Kevin O’Malley has written and illustrated many popular children’s books including “Once Upon a Cool Motorcycle Dude” (Bloomsbury USA Childrens), his New York Times bestseller “Gimme Cracked Corn and I Will Share” (Walker & Company, 2012) and books in the Miss Malarkey series. O’Malley lives in Baltimore with his wife and two sons. Learn more about Kevin and his work in children’s literature.
I wanted to do a kid’s book since the fourth grade. I think that most creative folks spend a good deal of time looking at the world around them. They internalize what they see and reach within themselves when the need requires.
I didn’t get published until I was 28. My first book has always been my favorite book. I am really fond of “Once Upon a Cool Motorcycle Dude” as well.
I write down every notion for a story, but I don’t write out the story until I am sure of the ending.
When I have a completed manuscript, I consider the style of the art and design. Each book calls for its own look.
I try really hard not to moralize. I think that humor is a far better way to reach children. A message can be there, but it shouldn’t hit you square in the face. Kids know when they are being lectured to.
Kevin’s advice to aspiring children’s book authors and illustrators: “Write your story and send it off to a publisher. Immediately start working on your next idea.”