Ask the Author: Paul Czajak
Don't miss Paul Czajak, author of the Monster & Me series, at our KidsLIVE! Author Talk May 21st at the Battery Park City Library. Paul will be signing copies of two of his beautiful picture books, Seaver the Weaver and Monster Needs a Party. The first forty children in line will receive a free copy of one of the books! Librarians and kids at the Battery Park City Library asked Paul some questions to get to know him better, and you can find his funny answers, and more details about Seaver, below!
When and where do you like to read?
I will read pretty much anywhere. Though my two favorite places are the car—don't worry, only when I'm not driving. And bed—only when I'm not sleeping—because unlike Dr. Seuss, I cannot read with my eyes shut.
What were your favorite books as a child?
My favorite picture books were the Berenstain Bears, especially the one when they go on a picnic. I love the illustrations in that one. Then, when I first started to read on my own, I loved the Boxcar Children. Then for some reason I fell out of reading. It wasn't until I was 12-13 years old, when I started reading again, that a friend gave me a copy of The Pawn of Prophecy by David Eddings. Great series, which rekindled my love for reading.
Would you rather fly or be invisible?
Fly! I would save so much money on travel!
What's your favorite thing to see or do in New York?
I love, love, love the Museum of Natural History. No matter how many times I go I never get bored.
What books had the greatest impact on you?
The Pawn of Prophecy: it's the book that got me reading again. For some reason I didn't like to read anymore as a kid. But really, it was just that I hadn’t found the right book. There is a book out there for every reluctant reader; it's all about finding it.
Sometimes you write about scary things, like spiders and monsters. Are there any animals that you are afraid of?
I wouldn't say I'm afraid of any animals. I do, however, have a healthy respect for them. In other words, I think bears are the coolest but I would never want to be in a room with one!
Would you like to name a few writers out there you think deserve greater readership?
Well, Paul Czajak immediately comes to mind. Other than him, I can't possibly think of anyone else I would rather read. Ok, I'm just kidding. For chapter books, Jen Malone has a great sense of humor, and for picture books, Carol Gordon Ekster and Ben Clanton are great!
What comes first, writing or illustrating?
Always the writing. I can't even imagine trying to draw my stories first. The words almost force themselves out onto the page before I even have a chance to draw. Also, I can't draw to save my life which is why I have illustrators.
What was the last book you recommended?
Stuck by Oliver Jeffers, and A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin. Not to the same person. That would just be wrong.
What do you plan to read next?
I am in the middle of Good Omens by Neil Gaiman.
About the Book
Seaver is an orb spider, and orb spiders only make round webs—or do they? Inspired by the constellations he sees in the sky above, Seaver tests the limits by weaving sharp shapes. Courageous Seaver meets with success; his patterned webs are snagging snacks from the sky around him while his brothers and sisters wait with boredom in their beautiful round webs, unnoticed by passing insects. Soon Seaver, confused about being different, is the toast of the sky, and is happy to share his shape-making skills with his large family.
Paul Czajak got an F with the words “get a tutor” on his college writing paper and after that, never thought he’d become a writer. But after spending twenty years as a chemist, he knew his creativity could no longer be contained. Living in New Jersey with his wife, and two little monsters, Paul has rediscovered his passion for writing and looks forward to sharing his stories for years to come. In addition to the Monster & Me™ series, Paul is also the author of Seaver the Weaver.