My cousin Tim Barry is ithe singer of a punk rock/hardcore band called Avail. Below is one of their videos (feel free to skip if you hate that kind of music!)
(Tim is the one hopping the train. I wish I could do that sometime!)
Ask anyone who has ever listened to that kind of music or or has a friend who listens to that kind of music and they'll know who Avail is. Everywhere I go and say that my cousin is in Avail people will say "Oh my gosh! I love them!" Even people I would never think would be into that kind of thing. Avail turned down the opportunity to "go big" and be on MTV and the like. They wanted to keep it real. They tour relentlessly and have been doing it for years and years. They are passionate about what they do and that's why they're so great to watch live.
I suppose you're wondering what on earth this has to do with kids' books. Well I've been thinking about it... about what kind of author I want to be and about what will make me happy. People often ask if I'd ever illustrate a celebrity book if given the chance and I usually say "no." Somehow Avail, by staying true to themselves and not giving up, have managed to become well known without going the traditional route. I keep asking myself if I'll ever get my books into stores and become known. Usually I get pretty down about it and think that I'm wasting my time. Why bother putting everything I have into a book if NO ONE ever sees it? But perhaps that thinking is shortsighted. Avail always seems to put everything they have into every show (at least the ones I've seen). So if I follow their philosophy, I should keep doing what I'm doing and EVENTUALLY my books will get out there.
My cousin Tim has also branched out and is doing a solo act--country/bluegrass inspired. Here's some bad film footage of one of his songs. His sister, my cousin Caitlin, travels with him and plays the violin. I think that's a really cool thing to do. (the sound is pretty crappy but they do sound great live!)
I don't know why Tim decided to do this but his shows sold out right off the bat. Sometimes I get bored of what I’m doing or what to further challenge myself. I want to keep evolving but not quit all together. Once again, perhaps I should look at what Tim is doing and follow his lead. If I think I'm getting stale, just change things up!
p.s you can listen to bits of Tim's solo album --Rivanna Junction-- on ITunes. Word
pps - I found a polished video of his solo work: When I feel uninspired, I can get going watching others do their thing!
Check out this video: Tim Barry
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