The first week of May is Children’s Book Week and what better way to celebrate than to recognize Tim Myers, a local children’s book author who has written popular books, such as “Basho and the Fox” and “If You Give a T-Rex a Bone.”
Two experiences prompted Myers to pursue a career in children’s book writing.
“In sixth grade, I went to a Catholic school with some severe nun teachers,” Myers says. “One of my teachers was Sister Boniface. She gave us a homework assignment where I wrote a poem about the martyrdom of St. Stephen. The next day, the teacher asked me to stay after class and she told me she liked my poem. She encouraged me to keep writing and put together a booklet of my poems. At that point, I became a writer.”
“Years later, when my sons were young, we’d read picture books to them,” continues Myers. “And after I finished ‘Where the Wild Things Are,’ I was so moved and impressed by its literary power, I decided I had to write for children.”
Although Myers has written many books, he has not been immune from receiving rejection letters. So Myers has some words of comfort for writers who experience rejection.
“When you get a rejection, it doesn’t necessarily mean you did a bad job. It might just mean [your work] didn’t fit the needs of the publishing house,” Myers said. “One of my books, ‘Basho and the Fox,’ was rejected 16 times before it was accepted, and it has gone on to receive the most honors. It’s been read aloud on NPR and it has made the New York Times bestseller list for children’s books.”
Myers credits children’s books for helping young people think more deeply about the world and express themselves more articulately through language.
“My three kids grew up on a steady diet of children’s books,” Myers says. “One son is now getting a PhD, another son is writing his master’s thesis, and my daughter, who recently finished an internship in Washington D.C., got an article she’d written about the government shutdown on the front page of The San Francisco Chronicle.”
“When I was in second grade, I was a goofy little kid and I got an F in reading comprehension,” Myers says. “So it’s ironic that I ended up marrying Dr. Priscilla Myers, who’s director of the masters reading program at Santa Clara University.”
Myers was born in Portland, Oregon and grew up in Colorado Springs, Colorado. He holds an M.A. in Literature from the University of Wisconsin at Madison. He has taught middle grade and high school in Colorado, Texas, Tokyo, London, and Norway. Having lived in Santa Clara since 2001, Myers is currently a lecturer in English and education at Santa Clara University. In addition to writing children’s books, Myers also writes poetry for adults.
Myers is anticipating the 2012 release of his next picture book from Sterling Publishing titled “Down at the Dino Wash Deluxe.” It’s about a giant car wash for dinosaurs visited by a scary tyrannosaurus rex.
Myers will be hosting a poetry reading at Santa Clara University on Thursday, May 26 at 5:00 p.m. in Benson Parlor B at the school’s Benson Center.
Visit www.timmyersstorysong.com for more information about Tim Myers.