Q & A with Alexandria students

This past February and March, I visited several schools in Alexandria, Virginia. I had a wonderful time, Alexandria is a beautiful city. In between visits I jumped on the Metro and visited the National Mall. I loved The Smithsonian Museums. I visited the history and art museums. I only wish I could have seen more of them.

Before I left Alexandria, some of the children left a list of questions for me to answer. But I got really busy producing my next book, and I’m just now able to address their questions. Here are a few below:

How many books did you write?

I have written many, many books. My computer hard drive is filled with early, unfinished drafts. One of these days I will polish off a few and revise, revise. Then I’ll try to sell my stories to a publisher. As of today, however, I have one book that I have written that is published. It’s called It Jes’ Happened: When Bill Traylor Started to Draw.

What sport did you play?

When I was a kid, I played little league baseball. My position was usually in the outfield, and I hoped no one would hit the ball out that far. I knew I’d never catch it. I wasn’t very good at sports and I didn’t enjoy playing much.

What is your favorite movie?

I’m not a movie watcher and I don’t watch much TV. Boring, huh? When I was a teenager, I loved horror movies. My favorite back then was Halloween. I also loved King Kong and Planet of the Apes. I also love Titanic, Alien, The Green Mile, to name a few.

Do you have a puppy dog?

My son has a dog. Her name is Bella. She is a mixture of many breeds, I guess you’d call her a mutt.

What was your best book when you were a kid?

The Better Homes and Gardens Illustrated Medical Encyclopedia.


What is your favorite food?

I love a good hamburger. I don’t eat them very often because I know they aren’t good for me. If it weren’t for maintaining my health, I’d eat hamburgers for breakfast, lunch and dinner. No onions, though. Yuk.

Are you rich, and do you have a big house?

No, I am not rich by any means. But I do have a fairly big house. Not rich  + big house = bad combination.

Why do you write so good?

If in fact I am a good writer, it’s because I practice. Have you heard the saying Practice makes perfect? The saying is not true. Practice makes you better. Copy editors make you perfect! Editors examine all of my words to be sure I’ve spelled things right and that they make sense.

Do you like being a bodybuilder?

I haven’t competed in natural body building in about 15 years. My muscles are all sagging now. Natural bodybuilding means that I did not take any drugs to make my muscles bigger. My muscles got bigger from working out with weights and eating nutritious foods. A natural bodybuilder tends to be skinner/smaller than other bodybuilders.

My body building days were some of the most enjoyable of my life. I got to meet some very interesting people. Many competitors of natural body building are people who spent many years abusing their bodies, but who decided to change and make their lives better, healthier. My bodybuilding friends were inspiring. I miss those days.

What college did you go to?

I attended a two year college and learned a trade. Des Moines Area Community College, I studied commercial and advertising art.

Who was your first grade teacher.

Believe it or not, I can remember my first grade teacher. His name was Mr. Wells. I remember he was very nice, and he looked like a hippy. He looked like John Lennon  of the Beatles.

Are you a vegetarian?

No. Not with my love of hamburgers.

What do you do in your free time?

I don’t have much free time. In fact, since I visited your school in late February, I have had no free time at all. I’ve visited many other schools, and completed illustrations for my next book. Not good, I’m ready for a long vacation.

How many fights have you been in?

That’s a good question. I’ll leave the answer to your imagination.

Below are a few photos of a very fun visit with Alexandria students:





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