Monday, 5 December 2016
Interview with Children's Book Author - Susan Ross
The interview that follows is of a retired education teacher with a degree in psychology and specialty in primary education who spends her time writing children's books.
Q 1) Hi Susan, thank you for agreeing to be interviewed. You have a lovely website, can you tell us something about how you came up with the design. I love the idea of the train at the top with each compartment representing a different tab.
A: Thank you very much, Shoshanah. The train is taken from the last page in my first book, The Great Bellybutton Cover-up. I put it on the website to make sure the page looked gender neutral. I love bright colours for children and that's why the website is so colourful.
Q 2) How did you start writing books?
A: I have always been a story teller. One day, at an event at Fanshawe Pioneer Village a woman came over to me and said I should write my stories down for future grandchildren. So I started but only got so far. Then I saw the movie The Bucket List. That's when I started writing in earnest. (If you haven't seen the movie, you should. That's where the term "Bucket List" came from.)
Q 3) Can you share something about what inspires your stories?
A: My first three stories were created for children's events at Fanshawe PV. They were inspired by a sheep shearing event, a Halloween event and a strawberry festival (although in The Rose and the Lily the prince searches for the perfect hairpin, instead of the perfect fruit). Emma the Mouse Brings Joy to the House was initially inspired by their corn festival but then I remember my friend who died of leukaemia and incorporated her into the story.
Q 4) I noticed you have set up your own publishing company. Can you tell us about this process?
A: As I only publish my own books it was fairly simple. I searched for names that weren't already registered and came up with Giggle Press after many searches for other names I wanted. Then I registered the name with the government, and secured the domain name and the e-mail address.
Q 5) How do you find a suitable illustrator for your books or do you have one that you work with?
A: I used one illustrator for 4 books. I found Megan Stiver in a program called BealArt at local high school. I had called the school and arranged to meet with the students. The next illustrator, Nick White, was found on-line. My current illustrator, Stephanie Amatori, is a student at Western University. I called the school and they sent out my request for an illustrator to their art students. (These schools are both in my city, London, Ontario.)
Q 6) I noticed that you give book-talks. Can you tell us more about these talks?
A: In Canada they are called "author visits." I do presentations for children from junior kindergarten to grade four. I discuss how I came up with the idea for the book I'm presenting, the writing process, the illustration process (emphasizing that both the writing and illustrating take a very long time) and the publishing process-printing, marketing, etc. All this is done on their level and with a great deal of humour and energy.
Thank you Susan, for sharing about your books and your writing. Do you have a message for the parents purchasing your books or for the children who will listen to the stories or perhaps learn to read them too?
A: My books are written to bring joy into a child's life with delightfully comical stories and a creative craft activity at the end of each book. I envision your child(ren) curled up beside you, giggling while you read the story together. Then I see you working on the craft together, using your imaginations to embellish my ideas. If I've given your child the gift of giggles, my job is done.
For those interested in finding out more about Susan or visiting her delightful, colourful website, her books can be seen on her website: www.susanross.ca
This interview was carried out and compiled by:
Occupational Therapist, healing facilitator, certified infant massage instructor, freelance writer and co-author of "Tuvia Finds His Freedom" and author of "Healing Your Life Through Activity - An Occupational Therapist's Story"