1. What inspired you to write this book? The first book in the series was a covid project. I was living in Germany at the time and Europe was extremely locked down. Our only allowed activity was hiking and I hiked a lot. In fact, I hiked from my little town outside of Stuttgart to the border of France on the St. Jacobs Way. It was on these hikes that Amaleigha was born. I have worked with kids for over 40 years and find that they have the best ideas. I wanted to encourage kids to reach for their dreams!
2. What exactly is it about and who is it written for? The “Amaleigha” books are written for children 5-10 years of age. Each story shows how A maleigha comes up with a solution to a problem in her world. First, she helps build a barefoot park in her community, then she raises money to add bilingual books to her school library, and in her newest adventure, she hopes to help families that have become refugees in the Ukraine situation.
3. What do you hope readers will get out of reading your book? I hope that children will be inspired to change the world. Often, I have noticed that kids feel like they are not being heard or that their ideas are not important. These books are designed to show kids that they can make a difference.
4. How did you decide on your book’s title and cover design? The cover designs were the creation of my talented illustrator- Alina Kralia. She has illustrated all three books, making Amaliegha come to life. The titles simply tell the gist of the story.
5. What advice or words of wisdom do you have for fellow writers – other than run!? The process of writing is a creative outlet that inspires others. As a reader, I feel there is nothing better than a great book to make you laugh, cry, feel inspired, or to make you feel less alone in the world. As a writer, your words are changing the world. However, the publishing part of writing is a tough world. It is expensive and hard work to get your books out in the world. It takes creativity, gumption, and consistent work to let the world know about your work. The idea that you print it and the audience will come is non-existent. You have to be the writer, the marketer, and the promoter!
6. What trends in the book world do you see — and where do you think the book publishing industry is heading? As a public librarian for many years, I heard many predictions that books would fade away, but that has not been the case. I think research is saying that kids need to have books in their hands. How we learn information is also tactile. I also feel that self-publishing has flooded the market with books and in many ways increased the digital profile of literature. I can’t decide if that is good or not. It makes books very accessible but also remote if that makes sense. I still love the feel of a book but also love the convenience of 100’s of books in the palm of my digital device. I too ponder if the quality of the content out there is going down. But the written word is here to stay at least in my opinion.
7. Were there experiences in your personal life or career that came in handy when writing this book? Most certainly. All my time working with kids has provided the heart of the stories I write.
8. How would you describe your writing style? Which writers or books is your writing similar to? I have used picture books as teaching tools for many, many years. Shel Silverstein, Mary Osbourne, Eric Carle, and so many others have inspired me as well as my students. I am not of that caliber but hope that in a small way, my words are making a difference. I feel that picture books are short and sweet and to the point and that matches how I write and tell stories.
9. What challenges did you overcome in the writing of this book? For me the challenges were financial. It is expensive to get a book published and to pay your illustrator. I would love one day to break even on what I have invested in my three books or even make enough to continue writing and publishing.
10. If people can buy or read one book this week or month, why should it be yours? For the child in your life, my book will give them the hope and confidence they need to grow strong in the idea that their beliefs, opinions, and ideas matter.
About The Author: At age 60 I entered the world of children’s literature with my first book “Amaleigha and the Big Idea”. Since that time, I have authored 2 other books and had stories in 2 anthologies. I feel that my inspiration for these stories came from my time as a children’s librarian and an educator, in addition to my large family that includes 8 children and 19 grandchildren! I have experienced that kids have such open hearts that care for others with compassion. I hope that these books inspire kids to dream big and know that they can change the world with their ideas. For more info, please see: www.janpratt.com
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Brian Feinblum should be followed on www.linkedin.com/in/brianfeinblum. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog ©2024. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he now resides in Westchester with his wife, two kids, and Ferris, a black lab rescue dog, and El Chapo, a pug rescue dog. His writings are often featured in The Writer and IBPA’s The Independent. This award-winning blog has generated over 3.6 million pageviews. With 4,800+ posts over the past dozen years, it was named one of the best book marketing blogs by BookBaby http://blog.bookbaby.com/2013/09/the-best-book-marketing-blogs and recognized by Feedspot in 2021 and 2018 as one of the top book marketing blogs. It was also named by www.WinningWriters.com as a “best resource.” For the past three decades, including 21 years as the head of marketing for the nation’s largest book publicity firm, and director of publicity positions at two independent presses, Brian has worked with many first-time, self-published, authors of all genres, right along with best-selling authors and celebrities such as: Dr. Ruth, Mark Victor Hansen, Joseph Finder, Katherine Spurway, Neil Rackham, Harvey Mackay, Ken Blanchard, Stephen Covey, Warren Adler, Cindy Adams, Todd Duncan, Susan RoAne, John C. Maxwell, Jeff Foxworthy, Seth Godin, and Henry Winkler. He hosted a panel on book publicity for Book Expo America several years ago, and has spoken at ASJA, Independent Book Publishers Association Sarah Lawrence College, Nonfiction Writers Association, Cape Cod Writers Association, Willamette (Portland) Writers Association, APEX, Morgan James Publishing, and Connecticut Authors and Publishers Association. His letters-to-the-editor have been published in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, New York Post, NY Daily News, Newsday, The Journal News (Westchester) and The Washington Post. His first published book was The Florida homeowner, Condo, & Co-Op Association Handbook. It was featured in The Sun Sentinel and Miami Herald.