Okay, this is clearly shameless self promotion but let's talk about my new book on this rainy Monday morning. The book is finally, slowly making its way into bookstores and into online booksellers such as amazon.com. I'm delighted to know the book is even available in the International market and I've even received fan mail from Europe. It's difficult to convey what a pleasure it is to hear from readers who have enjoyed my perspective of the cartoon business at Disney.
My story as an author began back in High School English Literature. Eager but intimidated, I looked forward to learning a little bit about writing in my junior year. However, my English instructors thought I was in over my head and thought a “lower level English class” was more my speed. I was hardly delighted with this decision but took it in stride. When it came to the task of writing I decided I would learn on my own. Since that time I've come to believe most writing classes are bunk. You learn to write by writing, and no class can ever make up for that. You simply have to do it each day. There are no shortcuts or magical inspiration that will make the words appear on the page. Like most difficult things in life you simply have to do it.
Getting booted out of High School English Literature was probably the best thing that ever happened to me. I never lost my love for books and like most students I read most of the classics. I continued to have only the greatest respect for writers and was lucky enough to meet a number of favorites during my career. Guys such as Ray Bradbury, Harlan Ellison and Douglas Adams provided a fair share of encouragement. While I knew I would probably never do work on their level, I continued to learn the craft just in case I would one day have to put words on paper.
When Focal Press decided to publish my book, I'll confess I was totally blown away. Truly good authors were often given the runaround and dozens of rejections before securing a publisher. I had shown my manuscript to only one other publisher before Focal gave me the nod. I settled in an office and began to edit a book that had to be at least twice the size of my original manuscript. Plus, I knew I needed to impart information but I didn't want to do it in a dry academic manner. I was eager to write a book that was light and fun and much like the remarkable business I wanted to share.
I'm pleased to hear from readers and delighted when they tell me how much they've enjoyed the book. I hope they're getting a sense of the joy of animation and Disney animation in particular. This book is not an angry tell all piece or a polemic on the current state of the industry. Rather, it's a joyful sharing of a wonderful time at what I can only call, the happiest place on earth.