Tony Diterlizzi Quotes

  1. I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t inspired by ‘Star Wars.’
  2. If you want the beautiful moments to shine, you have to contrast that with dark and gruesome moments. That’s the way life is.
  3. I want my stories to be understood and enjoyed by anyone, so I need ‘beta-readers’ who will tell me when the plot is working or not working, and when my writing is concise or vague.
  4. When you’re in elementary school, you get these amazing assignments, like to come up with your own animal, come up with your own city, come up with your own planet, what do the people look like; you’re very much encouraged to be as imaginative as possible.
  5. Balancing an illustrator and author can be tricky, but I was an illustrator mostly before I wrote my books.
  6. I love making books for children. Big kids, little kids, old kids and new.
  7. I love books, and I love to read, and I had ideas for books that I thought would be neat to read.
  8. I read a lot of fantasy and grew up on ‘Star Wars’ and ‘Star Trek.’ I loved going to Middle Earth. ‘Dungeons & Dragons’ was a huge influence.
  9. I don’t look at stories in genres. A good story is a good story, no matter what planet it happens on, whether the characters are mice or human or whatever. That’s how I look at it.
  10. I was a tremendous fan of the original Kenneth Grahame short story, ‘The Reluctant Dragon.’
  11. I obsess over things… especially my book projects. It can be very time consuming.
  12. The most challenging and exciting aspect is the outline and formation of the plot points. This is the stage where the notion of the story begins to take shape, and I can see glimpses of what is to come.
  13. I’d love to be an astronaut. I bet you get a better understanding of our planet seeing it from a distance.
  14. Now, as Global Ambassador for Starlight Children’s Foundation, which brightens the lives of poorly children, I visit hospitals and tell stories to the young patients. Sometimes I read. Sometimes I draw.
  15. I must confess that although I am quite passionate about the books I create for children, I am not the best oral storyteller. In fact, I stink at it.
  16. In some ways, you kind of take a personality and drop it on the ground, and it breaks into a bunch of little pieces, and you kind of water those pieces, and it grows into characters. So they’re all me in a way.
  17. I think, in real life, when we’re facing death – that is, when we come out on the other side of it, whether it’s death of a friend or a family member – you come out on the other side of the mourning cherishing your life that much more.
  18. I’ve always been a chameleon from book to book, like a director who does different films in the best possible way.
  19. If you like my renditions of faerie-folk, then you will most certainly like Brian Froud’s work.
  20. Usually, an author writes a manuscript that is handed in to the editor. The editor will then work with an art director to find just the right illustrator for the job, and off they go. Many times, the illustrator and author never meet.
  21. I think about what 10-year-old Tony would want that 40-year-old Tony can make.
  22. I love stories. I loved stories when I was a kid. My mom read stories to me all the time.
  23. My fifth grade teacher Mr. Straussberger noticed I was having trouble with some of my book reports, but he knew I loved to draw. He gave me extra credit if I did a drawing from the book that I was reading.
  24. The exciting thing about doing art for someone else’s story is how I can translate their world through pictures, and that’s always a pretty big challenge.
  25. With the success of ‘Spiderwick,’ it’s allowed me to be able to have the freedom to really be able to tell the stories that I really wanted to tell, that I’ve always wanted to tell.
  26. ‘The Wizard of Oz’ and ‘Alice in Wonderland’ inspired me. I wanted to take those themes and try to bring it into a more 21st story with aliens.
  27. When you hear the words ‘magic’ and ‘story’, they will probably evoke thoughts of your favourite fairy tales from childhood. Storybook pages abound with all manner of magic: fantastical fairies, wish-granting genies, or even a certain boy wizard.
  28. When I was a kid, I loved to draw, and I was lucky because I had parents and teachers and grown-ups around who recognised and encouraged that.
  29. I would love having Winnie-the-Pooh stay here at the house. We could talk of food and what we were eating next. Maybe ponder that over a little morsel… and then take a little nap and dream of desserts.
  30. In 2008, my one-and-a-half-year-old daughter, Sophia, suffered a grand mal seizure. It came from nowhere, for no apparent reason, and took hold of my little fairy-girl.
  31. There are many challenges I face while working on a book. Working within deadlines and schedules is certainly one of the bigger ones for me. I want to create the best possible book I can for my readers with words and pictures – and that takes time to get it just right.
  32. If I rewind back to that period, I was 8 in 1977 when ‘Star Wars’ was in theaters. I saved up money, or my parents got me the ‘Art of Star Wars’ book.
  33. Illustrations can be a big window: a looking glass into the author’s imagination.
  34. I loved stories as a kid, both being read to me and enjoying on my own. All these stories inspired my imagination, and that’s what I have always aimed at doing for my readers: ignite their imaginations.
  35. I think I’ve got a decent imagination. I hope some of my stories inspire other young imaginations.
  36. I feel very proud in what we’ve created in the ‘Spiderwick’ stories. And, frankly, I am glad we are ending the series on a high-note.
  37. I get ideas from everywhere: movies, books, movies, nature – it comes into my brain, it sits there for a while, and it starts coming back out.
  38. My outlines can be 10-20 pages in length and focus primarily on the physical active plot over the emotional plot.
  39. When I see how fast technology is advancing, my mind thinks of evolution and how organisms also have to evolve or adapt in order to, in their case, survive.
  40. I never want to dumb it down. If there’s any simplification, it’s just a simplification to make sure that the reader understands the point that the character is trying to make.

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