Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

Ten Questions with Marthe Jocelyn and Tom Slaughter

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Ten Questions with Marthe Jocelyn and Tom Slaughter

OBT:

Tell us about your book, Same Same.

MJ & TS:

The original idea was to make this a wordless book, so it is the pictures that lead the ‘reader’ to discover similar qualities in apparently quite different things, like for instance a guitar, a tambourine and a bird all make music. Move the bird to the next page and show it with an airplane and a bumblebee, things that fly. Move the bee to the next page to meet a zebra and a snake, striped things. And so on...

OBT:

Which books made a great impression on you when you were a child?

MJ & TS:

Tom loved Harold and the Purple Crayon, and, growing up in New York City, another favorite was This is New York. Marthe liked the little books illustrated by Lois Lenski, with round-headed children living merry, mundane lives. Also Anne of Green Gables, of course.

OBT:

You two have collaborated on other books, such as ABC x 3 and Eats. What's the most rewarding aspect of collaborating on a book?

MJ & TS:

Having someone to talk to about story and picture ideas.

OBT:

What's most challenging about collaborating on a book?

MJ & TS:

Having to talk to someone about story and picture ideas. Marthe is like the architect and Tom is like the builder. But sometimes we think we can do each other’s job.

OBT:

What was your first publication?

MJ & TS:

Tom’s first children’s book was called 123. Marthe’s was a chapter book called The Invisible Day.

OBT:

What are you reading right now?

MJ & TS:

Tom is reading a book by John LeCarre. Marthe is reading 21 Balloons by William Pene du Bois for the 20th time.

OBT:

If you had to choose three books as a “Welcome to Canada” gift, what would those books be?

MJ & TS:

Three books just wouldn't be enough! We'd take our new friends to a library or bookstore and let them choose for themselves from the huge treasure trove of brilliant Canadian books...

OBT:

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received as a writer?

MJ & TS:

READ as many of other people’s books as you can and read your own work aloud to hear it properly.

OBT:

Describe the most memorable response you’ve received from a reader.

MJ & TS:

Tough to pick from the hundreds of funny and wonderful comments from children all over the country... How about:

“Books are sort of like real life, aren’t they? Every day we wake up and it’s a new page...”

OBT:

What is your next project?

MJ & TS:

Together we’re working on a new book – our 7th collaboration - called Which Way?

Marthe Jocelyn (photo credit: Tom Slaughter)

Tom Slaughter (photo credit: Colm Feore)

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