Festival Feature: Chris Browne

Festival Feature: Chris Browne

Book featured at this year’s Festival: The Monster Who Ate The State (South Dakota State Historical Society Press)

festival of books

1. Have you ever presented at the South Dakota Festival of Books before? If so, tell us your favorite memory. If not, tell us what you are expecting and why you signed on.

I’ve never presented at the South Dakota Festival of Books before but I am looking forward to it because I feel a special connection to it. Two years ago I pitched my book idea to the editors of South Dakota State Historical Society Press at their festival table. Now that book is debuting at this years festival. Full circle! The Festival will always be Soozy The Dinosaur’s godparent!

2. What is the earliest memory you have of books and/or reading?

Dr. Seuss books, How To Behave And Why by Mungo Leaf and Classics Illustrated Junior comic books many of which were illustrated by my father, Dik Browne.

3. Who is your favorite author (besides yourself! ☺) and why?

My favorite children’s picture book artists are William Joyce, Maurice Sendack and Chris Van Allsberg. Playful, retro, beautiful, honest and fun.

Other authors: Ray Bradbury, James Tiptree, Jr. (aka Alice Sheldon), and Charles Dickens.

4. If you have to give one piece of succinct advice to an aspiring author, what would it be?

Write from the heart: The heart should be as deep as the mind is wide.

5. Tell us one fact about yourself that nobody knows.

My first job was as a burger flipper at a roadside grill. Now I’m a vegetarian.

6. What was the greatest moment of your literary career?

I’m hoping it hasn’t happened yet! Getting a check for writing a treatment for a Columbo episode was pretty cool. I framed it.

7. Describe the feeling you had when you first held a finished, published copy of a book you had written.

I’ve contributed to many books but when The Monster Who Ate The State comes back from the printer, that will be a first for me. Can I take a shot at how that’ll feel? Like Christmas morning.

8. What is the best movie adaptation of a book you have ever seen? The worst?

I loved The Avengers movie. They really respected the source material, the comic books. I loved Peter Jackson’s take of Tolkien. And the Harry Potter books. The worst? Don’t know.

9. Write a haiku that describes you as a writer.

“A grumpy bear sips coffee

Takes pen and pad in his paws

the time is: write, now.”

10. What is the strangest question you have ever been asked related to your career as an author or your writings?

I get asked more questions in my role as a cartoonist (Hagar The Horrible). When I speak at schools some kid always asks “How much money do you make?” My stock answer is “I make more than I deserve and less than I’d like.”

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