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!

42 comments:

  1. Wow, I'm so impressed, Eric! You sound like you have an amazing work-ethic! And I love the shout-out for the influential teachers! Stick with it - you're going to go far!

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    1. Thank you Ms. McCullough-Carranza! :)
      ~Erik

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  2. It is always so refreshing and inspirational to "meet" passionate young writers and book lovers! Keep up the great work, Erik! The world needs more stories, more dedicated, young writers. And can I just tell you that I LOVE that you pick actual books over e-books (not that they don't have their place) AND that you are reading Jules Verne! Go, Erik! Thanks for a great interview.

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    1. Thank you Mr. McGee! M. Verne is a great author! :)

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  3. This is wonderful! I once thought that if I wrote a book by the time I was 10, I would be famous. I never got past the first chapter. Writing a book is hard, and starting at 9 is really remarkable. Good on ya, Erik!

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  4. I've enjoyed following Erik's blog and reading his wonderful reviews. It's great to see someone who expresses such a passion for writing and reading.

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    1. Thank you for following my blog, Miss Brenda! I appreciate it! :)

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  5. Erik, you book sounds fun, and I am in awe at your approach to writing. Wish I was half as brave as you are at that age. I mostly sat in my room and recorded myself reading Marvel comics in different character voices. True story. Don't tell anyone else!

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    1. Thank you Mr. Hill! OOOoooo... Recorded yourself reading Marvel comics? That sounds awesome! :D

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  6. Erik, I love that your favorite part of the writing process was making yourself laugh until it hurt while imagining some of the scenes of your book!! Brought a smile to my face. Thank you!! :-)

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    1. I'm glad I made you happy - that's my goal in life (to make other people happy). :)

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  7. Erik, you sound totally awesome! Thanks so much for doing the interview with Mike.

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  8. Thanks for dropping by, Erik! I love how you expressed how much FUN you have with the writing process. Hope you have a great vacation and happy reading! :)

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    1. Well, the writing process IS fun! :D Thank you Ms. Burt! :D

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  9. I don't know how I missed this yesterday, but great interview, Erik! I love the idea of arch-enemies having to work together to face the dangers of our planet. I like me a good TRUCE -- it's always so tricky! How far can you trust your enemy after all? (In fact I did a post about it here at Project Mayhem not too long ago.)

    Off to share this post everywhere ...

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    1. Thank you Ms. Salerni! I really appreciate you sharing it! It means a lot to me! :)

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  10. Erik, I'm very impressed. Here's to a bright future.

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  11. Yay, Erik! *waves from Pennsylvania*

    I've had the honor of meeting this young man in person (when he was 9) and he's just as smart, witty, and polite as he is on his blog. I suspect we'll hear a lot more about him in the future.

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    1. Thank you Ms. Fritz! *waves back from North-eastern-ish PA* Thank you for the kind words! :)

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  12. WOOHOO, Erik!! What a great kid and all around BEST donut eating champion of the world (after me). Fantabulous interview. Mike, long time no cyber see, buddy. Thanks for having Erik over here. He's the BEST!!!

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    1. Thank you Ms. Campbell! Donuts for everyone! OOOOOOOOO :D *snarf narf grumf nardf *gulp** Oh, wait. You wanted one? ;)

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  13. Hey Erik, I saw that you mentioned your interview so I'm stopping. I enjoyed the interview. You are a wonderful example of the love of reading and writing in action. :-)

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    1. Aw, thank you so much Ms. Brown! That means a lot to me! :D

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  14. What a great interview! So impressed, Erik! Your teachers should be so proud of you! ♡ Mrs. Paglia

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  15. So cool to see Erik interviewed here! I love his blog and I'm constantly impressed by the amount of books he reads and reviews. I have a feeling his fame is just going to keep growing :)

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  16. Great interview, Erik, and I can't think of anything better to be awesome at!

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  17. Thanks for the interview, Erik! I am so impressed that you spend 15 - 24 hours per week writing. You sound incredibly dedicated. How fantastic!

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  18. This is a GREAT interview! Erik is the GREATEST! And Mr Gettel-Gilmartin, you must be pretty awesome as well!

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    1. THANK YOU RHYTHM! :D You are an AWESOME doggy! :D

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  19. Thanks for coming, Erik! Glad to know you like real books (books on a real shelf that authors can sign and you can look at a page and remember the chocolate you were eating when you left that thumbprint) and LEGOS (we take them out and play with them even after our kids are asleep!)! Looking forward to hearing more from you! cheers from Egypt!

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    1. Thank you Ms. Bowditch! You are NEVER to old for LEGOs! :D

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  20. Great interview! And I love this, "My favorite part of the writing process was making myself laugh until it hurt while imagining (and writing) certain scenes in the book."

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  21. Erik, you are simply Amazing. Thank you for sharing this inside and behind the scenes look into your literary life. Just keep making yourself laugh. I agree that's the best part !!

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Thanks for adding to the mayhem!