Children's Author Robert Kinerk

The author says this about his work:

Bob at work

I start every day with an hour or so of writing before I do anything else. I like the morning hours because my mind feels innocent, and I believe ideas will come quickly then. Very early in my writing life I cobbled together a definition of creativity to guide me in the uncharted waters of making things up. My definition says that creativity is the habit of entertaining novel ideas. The word 'habit' is important in that definition because I've found I have to keep at this everyday. It's like playing the piano: if you get out of practice you fall behind. 'Entertaining' is an important word, too, because it means you carry on a conversation with yourself about those ideas. 'Novel' is another way of saying new. It could also mean unusual. It could mean strange. It could mean weird. But those are freighted words. They have judgments attached to them. When an idea is new, you don't want to judge it. You want to listen to it and let it explain itself to you. I think it's important to listen to every idea because I believe that every idea is a good idea until it's proven otherwise. In other words, don't throw ideas aside because they might seem odd or unworkable. Think them over. Try to see them from every angle. What seems odd looked at one way may seem wonderful looked at from another. And what seems unworkable may prove very doable when it's been given time to blossom.

In that regard I'm reminded of a candidate for mayor of Manchester, NH, whose campaign kick-off event I covered as a reporter. He introduced himself by saying, "I have many ideas for Manchester, some good and some not so good." I thought it was a wonderfully humble way to approach a difficult task, and I've tried to incorporate that attitude into my own approach. The candidate went on to say, "Let me start by talking about my good ideas." And that also seems to me a sensible approach. I'd be remiss if I didn't add that I've been enormously helped by my wife Anne, and by two talented, knowledgeable and supportive people I work with, my agent Erin Murphy and my editor at Simon & Schuster Paula Wiseman. To all of them, my heartfelt thanks.