Many know Greg at Gotta Book from KidlitCon. Last year, he published an ebook of poetry, The Late Bird. It was nominated for the CYBILS Award in poetry. He’s hear today to answer questions.
Your Reading Life
MsMac:What books are on your night stand?
Greg: My TBR list/pile is currently topped by The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate (which was there before the Newbery!); The Way I See It by Temple Grandin, and the National Geographic Book of Animal Poetry compiled by J. Patrick Lewis.
MsMac:What was your favorite book as a child? What particular genre stands out?
Greg: As a wee youngster, I loved Munro Leaf’s Ferdinand, as read by my father. Later on, my favorite was probably Guns of Navarone by Alistair MacLean. As a kid, I was not a big reader, believe it or not, but when my mom started giving me books by folks like MacLean and Ludlum and Christie I found some favorites.
MsMac: Where’s your favorite reading spot?
Greg: We have a very comfy big, green chair in which I love to curl up and read.
Your Writing Life
MsMac: What does a day of work look like for you? What is your favorite time of day to write?
Greg: I love to write late at night until early in the morning. This runs into problems with getting up at 6:30 to get kids to school, however. I’ve tried to adapt! A typical day of work has a block of writing time carved out of the morning and one kinda late but not too late at night. I have made a request for an eighth day of the week devoted totally to writing. I will keep you posted.
MsMac: thanks, Greg. I need that extra day as well.Writing the first draft or revising? Which is your favorite?
Greg: Whichever one I’m not currently doing! I love both parts in different ways… and curse their existence from time to time, too 🙂
MsMac: What does your writing space look like?
Greg: Currently, a mess. In general, my writing space is wherever my keyboard or yellow pad is. I don’t tend to see much else beyond that.
MsMac: What are your current projects?
Greg: Currently, I’m focused on the final t-crossings/i-dottings of The 14 Fibs of Gregory K. – upcoming from Arthur A. Levine Books. I hope to put together another book of my poems, too, and am working on other novels and picture books plus finally diving into the companion book to 14 Fibs.
MsMac: That’s great, Greg. I love the Fibs and teach them, thanks to you. How does social media tie into your writing?
Greg: I view social media as a key part of both my writing and my writing career. For writing, I get support from friends, do research, and find and receive amazing and generous advice. For the career, I find that the connections and friendships from social media lead to incredible opportunities for all of us.
MsMac: What might readers find you doing when you’re not writing?
Greg: Hanging out with my kids and friends. Seeing a movie. Exploring Los Angeles. Searching for the perfect chocolate chip cookie.
About The Late Bird
MsMac: Tell me a bit about this book. What was your process? Why did you choose to publish an ebook rather than print?
Greg: I had wanted to explore eBooks and self-publishing for some time, and The Late Bird seemed like a great way to do that. In traditional publishing, I’m incredibly excited to debut with my novel (that has some poems, by the way!), so I wanted to explore with something totally different. Most of the poems in The Late Bird had already been published on my blog, GottaBook, so I figured compiling them would be easy and fun and would lead, in my head at least, to a book about which I had zero sales expectations. That was key to me, as I wanted this project to be an exploration and learning experience while still offering up something I was proud of. I chose not to do print only because of my own deal with myself in terms of time management. I have had a surprising number of requests for print, however.
MsMac: I think a print book would be great. What do you hope readers/viewers take away?
Greg: Smiles, laughs, and an appreciation for or at least recognition of the fact that we all have different perspectives on the world.
Just for Fun
MsMac: Dark chocolate or milk chocolate?
Greg: Dark chocolate.
MsMac: Coffee or tea?
Greg: Coffee. With a side of dark chocolate.
MsMac: Dance: funky chicken or the tango?
Greg: I will be the guy watching others tango or do the funky chicken, ideally while drinking coffee and savoring a side of dark chocolate.
Greg: Oh, boy. I have a zillion favorite quotes, and find new ones all the time. But since it ties into this interview nicely, I’ll pick a favorite from Madelyn L’Engle:
“You have to write the book that wants to be written. And if the book will be too difficult for grown-ups, then you write it for children.”