Today, I’d like to introduce an author who’s proof that multitasking does work well when approached with equal measures of enthusiasm. Christopher P. Stanley writes gorgeously illustrated children’s books and has recently launched his own publishing company, with plenty of books in the works. And, he does it all with a contagious sort of energy. I hope that when you finish this read, you’ll catch “whatever he’s got”!
Q. Hi Chris! Please tell us a little bit about yourself and your books.
A. Hello, It’s great to be here! I was born in Parkersburg, WV and grew up in a small suburb of Columbus, OH called Grove City. I always had a vivid imagination, and spent my childhood promenading around town on different adventures, many of which consisted of me pretending to be a member of the Goonies. Or jumping out of trees. And yes, playing Nintendo, because well….it was the 80’s. I currently reside in Upper Arlington, OH.
I’ve been writing for quite some time, but it’s always been for personal or academic reasons. I was a student of history and the liberal arts, and while my musings on the Banality of Evil were of sound quality (just ask my professor!) they stand in stark contrast to my initial foray into children’s books. And I can say, unequivocally, that I have enjoyed writing books for children more than anything else I have ever written.
Q. Tell us something about your greatest success and your latest success.
A. Being a father to my four wonderful children has been my greatest success. Admittedly, I have not always been the most mature figure about town, but through it all I have been a very present and very successful parent. At one point, I was working full-time from home, taking my four year old to half-day preschool while simultaneously caring for my baby, who was all of one month old! All of my children are very different, and I feel blessed that I have earned the title of “dad”.
My latest success has been the launch of the publishing company, Jump Splash Books. My very good friend, Alex LeVasseur (who just happens to be one heck of an artist) and I decided to launch this company not only to share our works with the world, but to build up the brand and vision. We believe that through imagination and wonder, we can find joy; even in something as simple as jumping in a puddle. Our aim is simply to put something original into the world, and to have others share, for however fleeting a time, in this vision. I have been so humbled at the support and enthusiasm we’ve received. The Tree Watcher is now in a couple of libraries, some books stores, and has been purchased by many people through Amazon. When I stop to reflect upon this and the reviews it’s received, I am completely blown away. What an amazing feeling!
Q. Agreed-so amazing! So, what has been your biggest challenge thus far?
A. For me, the biggest challenge in terms of being an author was getting past my own self-doubt and reluctance to put myself out there. A little piece of me goes into everything I create, and to have people see (and judge) these creations is downright frightening. I never had a definitive background in writing; I didn’t major in the language arts. Knowing that I have a voice, that I have something to offer, despite the fact that I may not be as technically polished in the art of writing as some of my contemporaries has been the biggest challenge for me to overcome.
On second thought, it’s either that, or finding the time to write when I have four children ranging in age from 12 years to 16 months:)
Q. What are your plans for the future?
A. My plans for the future are to keep writing and building up the Jump Splash brand. As I do this interview, my second book, I Dreamed I Was a Bird is being proofed, so I expect that to be available in the very near future. Alex illustrated this book, and I am so thrilled with the outcome. Alex and I will collaborate on more projects, and I have several more books written, many more half-written, and many, many more are rolling around somewhere in the dark recesses of my subconscious. My wife has written a book that makes me laugh every time I read it, so I would love to publish that in the future as well.
In terms of more concrete plans, I’ve worked in education, in both K-12 and higher education settings for the past ten years, so that’s kept me busy, too.
I’ll be doing an author visit to an elementary school in May, and I would love to continue with school and library events, whether that’s in person or through the magic of Skype.
The Tree Watcher:
This story draws inspiration from the author taking his son, Samuel, on a walk to the park. He noticed how amazed Samuel was at everything there was to see-especially the trees that towered above him. With artwork depicting these trees that forged such awe in young Samuel’s eyes, The Tree Watcher takes the reader along on this wonder-inducing walk.
Amazon purchase link for The Tree Watcher, available in hardcover and paperback: http://www.amazon.com/dp/099704201X/
Follow Christopher P. Stanley’s Amazon Author page here http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B01994L0YW to keep posted about his upcoming release, I Dreamed I Was a Bird.
Jump Splash Books -through imagination and wonder, we can find joy; even in something as simple as jumping in a puddle.
Thanks for reading!