Joshua S. Levy
Joshua S. Levy is a husband, lawyer, father, and children’s book author who lives in New Jersey.
What was your favorite book when you were a child?
Toss-up between The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin and Wayside School Is Falling Down by Louis Sachar.
What’s your favorite line from a book?
Another impossible question. How about: “Sam is an excellent fellow, and would jump down a dragon’s throat to save you, if he did not trip over his own feet.”—The Fellowship of the Ring by J. R. R. Tolkien
Who are your top three favorite authors or illustrators?
Answering this goes beyond middle grade, and the kidlit space generally. And I know it’s a slightly different question—but the three authors who had the biggest impact on the way I view stories and the world at large are: Timothy Zahn, Milton Steinberg, and Chuck Klosterman. I’m so grateful for all three.
Why did you want to become an author or illustrator?
Books and stories—from the serious to the silly—have always been extremely important to me (as they are to most of us, I imagine). And I’ve always wanted to contribute, even a bit, to the universe (or galaxy, as it were) of what’s out there. I taught middle school for a little while and at one point thought: “Okay, what would I have loved to read when I was sitting at those desks.” And took it from there.
Do you have any advice for future authors or illustrators?
Read and write and read and write. Be a part of the extraordinary writing communities that are out there (even you feel like something of a pretender). Appreciate the subjectivity of what you’re setting out to do. And read and write.