Friday, May 11, 2012

Interview with children's author Tim Hill

It's my pleasure to welcome Tim Hill, the creator and author of Joe the Crab. His growing series of books called the “Joe the Crab Self-Esteem Series” is for 2- to 8-year-olds.
The inspiration for the these books came from improvising bedtime stories for his children a few years ago. The books cover the important subjects of bullying, diversity, loneliness and being supportive---especially to those who have no support.
Tim also speaks to schools, children and a variety of organizations about the same issues that face Joe the Crab in his books, and about the writing process and being an author.
Tim is a husband and father living in the Midwestern US.

The Writers’ Lens is about Bringing fiction into focus–what brings your writing into focus, the characters, the stories, the love of words? The subject-matter and how Joe and his fellow cast members handle the subject-matter. It's all for very young children and is visually fun and appealing but there are emotional lessons being communicated here. That's what brings it into focus for me and what drives my efforts for this 'self-esteem series'. It's about getting the sun to shine on these children even when they're going through a dark time.

What inspired your latest book?  Bullying is a GIGANTIC problem and not just here in America---it's one of those sad, worldwide emotional epidemics that needs to be exterminated (in the right way). Bullying is such a multi-faceted subject and difficult to boil down for little ones. Yet it's paramount we start working as early as possible with them to solve the bullying problem in their young worlds.

What do you think readers will like about your book? That it's straight-forward and fun and teaches some crucial lessons without being preachy. They'll love Jennifer Stolzer's (my illustrator) fabulous work as well. 

What makes your book/characters unique?  I think it's unique because I'm zeroing right in on heavy emotional issues from not long after most kids start walking and talking right up into the 3rd and 4th grades. These are "feel good" stories but some stress is lived through first while we're also trying to have some fun along the way. 

What's the highest compliment someone could make about your writing?  I've been blessed to have a lot of special moments with schools, parents & their children after they've read the first book, "Joe the Crab Takes a Walk". Though I have to say the one that stands out the most is when I walked out of a restaurant after lunch one day and the manager comes bolting out after me after finding out who I was saying, "You're the guy who wrote 'Joe the Crab'? My son LOVES your book. Every night he has to pick three books and your book has been his favorite, and one of the three, for months now. Great book." I about keeled over on that one. 
About the books:
Joe the Crab Takes a Walk Joe heads out for a walk one day when he runs into someone that tells him he’s different---and how bad that is! The little blue crab must cope with this and find a way to regain his self-esteem. 
Joe the Crab Hunts for Shells This one has just been released…our favorite young crab is out doing what he loves to do most---collecting shells. But Joe finds out not everyone appreciates who he is and what he likes to do. Again Joe must overcome a deeply stressful situation.

Buy the books:
You can get these books through me at if you’d like them signed.
Joe the Crab Takes a Walk 
Joe the Crab Hunts for Shells: 

ALSO check out Wednesday's post when Jennifer Stolzer talks about co-creating books and the illustrator's view of publishing.

Thanks for visiting The Writers' Lens. Leave a comment to enter this week's giveaway contest for a signed copy of Christina Katz's THE WRITER'S WORKOUT. 

This is T.W. Fendley--you can find me at and on Twitter @twfendley.

1 comment:

  1. Kudos to Mr. Hill for writing books for young children that carry positive messages. It's so important to instill good values at an early age. It would be so wonderful to get books like this into the hands of kids whose environments don't generally support positive influence.