At the 2015 National Book Festival
William Joyce has put his personal stamp on all types of children's media. His picture books include "George Shrinks," "Dinosaur Bob" and "Santa Calls." He has won three Emmy awards for his "Rolie Polie Olie" animated series, developed character concepts for the animated features "Toy Story" and "A Bug's Life," and made films, including "Robots" and "Meet the Robinsons." He has won an Academy Award for his “The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore” and co-directed the DreamWorks Animation release of "Rise of the Guardians," inspired by his “Guardians of Childhood” novel series. His newest novel is “The Lost” (Simon & Schuster).
Previous National Book Festival Appearances
What sparked your imagination for your newest book – The Man in the Moon?
Every ganglion in my brain was attuned to everything I ever loved or enjoyed.
What artists have inspired you? Are you often inspired by your everyday surroundings or dreams?
It comes in all shapes and forms. Writers. Artists. Musicians. Cartoons. Pizza. Toys. Movies. A walk in the park. It’s everywhere. Just keep your eyes and ears open, or something.
What tips or advice can you share with young students to encourage their creative talents?
Peruse the things that give you joy. Relentlessly.
Can you suggest a fun writing or drawing topic to get them started?
I’d take something that made me feel—happy, sad, scared---a painting, a movie, a book, a cartoon, and figure out why it made me feel. What did it do to give me an emotion?
How do you decide on themes for your books?
They present themselves. I’m rarely aware of them till I’ve finished and my wife explains it to me.
How important is research in the development of your books? Can you explain the process as well?
Kinda minor. I make up all the necessary facts.
What is your list of favorite children or teen books?
Do you have a couple of miles of paper? It is a long list…Where the Wild Things Are. The Great Gatsby. Harold and the Purple Crayon. Peter Rabbit. Anything by Sendak, Crockett Johnson, Kenneth Graham. Peter Pan. Johnny Tremain. Anything by Robert Lawson, Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald………
If you were not writing and drawing, what do you think you would be doing?
Eating is a favored past time. I like a good nap also.
What is your advice to parents for passing the joys of reading on to their children?
Just do it. The stories will speak for themselves.
Can you tell us about any new books that you will be working on during the coming year?
LOTS of BOOKS….About the great icons of childhood. Santa Claus. The tooth fairy. The sandman. Jack Frost. And a story about ghosts.
If you weren’t creating children’s books, what do you think you would be doing?
I do lots of things. Make movies. Make furniture. I can microwave some killer nachos.
Do you have a website where young people can learn more about you and your work?