Wednesday, March 8, 2023

Q&A with Tim Fite




Tim Fite is the author and illustrator of the new children's picture book A Bucket of Questions. He is also a musician, singer-songwriter, and multimedia artist.


Q: What inspired you to create A Bucket of Questions?


A: The short answer: I love questions! I also love cylindrical storage solutions!


The longer answer: Oftentimes kids’ books are written with some clear-cut plot, message, or lesson. This can be great as a starting point for jumpstarting young imaginations, but I wanted to push the envelope. I wanted to make an entertaining book that would leave kids asking more questions than they started with. 


Q: Did you work on the illustrations first or the text first--or both simultaneously?


A: I worked on both simultaneously. I made a rough draft of the book in a timtamalacazam sort of way - drawing the whole thing with wet markers and a broken hairdryer in a blank story book.


Though much of  my slap-dash first draft  found its way into the editorial fireplace, those first words and drawings set the tone, aesthetic, and timing for the final version of A Bucket Of Questions.


Q: How did you come up with the questions asked (and answered!) in the book?


A: Most of them I just kind of walked around the room and bumped into. Similarly to how a kid might come up with a question. Oops, I dropped my water glass . . . “I wonder what is at the bottom of the ocean?”


Others, like “What are hot dogs actually made of?” And “Where do babies come from?” are classic questions that are always deserving of another ask (and an alternate answer). 


Q: What do you hope kids take away from the book?


A: I hope that kids take away the curious confidence to ask as much of the world as the world asks of them.


Q: What are you working on now?


A: I am working on an experimental percussion and vocal record with avant-garde drummer - Clangor.  I am working on a high-concept invisibility manifesto for the socially tentative.  And I am also trying to figure out the truth about salamanders. 


Q: Anything else we should know?


A: Never underestimate the power of a well-placed question! And never underestimate the infinite storage capacity of the humble bucket! (Besides questions, buckets can also hold sand, dirt, water, hopes, dreams, toothpaste, capers, smart phones, daffodils, raisins, lies, string cheese, rocks, fruit punch, diamonds, figs, oat milk, goat milk, boat milk, and the list goes on . . . . .)


--Interview with Deborah Kalb

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