Author & Artist's Corner: Author

Tim Myers

Tim Myers, author


Wow! I've ALWAYS wanted to say that in public! Why? Because Cricket and the other Carus magazines are AWESOME. I never even knew about Cricket when I was a kid, which kills me, because every month I would have eaten . . . it . . . up!

I grew up in the shadow of Pikes Peak in Colorado Springs, Colorado, the oldest of eleven children. I played football, basketball, and track in high school. I later earned a masters degree in literature and have been a teacher for a long time. I’ve taught overseas in Norway, London, and Tokyo. My wife, Priscilla, and I now both teach at Santa Clara University in California.
Tim as a baby (above) and in eighth grade with his little sister Martha

I write for young kids, older kids, teenagers, and adults. And I write all kinds of different things—picture books, poetry, short stories, longfiction, nonfiction, you name it. I'm also a professional storyteller; I love myths, legends, and folktales. I say all this because I think kids who love to write should write whatever they feel like writing.

When I was young, I just followed what fascinated me, and even though it didn't FEEL like I was working on writing, I actually was! Which is a very cool thing, if you ask me. In fact, if you're a writer, you can be "working" even when you're just reading, or thinking,or doing something—even when you're daydreaming! Some of my best writing ideas come from daydreams.

Right now I have three new books out—one for adults about fatherhood, one a book of adult poetry, and then a children's book called Down at the Dino Wash Deluxe, about kids who work at a huge carwash for dinosaurs.  Down at the Dino Wash Deluxe I got the idea partly from the way my sons and I were always looking at different kinds of cars and trucks—and, of course, from playing with toy dinosaurs. Right now I'm working on a fantasy novel series about three teenagers whose parents are murdered and who then must set out across a wild continent to find a home that may not even exist.

I’ve written a number of stories for Cricket, including “Three Aunties,” “Yao Bai and the Egg Pirates”,” and “The Peasant Prince,” as well as “Hannah’s First Story” and “The Christmas Stick” for Spider.Tim's Doodles

I’d love to answer any questions you have about how writers work or develop their ideas. Are you a writer, too? I’d love to hear from you! Post your comments or questions below and I will be happy to reply!


Hi Tim! My name is Maggie. You're a lucky dog, you know that? I've always wanted to be an author. Or artist. Or actress. Or singer. But author has been the main one for the longest. 

I have had an interest in writing for a long time. I wrote my first poem (that wasn't required for school) when I was in second grade. It was called "My Garden." Also in second grade, I entered a story contest for young people and won second place! My story was about a bulldog that gets separated from his family and has to find his way back to his home all the way from Lousiana. More recently, I entered a poem called Seasons into a poetry contest and it was chosen to be published in an anthology!

Well, enough about me. Now I have some questions for YOU! :)

- When did you first become interested in writing for a living? Why did this happen?

- What is your least favorite part of the writing process?

- Du yu enjoi spelin thingz wierdlee? (Do you enjoy spelling things weirdly?)

- I have a present for you.

IT'S A BUNNY!!! :)

( \_/ )

submitted by Maggie S., age 11, Nashville, TN
(May 14, 2013 - 4:07 pm)

Ah, Maggie!  Please forgive me--I would have answered you a LOT earlier, but your comment was on page 2 and my ding-dang mini-pea-sized brain didn't notice that!  And it makes me feel bad, because I like your note so much!

Okay.  First, I think it's cool that you have this general desire to be an artist in some form, whether acting or singing or writing.  I couldn't act my way out of a kindergarten, but I do love music just as much as writing.  I don't think people have to choose between them in life (though of course it's hard to make a living doing either one!).  And yes--I'm fully aware that I am one Fortunate Canine!

Congrats on getting your poem into that anthology!  But even bigger congrats on keeping at writing, as your many examples show.  THAT's the way to do it.

As to your questions:

1--It's a little weird with me, but for decades of my life I wrote without any thought of a writing career at all.  But gradually I just grew into that idea--mostly because writers need readers just like readers need writers.  So I didn't really decide; it just happened.  And mainly, I suppose, because I loved it so much there really wasn't any other option.  I should add, BTW, that I have a full-time job teaching at a university (which I love)--I don't make enough money from writing to live on--not even close.

2--I actually can't think of a least-favorite part of the writing life.  Which means I'm a little strange, because it's not an easy life financially speaking.  But it's kind of like loving someone--you just take them for all and all, know what I mean?

3--Thuh thril uv speleng stuph weerd iz uh noo wun 4 mee, butt Ime digeng itt!

And thanks for the rabbit--that's so ingenious!



submitted by Tim Myers, age 59, CA
(June 6, 2013 - 2:43 pm)

First off, Three Aunties is my favorite story in Cricket, even though it is in the newest edition. I want to be a writer, and I have some questions for you. ( Hopefully they haven't been answered!)

1. Besides poetry, what is your favorite literature genre? 

2. How did you feel when your first book was published?

3. How much is reading a part of your writing career?

4. Does doing certan things in your life help motivate you to write?


Thanks in advance! :)

submitted by Katie L., age 12, Texas
(May 16, 2013 - 8:53 pm)

First, Katie, forgive me for taking so long to answer!  I didn't see your message because it was on the second page--very dopish of me!

I really appreciate your kind words for the story!  And I'm HAPPY to answer ANY questions--

So--my favorite literary genre.  Gee, that's a little like asking a father to name his favorite child.  I love them all, and each is unique.  So I write short fiction, and long fiction, and nonfiction of different kinds--oh, lots of different kinds of fiction too.  I just love it all.

It felt wonderful when my first book was published.  But it's funny--it's not really the thrill of seeing your name on a book.  What I love is knowing someone may actually read what I wrote.  That's the sweet thing.  Because it's something like a conversation, don't you think?  Even if it's kind of one-sided...

Reading is EVERYTHING to my career as a writer--equal in importance to living! 

And finally, yes--things like being with my family, feeling our love for each other--and being outside, hiking or biking--and making music--and just looking at the world and noticing things--all of this and more keep me VERY motivated for writing. 

So best of luck to you with YOUR writing!


submitted by Tim Myers, age 59, CA
(June 6, 2013 - 2:50 pm)

Thanks so much, Tim, for taking the time to answer questions from Cricket readers during May. We're looking forward to seeing another of your stories in Cricket again soon. Have a happy summer!

submitted by Admin, Behind the scenes
(June 10, 2013 - 8:50 am)

Dear Tim,

I am a writer and artist, but most of my stories end up crumpled and thrown in the waste basket. Just sitting there at the table pencil in hand my mind just can't seem to decide what to put on the paper. I also want to illustrate my own books, but after I paint my pictures, I can't seem to be  satisfied with what I've done. I'm an only daughter of an only daughter, I thought that  might be a cool story idea.

Thank you

submitted by Isabella H., age 11, Baton Rouge
(June 10, 2013 - 9:01 am)

Hey, Isabella!  I would've responded a LOT sooner had I known your message was here; I thought this whole thing was finished.  I just stumbled upon this tonight.  So forgive me for not replying before this!

I know that feeling of creating something and then being disappointed in it.  And the thing is, that's pretty normal for writers.  My advice is simple:  If you keep feeling like writing and painting, then keep doing that!  And if your work doesn't please you, don't let that stop you.  Often enough it just takes time.  After all, being a writer or an artist isn't easy, or everybody would do it.

And only daughter of an only daughter--that has an air of magic and mystery to it.  Ask yourself some more questions about it, in order to develop your idea.  Then go for it!



submitted by Tim Myers, age 59, CA
(July 30, 2013 - 2:45 am)

Hi Tim,

I am new at writing.  Well, actually, I've written before just not seriously.  I wanted to start writing after I read the Harry Potter series.  I thought they were well written and really had an impact on me... and not in a bad way.  I realized that I wanted to impact somebody's life like J.K. Rowling did to me.  Do you have any advice for me as a young writer?



submitted by Livv S., age 12, Lancaster, PA
(July 6, 2013 - 12:19 pm)

Hey, Livv!  I think it's great that the Harry Potter books moved you so much, and inspired you to write.  At the heart of being a writer is being excited about how important books are, and--like you said--wanting to make an impact on people's lives.  So my first piece of advice is that you have a REALLY good reason to try writing!

My second piece of advice is pretty simple, and I say it all the time:  Read, read, read--write, write, write--live, live, live.  One of the most beautiful things about writing, I think, is that there's no real difference between becoming a writer and becoming a person.  I think the two go hand in hand.  So keep being Livv and growing toward the adult Livv--and write what you feel the need and desire to write.

And you might read the post above, since it's often the case that a young writer doesn't like what she writes, especially at first.  As I said to Isabella--don't let that stop you!  If you lose interest, okay.  But if you still really feel like writing, keep on!

Take care!


submitted by Tim Myers, age 59, CA
(July 30, 2013 - 1:40 pm)

Thank you so much. Your advice is really helpful!


submitted by Livv S., age 12, Lancaster, PA
(July 31, 2013 - 9:17 am)

Yo, Tim!

Red Alert! My brain thinks up good ideas to write, but when I  go to make a story out of it, it ends 

up really crummy! To add to that, I'm a horrible speller!Frown I have a lot to work on if I want to grow

up to be a writer.

submitted by Lena A., age 9, laptop
(August 15, 2013 - 6:52 pm)

Hi, Tim! Are you still answering questions and looking at comments? I hope so, because I have a few things I would like to say! 

I love writing too. Sometimes my inspiration comes for books I have read or they are ideas that just pop up in my head. But sometimes, coming up with a new story idea can be hard. Do you have any advice on choosing the perfect story idea? 

I also love to read! My favorite kinds of books are classics, like The Secret Garden or Anne of Green Gables. What kinds of genres of books do you write? What's your favorite book genre?

Do you have any writing tips and tricks or advice for me? I hope to hear from you soon! 



submitted by Nina , age 11, Florida
(November 27, 2013 - 11:02 am)

Wink Hi!


So, I have a question: I really want to draw, but I can't seem to find my signature style. How do you find one's style? 

submitted by Tika, age Youngish, Minnesota
(April 2, 2014 - 3:38 pm)

I noticed one of your favorite words in "kablooey". Do you like Calvin and Hobbes?

submitted by Val, age Old/Young, Washington
(April 2, 2014 - 3:41 pm)

OMG you're a real author!! How do you get books published?

submitted by Lightning!
(April 6, 2017 - 8:05 pm)