Aaron Reynolds is a New York Times Bestselling Author of many highly acclaimed books for kids, including Here Comes Destructosaurus!, Carnivores, Chicks and Salsa, and the Caldecott Honor winning Creepy Carrots! He frequently visits schools and his highly participatory presentations are a blast for kids and teachers alike. He lives in the Chicago area with his wife, two kids, four cats, and between three and ten fish, depending on the day. For more info, visit his website.
What is the worst movie you’ve ever seen?
So hard to answer…there are so many bad movies out there. I’ll narrow it down to “disappointingly bad” movies…movies for which I had high hopes and they turned out to stink. A three-way tie between The Last Airbender, Jurrasic Park 3, and Sharknado.
Where is the most beautiful place you’ve ever been?
New Zealand. I got the chance to spend five weeks traveling all over both islands, and it’s every bit as breathtaking as The Lord of the Rings depicts it to be. Only better.
How do you feel about small talk? Love or hate?
I really hate small talk, but have learned to get pretty good at it, due to the amount I time I spend traveling and hanging out with people I don’t know. The key is to ask lots of questions about the other person.
What celebrity—past or present—would you trust the least with a spare key to your house?
Joe Pesci. Right? Or Steve Buscemi. Again, for obviously reasons.
What do you get most enthusiastic about?
In this order:
1. My wife
2. My kids
5. Video games
What would complete your outfit right now?
A margarita. Definitely.
How do you deal with creativity blocks?
Just keep writing through the crap. BIC…butt in chair. Even if the writing isn’t coming, even if there’s nothing but garbage coming out. The good stuff will show up eventually.
Is there a particular place where you feel most creative?
In the shower or by myself in the car. I think it’s something about the inability to multi-task combined with being somewhere that nobody can get to you that frees up the mind and lets the ideas flow.
If you were no longer able to write, how else would you express your creativity?
I would become a chef. I love cooking and consider it a great form of creativity in my life. I actually went to culinary school years ago when I thought that might be a career path for me, and just loved the fun of it, regardless of whether I actually would end up becoming a chef. I could do that again and be quite happy.
How do you balance your personal life and your creative endeavors?
I’m pretty ruthless about taking downtime and time to just be with my family. Having said that, I think that creativity pervades all of life and I don’t try to turn the creativity off ever. But the tasks that come with it…actively brainstorming, writing, speaking at schools, doing blog interviews…I can turn off the switch and leave those aside when it’s time to unplug, knowing that they’ll still be there waiting for me to dive back into when it’s time to work again.
Which of your books gives you the most pride or satisfaction?
Well, when Creepy Carrots won the Caldecott Honor Medal, that was incredibly satisfying, especially knowing that I never in a million years saw it coming. I NEVER would had dreamed that one of my books would carry that little silver medal on the cover. So that was a good day.
But I think the best pride or satisfaction comes from the writing itself. Coming up with an especially good idea, figuring out a story twist, making myself crack up as I write and knowing that a kid is going to love what I just wrote…these are the true satisfactions of this writing life and the reason I do it in the first place. I really have fun at what I do. If it wins awards, if reviewers like it, if it hits some bestseller list…well, that’s all gravy.