Amazon Exclusive: A Q&A with Toni Markiet, Shel Silverstein’s Longtime Editor
Q: What was the first book you worked with Shel Silverstein on?
Markiet: The first book was The Missing Piece in 1976. I was the assistant to his editor at that time, Edite Kroll. Was I lucky!
Q: What was his creative process like and how did you two work together?
Markiet: I remember most clearly that Shel was meticulous in every aspect of a book... the trim size, the paper, the binding and of course, the contents. No piece of the whole was too small to consider carefully. He looked at every spread to be sure art and text were positioned the best way possible. And, he considered every word and expression until it, and the whole text, was just right. I learned how a book is made in the best possible way.
Q: Shel passed away in 1999 but more than ten years later you’re publishing Every Thing On It, which includes tons of his never-before-seen poems and drawings. Can you tell us how this project came to be? Markiet:
Over the years, Shel continued to write and draw and work on poems. He left a rich archive of finished material. In the past few years, the Silverstein family has allowed us to unveil some of these in special editions of both Where the Sidewalk Ends
and A Light in the Attic
. The response was so amazing that the family felt it was now the right time to publish this book.
Q: What is your favorite poem from Every Thing On It?
Markiet: This is an almost impossible question to answer but if pressed, I will say “Mer-Maid.”
Shel Silverstein, beloved author of the acclaimed and bestselling poetry collections Where the Sidewalk Ends, A Light in the Attic, and Falling Up, will have a brand-new book of poetry published by HarperCollins Children’s Books in September 2011. This is only the second original book to be published since Silverstein’s passing in 1999. With more than one hundred and thirty never-before-seen poems and drawings completed by the cherished American artist and selected by his family from his archives, this collection will follow in the tradition and format of his acclaimed poetry classics.
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Generations have grown up with the works of Shel Silverstein, known not only as a poet and illustrator but also for his work as a cartoonist, playwright, performer, recording artist, and Grammy Award–winning songwriter. He has encouraged children to dream and dare to imagine the impossible with his extraordinary poetry and unforgettable characters. Now fans will have a chance to discover even more riches, and new readers will delight in the timeless magic of his works.