Q & A

Time for another question card from a student.


“I want you to make more chapter books because I love chapter books.”


I love chapter books too Kaitlyn. And I am always working on a few chapter books. I just finished a revised draft of a middle grade novel and I have another graphic novel that has chapters, so that might count. But writing takes time and picture books keep me very busy.

When you write picture books you have to rid your mind of a lot of the conventions of chapter books so it takes me time when I switch between the genres. Chapter books involve a lot of plot compared to a picture book. And in picture books your words are very sparse because your images carry a lot of the story.

But I am working away on new books all the time. Hopefully some of them will prove good enough to be released!


I will be a guest, along with author/illustrator Kurt Cyrus at Third Street Books in McMinnville on Saturday the 16th. Of course this is in support of McMinnville’s 2015 UFO Festival! An event near and dear to my heart. Kurt is an author and illustrator with plenty of aliens books to his credit to talk about and sign. I will be signing copies of Earthling! and The Three Little Aliens and the Big Bad Robot. And any other books that are around. I’ll sign Stephen King books if you want.


So get in the car and come out for some UFO fun. The McMenamins Hotel Oregon is involved in this event and has a list of speakers on all things alien. And the UFO parade may be blessed with sol-shine!

I’ll be wearing my Captain Kirk shirt.

iPad sketching

Some more sketches done on my iPad.  These are quick drawings from life. See below for where I often take these quick impressions.


‘Man peeling an orange and man with soda.’


‘Tired of waiting.’


‘Back to back.’

I did a lot of quick sketches while at an event with my daughter. These are from real life but my concern isn’t with exact likeness. My goal is to draw fast, and capture enough of the person that when I look at the drawing a day later I can picture the person. This can be amazingly powerful as I have sketches in sketchbooks I can look at years later and recall an image of the actual person. I’m not about a perfect reproduction of life. Use a camera for that. I’m trying to capture some kind of moment and simplified presence that resonates for me.

Often I will start drawing a person and then take it further. A face, a pose or a gesture is powerful. One man I watched fit perfectly as an oddly older but completely confindent party guy. He wasn’t dressed like this and didn’t have a gold tooth. But I saw a guy who had “Partied from Minsk to Moscow!”


‘I Partied from Minsk to Moscow! Now I sleep.’

It’s great when reviews of kids books show up in general media instead of just the usual periodicals and journals that specialize in children’s books. So it’s great to see a glowing review in The Washington Post for the new book I illustrated- Tommy Can’t Stop! You can click here and read it!

From the Review: “…Here, it’s okay if Tommy can’t stop: He’s got talent! Mark Fearing’s goggle-eyed characters and cartoon illustrations suit this light-hearted tale, with every page full of color and action…”

-Kathie Meizner

The Washington Post


Dilly Dally Daisy

Tommy Can’t Stop is dancing off book shelves and people love it. That’s because Tim Federle created a charming story that shines a spotlight on a character we haven’t seen too often in picture books.


But now my attention turns to Dilly Dally Daisy. That’s the next picture book that I wrote and illustrated and it will be released in July.


So now’s your chance to preorder at Barnes & Noble or Amazon or even better your local book store! As I like to say here, buy a copy or two for yourself and a copy for everyone in your zip code.

Daisy is a character near and dear to my heart. A kid who has a hard time getting ready – for just about anything. Inspired in equal parts by my own inability to do this and my daughter and her friend who seemingly always find a way not to be ready for swim team lessons.


You will be hearing about this a lot more on this blog before July. Stay Tuned!


 Repurposed an old drawing in celebration of The Big Day.

iPad sketches

A couple more sketches I did on my iPad. I’m switching to a new app for a week or two today. These were drawn in Sketch Club with the 53 pencil.

The black and white Is a typical quick character study. The color one is a painting that includes a bunch of my favorite things – textures that build mass, simple shapes that imply volume and light and of course a character that conveys some narrative.

I’m learning to like drawing on the iPad.



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