrified new kid at space school and the devoted little alien who won’t leave his side.
What has been your inspiration for writing it?
Beep and Bob is drawn from the well of my countless years within schools (as a student and teacher), my love of space stuff, and my wacky but gentle sense of humor.
What was your favorite scene or part of your book to write?
My favorite writing moments usually involve the humorous parts (many on every page! I hope…) Humor relies on surprise, and part of the fun of writing is being constantly surprised by what’s gelling on the page.
What books or authors inspired you to become a writer?
I was obsessed with comic books and comic strips as a kid. Only after writing Beep and Bob and looking back did I realize how much they owed to Charlie Brown and Snoopy. And when I started reading novels I gulped down anything I could find, especially sci-fi and fantasy. Alice in Wonderland, The Pigman by Paul Zindel, and Tolkien were some key influences.
What advice would you give to aspiring authors who want to write a book?
The same advice I give my students: practice! It’s fun to come up with ideas, but you have to enjoy the process of sitting and playing with those ideas for more hours than most people would consider sane. Also, have patience. It’s a long and winding path. And be flexible, because your journey as a writer is probably not going to look at all like you first imagined!