Over the years, in my role as author-illustrator, I have visited what seems like zillions of schools (give or take 100,000). It is great fun for me! One of the questions I am most frequently asked is, “Where do you get your ideas?”
The answer, more often than not, is that I get them from myself. This, of course, only works if I am actually on speaking terms with myself (which is rarely the case). Nonetheless, many of my stories are autobiographical. Let’s take, for example, Wilson and Miss Lovely: A Back-to-School Mystery.
Wilson is a rabbit.
So am I!
Wilson is in love with his teacher, Miss Lovely.
I was in love with my kindergarten teacher, Miss Broadhead!
Wilson can’t wait for tomorrow so that he can get back to school and see Miss Lovely.
I couldn’t wait for tomorrow to come so that I could bring my pet worms (Fred and Ethel) to Show and Tell.
On his way to school, Wilson notices that the streets are empty except for . . . a huge, mysterious, scary creature following him.
On my way to school I, too, was followed by a huge, mysterious, scary creature . . . my big sister, Anne!
Wilson is a good boy.
I was . . . oh, never mind!
Wilson’s day at school is filled with mystery.
Miss Broadhead said I was a complete mystery to her!
In the end, things work out beautifully for Wilson. Life is sweet, reassuring, and very Miss Lovely.
As for me . . . I’m still working on the mystery!
So you could say that the story of Wilson and Miss Lovely is a true story (if by true you mean mostly made up). I hope this gives you some insight into my creative process.
My next autobiographical book will be called Wilson and the Scarlet Letter: How I Got My First A. I hope you enjoy it!