In celebration of Children’s Book Week, StorySnoops is hosting a series of interviews with our friends in the literary world. Children’s Book Week is the national celebration of books and reading for youth. We hope you enjoy reading about some of our favorite authors. We really enjoyed putting this series together!
Our guest today is Dave Barry, humor columnist and Pulitzer Prize-winner for commentary who, in his spare time, has written thirty books. These include the hilarious Science Fair and one of our favorite series, Peter and the Starcatchers, all of which were written with co-author (and co-rock band member!) Ridley Pearson.
Nothing major, that I can think of. I still mainly try to be amusing, and I still worry a lot that I am failing.
Have you done a single interview since winning the Pulitzer Prize that has not included a question about winning the Pulitzer Prize?
Probably not. If the interviewer fails to mention it, I bring it up via some subtle statement such as, “By the way, I won a Pulitzer Prize.”
Your columns explore everything from politics to exploding toilets. How did you decide to write books for children?
Ridley Pearson suggested it. He and I are in a terrible all-author rock band, and one year when we were playing in Miami he stayed at my house. We were having breakfast, and he said he’d been thinking about writing a prequel to Peter Pan, and asked if I’d be interested, and I said yes. And then I said, “By the way, I won a Pulitzer Prize.”
How is the process of writing with a partner different from writing on your own?
How does one begin the task of creating the backstory for J. M. Barrie’s legendary character Peter Pan?
One spends a lot of time arguing with Ridley Pearson.
How do you feel about the impact of the internet on journalism and newspapers? Has it changed your job as a columnist in any way?
The Internet has badly hurt newspapers financially — there aren’t as many of them, and they have much less space, which means they publish fewer columns.
Can we look forward to a fifth book in the Peter and the Starcatchers series?
Yes you can, though it’s going to be quite different from the others — almost a whole new series. He said mysteriously.
For more of Dave Barry’s distinctive humor, check out his column in the Miami Herald and his website. Check back tomorrow to hear from Wendy Mass, award-winning author of several children’s books, including Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life and A Mango-Shaped Space. We’ve had a great time putting together these Children’s Book Week interviews and hope you’ll check out the entire series here, and let us know what you think!