Behind the Scenes at Booker Manchester: Eric Pinder
If you talk to any of the creative writing students at NHIA one name will undoubtedly stand out: Eric Pinder. This is for a myriad of reasons: He is talented, he is caring and understanding, and he makes cute stories often times focused around bears. But Eric is so much more than just an awesome children’s book writer. Eric sat down with Bookery Manchester to discuss nature, writing for kids, and the novel that equaled a chapter.
Jared: Through talking with you I know you were heavily influenced by fantasy and Sci-Fi, authors like J.R.R. Tolkien and Robert Heinlein, yet here you are. What brought you down this road?
Eric: When I was in my twenties, I didn’t know I would be writing children’s books. In college, I found my love for nature writing, and for a while, it was where a lot of my focus was. But then something happened: All of my friends started having children. It evolved from there.
J: What a journey! That’s probably one of the best answers I’ve ever heard. Do you still dabble in Sci-fi/Fantasy?
E: I do, it is still a passion of mine. I like reading them and I want to follow in that sense of adventure. I mainly stick to short stories with Sci-fi however.
J: Do you have a Sci-fi novel published?
E: I don’t. I was working on one, I had the whole premise planned out and I set out to write it. I had it finish and I gave it a look over and thought, “This is awful.” So I ended up taking out all of the bad parts, so I have the first chapter.
J: Ok, that is the best answer I’ve ever heard. I have to use this.
E: (Laughing) Go for it.
J: I read your book, The Perfect Pillow. I have to say, I love it so much.
E: Well thank you.
J: Where did you get the idea for it? Or, where do you find your ideas coming from?
E: It’s a funny thing. The publishing business takes so long, I forget where the idea came from. I know Horace is based off of my nephew’s stuffed dragon. I know building blanket forts with my nephew and reading about caves is what lead to, How to Share with a Bear. The idea came to me: How would you share with a bear?
J: The lesson of sharing is present there, something good for a kid to pick up young. When you are writing do you focus on the moral, or is it something which developes as you go along?
E: I am in it for the story. But you can’t have a story without some sort of tension which I think lends itself to lessons.
J: I love picture books, they foster this love of writing in kid’s. How can a writer inspire others to read?
E:I don’t think people can be forced into liking something, but there are so many stories out there, and for every person, there is the perfect story. It is a matter writing those stories so a “nonreader” can resonate with it.
J: When did you first know you wanted to be a writer?
E: When I was in fourth grade, my teacher had us write and make our own books. Something about holding a tactile product in my hand was so inspiring. I knew I wanted to write, and I never looked back.