Talking with Jason Sandberg, Author of ‘Candy and the Cankersaur’
Jason Sandberg is a Fine Artist who also wants to produce the “missing books” from his childhood, the books he wished he had. He answered our questions about his writing as well as his most recent story, Candy and the Cankersaur.
Why is storytelling so important for all of us?
Storytelling is a fundamental aspect of human nature. Humans pass along knowledge and culture through story and myth. Lessons and greater truths are memorable when they’re wrapped in a good story. Boredom is also unique to human nature; we crave entertainment and distraction from woe.
What’s one thing that readers would be surprised to find out about you?
I have absolutely no musical talent. I can’t sing, dance, or play any instruments. When I do try to sing my daughter wisely advises me to stop. My singing voice has 2 pitches, loud and louder.
When did you write your first book and how old were you?
I recall writing a 30 page story around the age of eleven. It was about a world where the clouds in the sky were made of floating jelly. The world was inhabited by elves that spent all their time trying to invent methods of flight to get at the jelly.
What was the greatest thing you learned at school?
There are always new scientific discoveries. Some counter-productive policies are eventually discarded. New art, music and literature is created everyday. In small ways the world changes everyday, these continual tiny changes mean that all textbooks eventually become obsolete. The greatest thing I learned in school was how to learn, the skills of researching something new will never become obsolete!
How would you describe yourself in three words?
Conscientious, curious and creative.
Your featured eBook is Candy and the Cankersaur. Can you tell the Shelf Pleasure readers a little about it and why they should share it with kids?
They should read it for fun! Candy and the Cankersaur is a picture book about a girl who receives a dinosaur as a gift and her determination to train him to be a good pet. It’s a fun homage to Syd Hoff, the creator of Danny and the Dinosaur and other classics. When I create a picture book, I aim to make something that everyone can get a kick out of. I try to slip in things to make adults/parents laugh. Beginning readers often get attached to certain books and want them read over and over and over… I view quality as the ability of a book to hold up under multiple reads!
If you could introduce one of your characters to any character from another book, who would it be and why?
The antagonist in my book is a jealous neighbor boy named Chucky Chapman. It would be funny to see him peeking over the backyard fence at Jack and Annie as they climbed into their Magic Tree House.
If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
I admire Robert A. Heinlein’s ability to write for both adults and teens. His work was filled with interesting ideas and noble characters.
You have the chance to give one piece of advice to your readers. What would it be?
I’d share a quote from Robert Motherwell, “Art is much less important than life, but what a poor life without art.”
When was the last time you cried?
In 2003, I was at my uncle’s funeral.
What’s the most memorable summer job you’ve ever had?
I was a dishwasher at a dinner theatre. It made that summer double hot and double humid. There was a crew of 5-6 teens and we made the best of having bad jobs. Consequently, there were lots of laughs and broken plates.
What decade during the last century would you have chosen to be a kid?
The 1960s, it would have been fun to hear all that music when it was new.
What scares you the most and why?
Snakes. It’s a primordial instinct.
What is your greatest adventure?
Every time I confront an empty sheet of paper or a blank canvas. My greatest adventure is the daily process of traveling from “nothing” to “art.”
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