An Interview With Arnold Rudnick

Yesterday I gave you a review of Arnold Rudnick’s Little Green. Today I am honored to introduce Arnold to readers through a recent interview.

What inspired you to write Little Green?
I used to tell my daughter bedtime stories, and Little Green began as one of those stories. I had written for film and television, and just finished a middle-grade book (ESPete: Sixth Grade Sense) and wanted to write a book I could share with younger elementary students, too.

How long did it take to write Little Green?
Since Little Green began as a bedtime story, it’s hard to say exactly. It was a few years since I first told the story that I decided to write it as a picture book, and so it went really fast. After reviewing the draft with some colleagues, I decided to write it in verse, which took several months. I had worked with a wonderful illustrator before (Marcelo Gorenman) and wanted him to do the artwork. Coordinating our schedules, and going through many character drafts and revisions, the final verse and pictures took about year.

If you could go back and change anything about Little Green, would you? If so, what would it be?
I always see things to change in everything I write, but I realize that you have to let things go at some point. I would love to write more chapters of Little Green’s quest, though, where he would visit other animals, and learn more animal groups, traits, and skills.

Do you have any other works published?
Yes, I wrote for film and television for many years before deciding to write a kid’s book (influenced by the school book fairs!). My first book was ESPete: Sixth Grade Sense, which won a Moonbeam Award.

How do you balance working and life with writing and promoting your work?
I finished my first book when I began training in martial arts. The lessons in mind-body-spirit are really helpful in creating balance, but also working toward goals. I hesitated training, because I didn’t think I had enough time, but found more time because of it. I find the same energy with writing. When I don’t write a lot, it’s hard to write, but when I write – letters, e-mails, stories, etc. – it is easier to write more. Of course, there’s only so many hours in a day. I would love more time to promote Little Green, but I make goals and checklists and try to get at least one thing accomplished each day or week. Sometimes it’s hard to choose between promoting my work and starting or finishing another project, but then I think about Little Green, who inspires me. When I am not sure I can get something done, I ask: “Isn’t it possible?” and I figure out a way to accomplish my next goal.

How did you get started as a writer?
Reading. And watching television! When I was growing up, there were no DVRs or on-demand. Only in my later childhood was there even video (first Sony Betamax!). When we had to go somewhere, I would get upset that I had to miss the end of a tv show. But then, I realized, I could decide how the show ended – of course, my version may not be the same as what everyone else watched, but I liked deciding how stories ended. With a lot of movies and tv shows, I still occasionally decide on different endings.

What does a typical day look like for you?
Depends on the day. That’s my answer when people ask me what I do, since I have a full-time job and two kids, although they are older now and really independent. I don’t think I have a typical day. And I hope I never do.

Are you working on any other books?
Always.

Do you have any quirky habits that you would like to share with readers?
I’m sure I do, but since they’re mine, I probably don’t see them as quirky.

If a movie is made about your life, who would play you?
Tom Hanks.

If you were stuck on an island, what five people would you want to be there with?
My wife and kids – I don’t want them stuck, mind you, but I’m considering who I would want to be with. As long as we’re together, I would be home. That leaves two other people. I’d let my kids each bring a friend. :)

If you see a spider inside your house, do you take it outside?
Only if its mother approves.

How can readers contact you or connect with you?
Visit my websites, isntitpossible.com or espete.com, or e-mail arnold@espete.com.

About the Author:
Arnold Rudnick studied film and accounting at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, then moved to Los Angeles, where he worked in feature development at Paramount Pictures and Gary Lucchesi Productions. Arnold has written for many television shows, including The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Star Trek: Voyager, and The New Addams Family.

His first book, ESPete: Sixth Grade Sense, won a silver medal in the Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards (2009) and Reader’s Favorite Awards (2010) and was a pick in Danny Brassell’s Lazy Readers Book Club (September 2012).
Little Green is Arnold’s first picture book. In addition to writing, Arnold works in school administration. He and his wife and children live in Los Angeles.

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