Joseph Slate, a native West Virginian, has always loved to paint and write. “I majored in journalism at the University of Washington in Seattle, worked as a reporter on The Seattle Times, was an editor for Foreign Broadcast Information Service (Washington, D.C., California, and Tokyo), then took a degree in fine arts at Yale, although I never illustrated my own books. My painting took a direction that was at odds with the fine art of illustration.
“My ideas come from everywhere: a childhood drawing I did of a porcupine, a silly song I once sang to a godchild, and my teacher-niece and pupil-grand nephew getting ready for kindergarten, all kicked off an idea for a book. Now I am writing novels, and it’s the same what-if approach, although the first one came out of my West Virginia boyhood. It’s called Crossing the Trestle, and the young narrator faces an obstacle I did as a child.”
Mr. Slate is Professor of Art Emeritus at Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio, where he taught for 30 years. He now lives in Silver Spring, Maryland, with his wife, Patty. A Marine Air Corps veteran, he and his wife have set foot on all seven continents and traveled in 39 countries. They have lived in both Japan and Italy.
“Snacking is my big vice, especially chocolate and oatmeal raisin cookies. To keep my weight down, I take tai-chi courses with a world grand master and play water volley ball.”
Awards: National Bookseller’s and New York Public Library’s annual lists, Library of Congress citation, Ohio and Kansas State Reading Circle lists, Colorado and Wyoming School Children’s 1998 Best Book finalist, 1998 Americas Commended list, Publisher’s Weekly best seller list (twice), Delaware’s l997 Blue Hen Award, Ohioana Library Association’s Award for distinguised service in the field of children’s literature.
copyright ? 2000 by Penguin Putnam Books for Young Readers. All rights reserved.