Biography

 

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Evolution of Boy by Wendy Grieb

 

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Evolution of Boy 2 by Wendy Grieb

 

Reading was never my thing.

I know, this is not something an author should talk about in his biography but it’s true.  When I was a kid I was a T.V. / movie watcher.  To this day I still remember the theme songs to the majority of cartoons and sitcoms that I wasted so much time on.  Reading could never keep my attention, plus I was slow at it.  If I were a kid growing up in this day and age I probably would be diagnosed ADD possibly dyslexic and placed on medication.  I had a lot of energy as a kid and my mind was always going.  I actually failed resting in Kindergarten.  So my parents did the only thing they could do.  They threw me into the pool.

If there is one sport that will tire out a child it’s swimming.  Swimming became a huge part of my life.  I’d wake up go to practice, go to school, come home, go to practice, come home, do home work  then go to bed.  Meals were thrown in there somewhere.  The thing about swimming is that everyone only thinks about the health benefits and how great it is for the body, but no one ever thinks about what it can do for your mind.  I believe one of the things that forged my imagination was swimming.  When you swim 5000 yards there isn’t much else to do but think.  Then one day at a swim meet, I must have been twelve or thirteen, a teammate handed me a book.   The title was Pawn of Prophecy by David Eddings. My friend told me it was really good. Of course I’m thinking it’s a book how good could it be?  But since the only thing to do at a swim meet is watch people swim, which is even boring to other swimmers, I figured I would give it a try.  Well that was it, I was hooked.  I read ever book in the series and in the second series.  I started reading anything and everything in the Science Fiction/Fantasy genre.  I turned from never wanting to read anything to reading every day, all because of one book.  With all the time on my hands for my imagination due to swimming, I would imagine my own stories.  By the time I made it to college I was ready to write the next great science fiction story.  When I received my first writing paper back with “F get a tutor” written in bold red ink across my paper, I decided to become a chemist.

Fast forward twenty years.   Now I know what you are saying, “How is it that someone so handsome and creative could be stuck in a job that is analytical in nature for the past twenty years?” And my answer to you is thank you for the compliment but you should know that I am married with two wonderful kids, so let’s try to stay on topic.

When it comes to science people have this idea that it is all numbers and equations, but in fact science is filled with creativity.  Go look at a picture of the Hadron Collider and try to tell me that didn’t take some serious imagination.  But it wasn’t science that finally spurred my creativity it was my kids.  Watching my kids and listening to the things they say, was like reading a picture book.  I know many picture book authors who have said the same thing but I can only speak of the exceptionality of my children and only wonder about the claims of theirs. I’m kidding I’m sure their kids are wonderful.

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Evolution of Monster by Wendy Grieb

The first picture book I wrote, Abigail the Dinosaur, which shamefully has not been published, came from an actual account of my daughter getting over her fear of bugs.  This is still my favorite story I wrote, because it took something simple, and with a slight tweak, made it into something fantastical but still believable. This is the wonder and the challenge of writing. Being able to take the humdrum everyday occurrence like, fear of bugs, picking out a costume, getting a haircut, even climbing a tree, and make it engaging.   It’s what I love about writing, and If I could pass that joy on to at least one kid then it will all be worth it.

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Evolution of Boy and Monster by Wendy Grieb

Actually that’s not true.  If I only get one child to like my book then I’ll never get anything else published.  So realistically what we’re looking at are 100,000 to 200,000 children.

Then, all that hard work will be worth it.

11 comments on “Biography
  1. Tom Saal Sr. ( aka Dad, Pop Pop ) says:

    Looking good Mr. C. Best of luck !

  2. admin says:

    Thank you sir!

  3. What a great personal story and a fun book for kids. Your whole monster series will be loved by every little monster out there.

  4. Enjoyed reading your story, Paul! The part where you took up reading because watching swimming is boring even to other swimmers–that made me laugh out loud. For what it’s worth, some of the most imaginative people I know are scientists.

  5. Ann Kempa says:

    I am late to the party, but I just love the way you think – and write. I am a writer. I wish I was a meteorologist. My only obstacles are science and math.

    • Paul Czajak says:

      Hi Anna

      Ha! You can still be a meteorologist, it’s only, what, 8 years of school? Actually keep writing and tell the weather by looking out the window.

  6. Norene Lynch says:

    Spent weekend with my “cousin” (ask her)Diane and she bragged a little. Hope they have series in library or else I’ll have to purchase for my grandchildren. Congrats!

  7. Ingrid Boydston says:

    If your books are as entertaining as your biography I will definitely add them to my picture book library! Lucky for you I’m a kindergarten teacher so lots of kids will get to meet your monsters. :) I’m also a writer inspired by my kids. Thanks for sharing your story!

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