Dallas Clayton is an author/illustrator working out of Los Angeles.

Tell us about Awesome World Foundation, how did it get started?
Well I went on tour to read to schools and children's hospitals and places like that and Ik new I wanted to be able to give the book away to the kids because it doesn't make much sense selling books to kids. And since I put the book out myself there was no one to say, "You can't give those away!" So I did it, and it felt amazing. Beyond amazing. So when I got back to LA I just realized, "Man, I have to keep doing this. All the time. All over." So I created this foundation. To afford me to be able to give away a book for every book I sell. I'm so excited!

What was the inspiration for the Awesome Book? I love your quote on the video; "Some dreams you have while you sleep, others you have while you are awake"
I wanted to write something for kids that addressed themes that everyone can relate to . There are so many books and products, and so much entertainment out there for kid but very few large contemporary themes. That's what I wanted to hit on, the idea of bringing the fantastic dreams that children have a little bit closer to the less vivid, more practical dreams of the everyday adult.

You sold it all online, do you think that will be a trend? Cutting out the bookstores? Do you want to get them into bookstores eventually?
I have no problem with bookstores, cutting them out or leaving them in. I love love book stores and they are very nice to visit. Especially smaller ones and ones with couches. I do however think the internet is just getting moving in terms of what it means to run a business or share a product online. That's what's exciting about it. but yes, eventually I want the book to be everywhere: bookstores, clothing stores, grocery stores... anywhere people are interested in being inspired.

You are giving away a book with every book you sell, and you are personally giving these books out right? Has that made making a sale even more special, because you know that now you get to see the expression on someone’s face when you give them your book, for free?
Completely and totally. I think doing anything yourself, whether it's a band or a photographer, or a small business or even a political campaign, actually being out there and meeting people and seeing faces and connecting - that stuff is crucial. That's all I want to do for the rest of my life. Meet new people and exchange with them.

What other projects are you working on?
I just launched the foundation, which was a big build up so I will be working on letting everyone know about that. And also I am finishing two other books; one kids, one not kids. Hopefully those will be ready by the end of the year, and I'd like to do another tour before the end of the year as well. Lots of good stuff.

What are your goals for the rest of this year?
Oh wait, I just answered this one.

Goals - learn to do a backflip.

Visit Dallas' website.

Learn more about the Awesome Book.


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© 2009

Dallas Clayton Interview

Marshall Rake