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Richard Scrimger - A Life

A classical version of my biography would go something like this:

Richard Scrimger was born in the city of M--- in the province of Q---, the son of a product manager.

But I am not a classical guy. So in a more modern vein, lightly deconstructed:

I was born with very little hair and very little feet and hands. They all grew together and I still have them, together with all my organs except tonsils. I do not have four children -- they have me and we all know it. I write and teach and talk about writing and other things. Actually, I talk a lot. I’m right handed, my car has a dent in the passenger side door, and my blood type is A-. The motto of South Carolina is Dum spiro spero.— success comes by breathing. I like black licorice and rice pudding and ratatouille and coffee. Lots of coffee. My hair usually needs cutting. How much more do you need to know about anybody?

I have been writing since 1996. No, that's not true. I wrote for years before that, but no one cared. Since 1996 I've published nineteen books for adults and children. You can read more about them somewhere else on this site. A few of the books did very well. Some came close. A couple didn't do well at all. My most recent offerings are Zomboy, a truly creepy truly funny love triangle, Viminy Crowe’s Comic Book, a busy and confusing (oh my!) adventure inside a steam-punk comic -- with graphics, and The Wolf And Me, a very Canadian story involving kidnap, family and skating. I’m finishing a book about a magic camera right now, and then it’s on to a weird deep story about grief and falling through the world. And I’m also interested in writing a book about writing – go figure.

Do you want more details? Really? Okay, then.

In 1996 I published my first novel, Crosstown (Toronto: The Riverbank Press), which was short-listed for the City of Toronto Book Award.

Humorous short pieces about my life as an at-home dad with four small children used to appear regularly in the Globe & Mail and Chatelaine, and can still be found fairly regularly on the back page of Today's Parent. I reworked some of this material into a full-length chunk of not-quite-non-fiction, which was published by HarperCollins as Still Life With Children.

I started writing children's fiction in 1998. Two middle-school novels, The Nose From Jupiter and The Way To Schenectady did well enough to require sequels. There are four Norbert books so far, and two Peelers.

My work has received a lot of attention. The Nose From Jupiter won a Mr Christie Book Award and has been translated into a bunch of languages. Bun Bun’s Birthday, From Charlie’s Point of View, Mystical Rose, and Into the Ravine made a variety of short lists and books of the year – Quill and Quire, Canadian Library Association, Globe and Mail, Chicago Public Library, Time Out NY (kids), blah blah. Ink Me and its sequel The Wolf And Me are part of the “7” series – linked novels featuring seven grandsons – which has been on national bestseller lists. I don’t know which of my three new books is my favorite – they’re all pretty cool. And I’m excited about the ones in my in-basket right now. Watch out for Lucky Me and Downside Up and whatever we decide to call the writing book. Coming to a bookstore (or Amazon) near you!


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