Jonah Winter Revealed
About Jonah Winter
What is your birthdate?:3/21
Previous occupations:Llama ranch-hand, flower deliverer, children's book editor.
High school and/or college:I went to Oberlin College. (I do my best to not think about where I went to high school.)
Name of your favorite composer or music artist?:Hildegard von Bingen.
Favorite movie:My Winnepeg.
Favorite television show:I don't watch TV.
- Q. How would you describe your life in only 8 words?
- A. Waterloo. Maine. Titanic. Siberia. Babel. Postponed. Cancelled. Waddayagonnado.
- Q. What is your motto or maxim?
- A. If at first you don't succeed, keep trying and trying and trying until you've driven everyone around you completely insane.
- Q. How would you describe perfect happiness?
- A. Puppies!!!
- Q. What’s your greatest fear?
- A. You don't really think I'm going to admit this on the internet, do you? (!)
- Q. If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would you choose to be?
- A. Vilnius.
- Q. With whom in history do you most identify?
- A. Napolean. No, wait a minute, change that -- Lucille Ball.
- Q. Which living person do you most admire?
- A. Aung San Suu Kyi.
- Q. What are your most overused words or phrases?
- A. Ayyyyy...EH?
- Q. What do you regret most?
- A. The day I first started using the internet.
- Q. If you could acquire any talent, what would it be?
- A. It's a toss-up -- between piano-playing and tap-dancing.
- Q. What is your greatest achievement?
- A. Getting up out of bed every morning.
- Q. What’s your greatest flaw?
- A. Flaws? I have no "flaws"....(!) (Umph humph.)
- Q. What’s your best quality?
- A. Why I just have so many good qualities, it's hard to even remember them. Hmmm, let's see....
- Q. If you could be any person or thing, who or what would it be?
- A. Gene Kelly.
- Q. What trait is most noticeable about you?
- A. I'm extremely polite.
- Q. Who is your favorite fictional hero?
- A. Mr. Ed.
- Q. Who is your favorite fictional villain?
- A. John Wellington Wells.
- Q. If you could meet any historical character, who would it be and what would you say to him or her?
- A. Julias Ceasar. And I'd say to him, "We've come to cease your berries, not to praise them. Get it? Get it? Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!!!"
- Q. What is your biggest pet peeve?
- A. People who text-message while driving. Actually, that's more than a "peeve" -- I'm terrified of these people. "Peeve"...? People who, upon getting to the top of the subway stairwell, stop in their tracks and start texting. In fact, I'll just simply it: Texting. First of all, "text" is a noun, not a verb, you goobers! Secondly, it's a drug! It's addictive! Thirdly, it rots your brain, makes you stupid. Stop doing it!!!
- Q. What is your favorite occupation, when you’re not writing?
- A. Running around in circles, waving my arms above my head.
- Q. What’s your fantasy profession?
- A. Lobsterman.
- Q. What 3 personal qualities are most important to you?
- A. Location, location, location.
- Q. If you could eat only one thing for the rest of your days, what would it be?
- A. Free caviar.
- Q. What are your 5 favorite songs?
- A. I love so many kinds of music, I'm afraid I couldn't possibly narrow it down to 5 songs. Sorry!
On Books and Writing
- Q. Who are your favorite authors?
- A. Laurence Sterne, James Thurber, Mark Leyner, Franz Kafka, and Gertrude Stein.
- Q. What are your 5 favorite books of all time?
- A. War and Peace, Don Quixote, Wuthering Heights, Pigs Is Pigs., and Potter's Gamesmanship.
- Q. Is there a book you love to reread?
- A. Yes, Robert Frost's Collected Poems.
- Q. Do you have one sentence of advice for new writers?
- A. Put away your i-phone, put away your laptop, turn off that music, shut the door, get out a pad of paper and a pen..., and write.
- Q. What comment do you hear most often from your readers?
- A. "I like baseball."
- Q. How did you come to write Gertrude is Gertrude is Gertrude is Gertrude?
- A. I had always wanted to write a book about Gertrude Stein, the oh so modern American writer whose apartment in Paris was a gathering place for the greatest writers and artists of the early 20th century. And I had wanted to write about her life with her companion, Alice B. Toklas. The question was: How? The answer turned out to be so obvious that I'm now embarassed that it was ever a question. Of course, the book would have to be written in Gertrude Stein's style, which is very famous for being repetitive and somewhat nonsensical, whimsical, and ...childlike! (How perfect!) And I would present her romantic relationship with Alice B. Toklas as the most natural, wonderful thing on earth -- because, truly, that's what I believe it to have been. To me, this seemed like the perfect topic for a children's book.