Welcome, Josh! What came first- rhyme or prose?
Definitely rhyme. Back in college and my early twenties (oh, so long ago), I played guitar and wrote songs. My lyrics weren’t the poetic Eddie Vedder style, I was more of a quirky They Might Be Giants type of songwriter. Thinking back, it makes sense that my style of songwriting, while not good enough to garner any record deals, lends itself well to writing picture books.
Do you visualize the illustrations as you write? If so, do you carry them out in the form of a dummy, thumbnails, or illustration notes?
No. Not at all. When writing, I guess I don’t think particularly visually. I’ve never been one for dummies, and Lady Pancake and Sir French Toast had zero illustration notes. I think this has helped me in the long run. I am not a visual artist. I’ve been very lucky that Brendan Kearney has taken Lady Pancake & Sir French Toast and raced off with it so perfectly.
How would Lady Pancake and Sir French Toast persuade anti-rhymers to summon their inner-rhymer?
Lady Pancake would tell you that anyone can rhyme, it comes from deep within your light fluffy center. Sir French Toast would argue that it takes years of practice to perfect a rhyming recipe and should be approached with caution.
But they’d both agree that adding a hefty dollop of rhyme to a picture book gives it a charm that’s hard to beat.
You are dining out and stuffing your face with the most delectable French Toast you have ever eaten. Sir French Toast walks in, and is elated to see you until… he sees what you are eating. What do you say?
I would never eat French Toast! How horrific! I only eat anthropomorphic vegetables and talking cheese. And bagels.
As I mentioned, I don’t think particularly visually, so Brendan’s illustrations blew me away when I first saw them. The first thing I saw were his character sketches, not just of the two main characters, but of many side characters, and they were all awesome! From the very beginning Brendan had designed the strawberry hat, the mustache, the whipped cream hair – it was as if he drew all the things I didn’t know I always knew they looked like.
Trust. But that’s probably true of almost all relationships, period. She’s open about every interaction she has on my behalf and very quick about it. But I lucked out with Kathleen. She’s on top of everything. She knows what to send to who and when, how to handle all the contract stuff, gives great editorial feedback, and has expertly guided me on the path to publication. Go #TeamKrush!
Aren't you just loving this? Part 2 of this interview happens now! Come on over to hear Josh's take on mentor texts. Part 2 is HERE. You can find my review of LP & SFT HERE.
Josh Funk lives in New England with his wife and children. He is the author of LADY PANCAKE & SIR FRENCH TOAST (Sterling 2015), and the forthcoming picture books DEAR DRAGON (Viking/Penguin 2016), PIRASAURS! (Scholastic 2017), and JACK! [and the beanstalk] (Two Lions 2017). Find more information about his books at JoshFunkBooks.com.
Josh is the co-coordinator of the 2016 and 2017 New England Regional SCBWI Conference and is a board member of The Writers' Loft in Sherborn, MA.
Josh is terrible at writing bios, so please help fill in the blanks. Josh enjoys _______ during ________ and has always loved __________. He has played ____________ since age __ and his biggest fear in life is being eaten by a __________.