That I am a newly published children’s picture book author! I currently work at the National Security College and am surrounded by PhDs and highly published academics. I do take joy in noting I, too, am published and then watching their faces when I say children’s picture books. And for some, as a former Army Officer, it is slightly incongruous. Thankfully, though, the message is getting out there.
2. What is your nickname?
I don’t know that I have one per se. Is that sad? With a surname like ‘White’ the obvious go to has always been ‘Whitey'. Not a lot of imagination in there.
3. What is your greatest fear?
Sharks/deep dark water – there is something menacing (albeit majestic) and uncompromising about a shark, that even a photo or video sends shivers through me. I have had two ‘incidents’ with sharks that stay with me whenever I am in the ocean. When I say incidents I don’t mean attacks, thankfully ... these have only been close encounters.
4. Describe your writing style in ten words. Seeking to inspire our youngest minds and encourage family time.
5. Tell us five positive words that describe you as a writer.
Engaged, youthful (of mind), jokey, warm, (a) father.
6. Which book character would you be, and why?
The Very Hungry Caterpillar. Where else could you get away with eating that much junk food and come out looking so fine!
7. If you could time travel, what year would you go to and why? I would have to go backwards as I am a little frightened by what the future holds. So I will go with 2002 and 2005 to relive the birth of my three children (wonderful) and 1 AD (or 4 – 6 BC, depends who you ask) as it would hopefully make answering those difficult questions that I have no answer for a bit easier.
8. What would your ten-year-old self say to you now? You should have learned a trade!
9. Who is your greatest influence? Can I have two? My children on two fronts. And I know that sounds a little clichéd. In my case it's true, as my three daughters have not only been the inspiration for some of my stories and characters, but also the drive to commit to the process of self-publishing and putting my stories out there.
And second, the genius of Pamela Allen. I loved reading her stories to my daughters, and as such she inspired me to look at the idea of penning some of my own home made bed time stories. I can only hope to get somewhere in the vicinity of Pamela Allen’s authenticity and craft.
10. What/who made you start writing?
Firstly, see above. But I think if I was being even more honest, it was a sense that I had more to give than just my day to day job. I found my creative outlet somewhat restricted in the course of my daily grind and everything is always too serious. That was beginning to frustrate me. When I think about writing, or even think about a meeting with an illustrator and the creative juices start flowing, that is when I find I am at my happiest.
11. What is your favourite word and why?
Hypotenuse. I was bemused by this word the first time I heard it as a school student and vowed to use it in a sentence as often as I could. With teenage daughters getting into serious school maths, I find I am making up for lost time while helping with homework.
12. If you could only read one book for the rest of your life, what would it be? This may seem a little odd given the forum, but Stephen King’s short story Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption. Beautiful story of redemption and resilience with some good dark humour thrown in as well. I would note the movie is equally as inspiring.
Learn more about Chris and his picture book Hannah Paints the Moon (illustrated by Andrea McCuaig) at his website.
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