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Grant Snider p2

Grant Snider, creator of Incidental Comics, and author of The Shape of Ideas, talks about some of his favorite memoirs...

READERSVOICE.COM: You have one comic called Create Your Own Memoir, which appeared in the New York Times Book Review, and I was wondering if you were a big fan of memoirs and if so, what some of your favorite memoirs were.

GRANT SNIDER: Yes! Two of my favorite memoirs are The Liars Club by Mary Karr and This Boy’s Life by Tobias Wolff. That comic was inspired by reading Mary Karr’s The Art of Memoir, which prompted me to read Geoffrey Wollf’s memoir The Duke of Deception and made me truly excited to further explore the form.

RV: Your book The Shape of Ideas: An Illustrated Exploration of Creativity, comes out in April, published by Abrams. Your comic Proofreader’s Marks was inspired by the process of making your first book. And your visit to a hot air balloon launch led to your comic Lightness. Do you find you can always make ideas come, or do you just put yourself in the best position to get ideas, and hope for the best?

GS: I think it’s more a matter of putting myself in the best position. I have years worth of notebooks I can always revisit when no fresh ideas present themselves. The struggle for me is not generating ideas, but instead following through with the difficult process of editing them and condensing them into publishable form.
But I do find the best ideas come when I put myself in a new situation and open myself to surprise.

RV: What sort of travel or promotion will you be doing for The Shape of Ideas?

GS: I’ll be promoting it heavily online (sorry if the constant mentions get annoying!). I also plan to do local book signings and will travel to the ALA conference in July for a possible signing and panel discussion. Librarians happen to be one my favorite groups of people, so I can’t wait for this event! There will be no book tour, but maybe I will hit the road for a future book!

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– copyright Simon Sandall