Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Me and My Shadoe...

During the Midwest Literary Festival, I also moderated a writing for children panel featuring Bruce Hale, along with agent Regina Brooks, author Debbie Taylor and Shadoe Stevens. It was pretty easy to come up with questions for Bruce, Regina and Debbie. We talked about humor in kids books, critique groups, magazine writing, agents, and had a nice breakdown of children's publishing categories from Regina.

Then there was Shadoe. According to his promo postcard he "has recieved regonition as 'The Dr. Seuss of the twenty-first century.'" His work is highly regarded by Dick Clark, Whoopie Goldberg and Gene Simmons, who says: "Your book rocks in more ways than one!" I'm not making this stuff up. His book rhymes and was self-published. It has a message. (Oh, was I cringing when the other panelists said one should not write kids books with morals, that are didactic, that try to teach kids a lesson.) His last line includes the words "happily ever after." What was I supposed to ask this guy?

I met Shadoe in the green room and he confessed he'd never done a panel on writing before. I must say, however, that Shadoe was a good sport (after he was five minutes late and I had to send someone to fetch him. Thank goodness Bruce entertained the crowd.) I asked him about verbal storytelling and being aware of how the words you're writing will sound out loud. When he took the mic, he said, "I'm not worthy." When he recited passages from his book The Big Galoot, they sounded so much better than when I read them aloud to my co-workers in the car. And he did some fine work in "Dave's World."


Lisa Yee said...

Well, if Dick Clark says Shadoe Stevens writes like Dr. Seuss, then it must be true.

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