Baltimore native Tobias Vogelstein is an aspiring children’s books author. A graduate of Towson University with a major in electronic media and film studies, he enjoys entertaining people through songs and storytelling.
How would you describe yourself?
I’m still trying to figure out who I am. So I recently took a class, a post-graduate studies thing. I’ve already got my bachelors. So this class was about figuring out who you are in relation to who you want to be. The final project was about trying to figure out a “why” statement. Which is basically that a lot of people – they know what they’re doing but they don’t know why they’re doing it and that successful people know why they’re doing it and then they can tell you how to do it and then what they’re doing. My why statement is, “I believe that connections with others have the capacity to illuminate our true selves and desires. Through dramatization, these truths become much clearer. With a strong creation of compelling narratives, my stories will produce strong bonds that will resonate with my audience and improve their lives.”
How do you connect with other people?
By making them connect with the characters and the situation, through writing. And I guess also through entertainment. I like to play the game Bravo and other word games.
You either choose one word or one category and then you think of a song that includes that word in it or the sound of that word. I’ve got all the Uncle Moishe and all the Disney songs memorized, well, not all of them, but I love Disney. I know some Sesame Street songs. I don’t think it matters how good of a singer you are but it matters how many lyrics you know.
What inspired you to become a children’s book writer?
I suppose it’s mostly what I read, also because I like to entertain people.
What age group did you want to write for?
I like to write middle school books because those are the most interesting, but I think I might be more suited for picture books.
Where do you get your inspiration?
For writing? I guess, I’m not sure exactly, but basically that I really like reading. I sometimes get ideas and I like to see where they go. And I guess I like to entertain people through writing.
What’s your favorite thing that you’re working on now?
I’m not sure. I was writing a screen play a few years ago about a retelling of the Greek myth Heracles (Hercules). It’s been on hiatus, I paused, but I keep coming up with ideas for it, so it’s not really. I never stopped working on it completely. I suppose there’s something I’m currently working on called Rocks and Fire, but I don’t know if I’d say that my favorite.
Do you have any favorite books?
Well, I suppose whatever I’m reading at the time. I guess I really like the Percy Jackson series and the Heroes Guide trilogy, and “Hank Zipzer, the World’s Greatest Underachiever.” It’s autobiographical about Henry Winkler. He used to play Fonzi on Happy Days.
What’s your favorite play?
I’ve never seen it performed, but I really like “Over the Moon” by Jodi Picoult. It’s sort of like “Into the Woods” in that it’s sort of a mix of fairy tales. I think it’s not a very good premise to describe what happens but the premise is sort of that the moon finds out that it’s disgusted how no one’s falling in love on earth and it decides to come down and fix that. But it’s a lot of different things.
What genres do you like to write?
I would say fantasy, but I wouldn’t limit my writing to that.