I majored in illustration at the Rhode Island School of Design, although I never had any intention of being an illustrator and didn't take any classes in illustration there. It was just that the illustration degree had no requirements.
A lot of people who don't write for kids think it's easy, because they think kids aren't as smart as they are, or that you have to dumb down what you would normally write for kids. But I think you have to work harder when you write for kids, to make sure every word is right, that it's there for the right reason.
The orphan in children's literature allows the child protagonist to move the story forward themselves. I think that, however happy a family, every intelligent child thinks: 'How did I come to be born to these parents?' - it is about finding your place in the world.
I love being an illustrator because I get to read really great stories, work with amazing people, travel and see places I never would've seen. And I get to draw all the time.
Well, everything surprises me about the writing process because illustrating comes much more naturally to me than writing does.
I love illustrating for other writers because I am given stories I never would have thought of, and my work as an illustrator is always in support of the story.