Excerpted from Ned's New Home by Kevin Tseng. Copyright © 2009 by Kevin Tseng. Excerpted by permission of Tricycle Press, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
1. What is your favorite thing about being an author/illustrator?
My favorite aspect about being both an author and illustrator is that a simple drawing can turn into an entire story and, conversely, a simple phrase can turn into a whole series of illustrations. It works both ways and I love it!
2. What book do you re-read every few years?
I have read "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" and "Through the Looking-Glass" numerous times because Carroll's characters and settings are so inspired and Tenniel' s original illustrations are incredibly charming. The fact that Carroll wrote them while suffering from migraine headaches makes his work even more fascinating.
3. What's the history of your first or last name?
My mother is Irish/English and my father is Chinese, so my name is a perfect reflection of this with "Kevin" being Irish and "Tseng" being Chinese. The Tseng name traces back over many generations to Confucius's favorite student, Tseng Tzu. Back when most people thought the earth was flat, he was a very early supporter of the round earth theory – which I also fully support.
4. If you were an animal, what would you be and why?
I would either be a giant squid or great white shark since both fascinate and terrify me. Although, I am not sure if I would be a very good squid or shark since I have not been in the ocean since 1993 and will not even go into swimming pools at night. Perhaps I would make a better snowy owl…
5. If you had a superpower, what would it be?
I would love to know any and all statistics that my little mind desired. For example: How many people in the world are eating chocolate cake RIGHT NOW? How many different types of dinosaurs existed? How many times have I said the word "the" in my life? (Of course, I would also have to ask: How many other superpowers are more useful than this one?)
6. Do you have any hobbies?
I do not travel internationally all that often, but when I do, it is usually because I want to visit an exotic landscape that I have seen in films or on television. Two of my most notable trips were to the rock pillars of Meteora in Greece (after seeing a shoe commercial filmed there) and to the endlessly green Shunan Bamboo Sea in China (after seeing a movie filmed there). My next trip will be to see the Northern Lights in either Scandinavia or Alaska.