Today we welcome Eric Pinder to talk about his new book Counting Dinos!
Eric, tell us a little bit about your background before VCFA, and how you came to decide to enter our program.
Growing up in a house full of books, I always knew I wanted to be a writer someday. Well, either a writer or an astronaut. From high school onward I mostly wrote nonfiction, nature writing, and occasionally science fiction for grownups, but then a funny thing happened: Everyone in my circle of friends started having kids. Hearing them read Seuss and Boynton to their kids gave me an appreciation for how lyrical picture books can be, and inspired me to try writing some of my own.
What I like best about writing picture books is playing with the sounds of words. It’s sort of like using language as a musical instrument. Even when a picture book doesn’t rhyme, there still needs to be a rhythm to the sentences, and sometimes sound effects and onomatopoeia. Writing picture books is a bit like writing poetry, because they both get read aloud, performed by the reader.
When a writer-in-residence stint at a small New England college in the woods led to a teaching opportunity, that motivated me to get an MFA. A friend suggested the Writing for Children & Young Adults program at VCFA, and it was the perfect program for me.