Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Two Cents & Five Questions With...

... Skip Ploss, Author.

To date, Skip has written and illustrated three published books. "If Picasso Were a Fish", "If I Had a Gift" and "Abstracts: minimalist scribblings", all of which can be found at his website Plossville.com for purchase.

Recently, Skip took a few moments and shared his Two Cents and Five Answers with us.

Two Cents: Please tell the Two Cents readers a little about yourself and your books.
Skip Ploss: I have been drawing stuff for over 37 years. I open with that statement because I am always having young folk say to me, "I'll never be able to draw like that!" My response is that I have been doing this longer than you have been alive. That's called practice. Keep at it and you can get there too. In fact, there are characters that I draw that I have been using for over 15 years.

I work in a K-2 school everyday and in my capacity as an educational aide I get to experience how and what kids learn first hand. All of my books relate to things that happen at or that we in the school experience together.

TC: How did you get your start writing children's books?
SP: I was sitting in the faculty lunch room after attending art class with a first grade class I was working in during the 2005-2006 school year and a thought, more a random free word association, popped into my head, "What if Picasso were a Fish?" I started with that line and began work on the first book. "If I Had a Gift" comes from birthday sheets we do at school when it's someone's birthday and "Abstracts:minimalist scribblings" came from experiences I had doing art and abstractions for two wonderful mornings at The Hawthorne Cedar Knolls School in Hawthorn New York.

TC: Where do you get your inspirations for your stories?
SP: I get inspiration from life with the kids and faculty I work with. Kids get much more than we give them credit for.

TC: What fun websites do you visit for your own entertainment?
SP: www.jacksonpollock.org A really cool flash piece where you get to paint like JP.
www.youtube.com for English comedy we can't get here like "Mock The Week" and original stuff like God Inc.
www.cafepress.com where I, and anyone can, put original art on t-shirts and stuff.

TC: What else do you do with your spare time for fun?
SP: I spend a lot (too much?) time in community theatre. I recently completed a three year project, directing the late Larry Shue's three main works, Wenceslas Square, The Foreigner and The Nerd. I am currently co-producing A.R Gurney's "Sylvia".

I read a lot too. I like history and I just read David McCullough's "1776" and Charles Mann's "1491". I also like "offbeat" books and am currently reading Christopher Moore's "Lamb" and am a long-time Douglas Adams fan. Good stuff.

I also review kids books and teach theatre and drawing at the Wilton, CT YMCA.

*Two Cents Bonus Question*
TC: If someone were to climb off a desert island and only have time to watch five movies to learn what American cinema is all about, what five movies would you show them?
SP: 1. Young Frankenstein, 2. Star Wars, 3. Silverado, 4. The Seven Ups, 5. Manchurian Candidate

Big thanks to Skip for his time! Go check out his website and his books and when you do, tell him you read about it here on The Two Cents!

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