Christine Layton is an author of nonfiction for upper elementary readers. Her work has appeared in magazines, games, and assessments. She is based in Colorado.
What was your favorite book when you were a child?
When I was very young, a relative gave me a pop-up book on rainforests. I loved searching each page for hidden animals. Eventually, the pop-up animals tore off and fell out of the book. If you read a book until it falls apart, then that’s a well-loved book!
What’s your favorite line from a book?
“I put a large cabbage leaf on my head when I have a headache / it makes a very good hat…”-Kay Thompson’s Eloise
Who are your top three favorite authors or illustrators?
I admire Katherine Roy who wrote and illustrated Neighborhood Sharks. She makes nonfiction come alive and somehow makes sharks likable. I also love Kwame Alexander who wrote The Undefeated. His poetry is gripping and he is a national treasure! And I’m going to add Max Brooks to the list. He wrote The Zombie Survival Guide. Will we ever need it? I hope not. Is it a very funny nonfiction/fiction mashup? Yes indeed.
Why did you want to become an author or illustrator?
When I was about seven years old, I went to a Halloween party. There, a woman dressed up as a fortune teller told me (in my cat costume) that I would be a writer someday. Then she gave me a rubber pencil and called out “Next!” to the other kids standing in line. Did she tell all of the kids they would be writers? Did they all get rubber pencils? It doesn’t matter. I knew from that day on, I would be a writer. And I even wrote a few words with the rubber pencil before it broke in half.
Do you have any advice for future authors or illustrators?
My humble advice is that you should read what you want, write what you want, and create things you love. Don’t let anyone tell you what you “should” read, or what you “should” write. Graphic novels, television show captions, fortune cookies- read it all. And let your writing pour out like a fire hose pointed at a blank sheet of paper. FWOOSH!