Author Spotlight with Jonathan C. Nordstrom
In our new Author Spotlight, each month we will feature one of our authors, focusing on getting to know more about who they are and the writing they love. Up first: Mom’s Choice Award and Gelett Burgess Award winning author of Sometimes Sleep, Jonathan C. Nordstrom.
Hailing from St. Mary’s County, Maryland by way of Michigan, Jonathan brings his lush, vivid imagery alive with kid friendly prose in his first ever published work, Sometimes Sleep. His work is designed to describe how sleeps arrives, both verbally and through his brightly colored and moving art work. I sat down with Jonathan and asked him about life, work, and writing.
Why do you write? It is a form of meditation, and I love the process of creating a whole world from a single little nugget that hatched in my mind.
What made you decide to sit down and actually start something? We lost our nephew in an automobile accident. I needed to celebrate his life, and Sometimes Sleep was my vehicle for memorializing him. I also wanted to help my daughter sleep.
What draws you to the children’s book genre? There is nothing I love more than seeing wonder or joy on a child’s face. Making a child laugh, or yawn, or show excitement at one of my illustrations makes my day.
Do you have a special time to write or how is your day structured? Generally, I set up time to either illustrate or paint. I can work on the story and poetry anywhere. The art requires more dedicated time sitting down. When I find a break in my day, I squeeze in the writing part. I don’t have a goal for number of pages or words in a day and everything I do is completed in “longhand”, then transfered to a computer.
How do you think you’ve evolved creatively? I am able to create much more efficiently now, than I could when I started. I can begin an illustration, and finish it in weeks instead of months. That makes creating the story and poetry much easier and faster.
What is the hardest thing about writing? Making sure what I am thinking relays well to the paper. Sometimes my thoughts do not jibe with what I am writing, and I have to obsess over a single paragraph to get the thought just right. While writing anything, the hardest thing to find is time. Finding time to write and illustrate is incredibly frustrating. Life tends to happen while one is trying to create!
Which writers inspire you? I am definitely a reader. There are so many amazing authors and illustrators that have inspired me throughout the years. J.R.R Tolkien, Shel Silverstein, Maurice Sendak, Leo & Lionni, Mercer Mayer, George RR Martin, Hemingway, Dante, are just a few.
If you could have been the original author of any book, what would it have been and why? Tolkiens The Hobbit and Lord Of The Rings. This man created a world that will never be forgotten. It is timeless, and generations of children and adults will cherish it as long as long as humanity is around.
Which actor/actress would you like to see playing the lead character from your most recent book? I can tell you who I would like to narrate it- Sir David Attenborough.
Which famous person, living or dead would you like to meet and why? Ernest Hemingway. The man lived life as it should be lived, and chronicled it as best a man can. There would be so much to learn from him. There obviously was such a depth to his life, and I have to imagine the conversation would not be lacking!
Besides Sometimes Sleep what else have you written and/or illustrated? So far, I have completed one other book, Shimmer, and nearly completed illustrating and composing a third.
What are your ambitions for your writing career? I want to create unique, timeless books that children pass on to their children, who pass it to their children, and to their children, on and on down the line. I hope to inspire children to unlock their creative instincts, to create the next great literature, and to help keep the tradition of print books alive.
How can readers discover more about you and you work? We are establishing a strong fan base on Facebook and are [working hard] to keep our fans up to date on our doings. We have an email list, with which we send great deals and happenings. Our website is also full of information, and has all of my art that is not directly related to my books.
Learn more about Jonathan Nordstrom by visiting his website, www.sometimessleep.com. Find this and all 4 of his publications on Amazon and Kindle!