Saturday, January 10, 2009

I'm My Own Cousin

Almost a week ago, I was on the computer (as usual) with Twhirl on (as usual) and saw this (not so usual) tweet from Steve Ouch (he of Steampotville authorship):


Naturally, I clicked the link to find out what kind of animal a "cousin" is, and joined the relative fray.


So what is the fray? Steve is "going for the World Record of a profile with the Most Cousins." Join the group, add Steve as a friend and he will make you a cousin. He created the group and posted about it on his blog.

"But why?" you ask.

See, Steve is a children's book author and illustrator. As such, he realizes the importance of encouraging a love of reading in kids and making books accessible to all kids. So, according to the Facebook Be in the World Record of Cousins group,


We are also trying to raise awareness for the BOOK FOR KIDS non-profit: Books for Kids Foundation. It's mission is to promote literacy among all children with a special emphasis on low-income and at-risk preschool-aged children. Books for Kids creates libraries, donates books, and partners with literacy programs to develop the critical early foundation and skills which young children need to be successful in life.

So, being the bibliophile (that's a nerdy word for book lover) I am, I became related to Steve Ouch.

I then sent a direct tweet to Steve asking if I could interview him to help promote his "cousin quest." His response?

"Sweet ! thanks! :)"


So I set to work. I started typing up a few questions. Then I typed up a few more. Then I typed up a few more. Then I sent Steve 29 questions! I was nice, though. I told him to answer as many or as few as he chose.

And so, ladies and gentlemen, without further uh dew...
(yes, I know that's wrong - it's funny!)

What motivated you to do this?
Doesn't everyone like to have lots of cousins and at the same time promote a good cause? You don't have to be blood relations anymore to call a person cuz. Facebook let's anyone be related and well..... if it's on Facebook, then it's official.
Also, Books for Kids Foundation helps disadvantaged kids get books so they can read! I love that. Family, kids, and books, they are all connected from my perspective.

Where are you based?
I am currently at SteamPotHeadQuarters in Portland, Oregon. I plan on moving to Seattle to set up SteamPotCentral in June. There I will continue to reach out across the Facebook world to find as many cousins as possible. The goal will be to reach the World Record by the end of 2009.

What do you enjoy the most about writing?
When I write I feel like it makes me a better man. Someday when I have grandchildren I want to be able to tell wonderful stories to my grandkids. Every time I write it helps me strengthen my storytelling skills.

What do you enjoy the most about illustrating?
Each one of my illustrations takes me about 150 hours. When you spend that much time on a single piece, it starts to tell YOU stories. As my creative process unfolds, it feels like time stops and life becomes miraculous. When SteamPotVille was completed I laughed for three weeks straight. Illustrating makes me feel alive.

It's a good day at work when....
I can convince someone else to take the day off. I love trying to convince people to work less and spend more time playing. (or reading to their kids)

If I ran the internet for a day I'd.....
make everyone take the day off.

What do you find yourself repeating from your parents?
I'll teach you where the hog ate the cabbage

What would you say is the biggest lesson that you have learned in your life?
One word changed my life. "Yes" Now I say it as much as I can.

So now that you know all about it (and Steve), go get related!

Steve's website
Steve's book, Steampotville
Friend Steve on Facebook
Follow Steve on Twitter
Visit the Books For Kids Foundation

There is one question I forgot to ask:
When's the reunion, Steve?

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