Thursday, September 4, 2014
Interview with a Young Writer -- Erik Weibel, Author of "The Adventures of Tomato and Pea"
Yay! For my third young writer in this ongoing series, I got to interview Erik Weibel. Erik is the force behind the amazing blog, This Kid Reviews Books, which I believe he started when he was 9 years old! He is extremely witty, hardworking, (and polite!), and I am a huge fan. In fact, I got the idea of starting this particular series on Project Mayhem when I saw Erik and his friend Felicia (of Stanley and Katrina fame) interview Rick Riordan on HuffPostLive. I hope you will all enjoy this interview, and then go and follow Erik's blog, as well as read The Adventures of Tomato and Pea. Take it away, Mr. Weibel!
Me: When did you write and publish The Adventures of Tomato and Pea?
Erik: I started writing The Adventures of Tomato and Pea when I was 9, and I kept adding to the story over the next year. Then I spent another year editing and I spent some time trying to get it traditionally published. I self-published it a couple months before I turned 12.
Me: What was the most enjoyable part of the writing, and then the publishing, process?
Erik: My favorite part of the writing process was making myself laugh until it hurt while imagining (and writing) certain scenes in the book. My favorite part of the publishing process was working on the cover (because I got to play around with fonts and see what works!), and seeing my name on a book, and saying that I wrote a book, and that… I think you get the point. I was proud of myself, but also nervous about what other people might think. ;)
Me: Can you give our readers the "pitch" for The Adventures of Tomato and Pea?
Erik: From the back of the book: For years the evil Wintergreen has tried to destroy super crime-stopper, Tomato, and his sidekick, Pea, and take over planet Oarg. In a plan gone wrong, Wintergreen traps himself along with his arch-nemesis in a runaway rocket ship that crashes on a strange planet called “EAR-TH”. Now these perennial enemies must learn to work together to survive the dangers on this strange world. Hungry birds, enormous snakes and the giant inhabitants of EAR-TH stand between this brawling bunch of aliens and finding a way home.
Me: Are you writing anything else now?
Erik: I am working on The Adventures of Tomato and Pea book 2. It takes off where the first book left off. I am working on a short story that is going to be published in an anthology. I am also working on Julie Hedlund’s 12x12 (write 12 picture book manuscripts in 12 months). I don’t write one every month, but it is fun to come up with ideas. I write a monthly book review column for the Upper Bucks Free Press. Of course, I am always writing book reviews. ;)
Me: How much time per week do you spend writing?
Erik: It changes a lot depending on what else I have going on. I write on and off on my book, about a couple of minutes at a time, but I also write emails, blog posts, reviews, notes, reminders, etc., so I probably write about 15-24 total hours a week.
Me: What about school work? Besides writing (and reading) what are your favorite subjects at school?
Erik: I like History/Social Studies, and sometimes Science (it depends on the teacher – Long live Mr. Spencer!!!).
Me: What books are you reading right now?
Erik: I am reading an ARC of the 4th book in the Cassidy Jones series by Elise Stokes, which I am excited about. I am also reading the unabridged Jules Verne’s The Mysterious Island. I just got done a great book by Jennifer Alvarez called The Guardian Herd: Starfire which I will be featuring on my blog later this month. That is pretty much what I am reading right now, because we are going camping next week, and I have a couple bucketful boatful of books to read there. (I always go prepared. Wait. Where’s my sleeping bag?! )
Me: When you read, do you like hard copy books, or e-books--or both?
Erik: I prefer hard copy books, but I will read e-books. I also prefer my Kindle Fire for traveling, because I can bring a bunch of books on vacation, and sometimes we don’t have the room to bring real books.
Me: I'm wondering if you have had an inspirational teacher?
Erik: My first grade teacher was a huge inspiration, Miss Kline made me a better public speaker. She let me stand up and give presentations to the class and make power point slide shows. She also let me help other kids in class and kind of be a teacher myself. It gave me a lot of confidence. My fourth grade teacher, Mrs. Deitrich helped me figure out how to write my book reviews, format wise. Then there was Miss Smith, Mrs. Vincent, Mr. Spencer, Mr. Fritz, Mrs. Reinhardt, Mr. Jones, Mrs. Yedloski… (I could go on and on) who made me want to learn. I’ve had some really awesome teachers! THANK YOU!!!
Me: Would you mind filling the blank: "I am awesome at..."
Erik: I want to say playing with LEGOs, but that’s kind of off topic. ;) I think I am awesome at making people laugh or just making people happy. :)
Thank you for interviewing me Mr. Gettel-Gilmartin! :)
If people want to find me my blog is www.ThisKidReviewsBooks.com
Like me on Facebook at www.facebook.com/Thiskidreviewsbooks
Follow me on Twitter @ThisKid_Erik
Me: There you have it, folks! Erik, it was a pleasure corresponding with you. Best of luck in your future career. And readers, if you know any more young authors, send them my way!