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Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Interview With Author Lauren Williams

Would you tell the readers a little bit about yourself

I’m a young, new author from Syracuse, NY. I graduated from SUNY Fredonia in 2010 with a B.A. in English. I’m living out one of my lifetime dreams of being an educational children’s book author. Besides writing, I work part-time, and in my spare time, I love to cook, make jewelry, watch movies, and spend time with my family.

Which project are you currently promoting

My 1st book, Avie Changes a Dollar.

Can you tell us what the book is about?

The book is about a kindergartener named Avie. She’s recently learned about money, so it’s her journey throughout the day, of creating $1, using the coins that she finds. She shows us how to make $1 using quarters, dimes, nickels, and pennies.

How did you come up with the title for this book?

I wanted the title to be representative of whom and what the story is about. It was important to have Avie’s name in the title because I wanted to place focus on her, because she is a child, in a particular grade level, who can indeed count money. I think it’s very important to show that so that other children her age would know that they too could learn and do the same thing. And with that, the story is about money, and the fact that it can “change”.

What inspired you to write this book

I’ve always been a strong advocate for educational fun. I love children, and I love to watch them learn and grow. The way their minds work I think is fascinating. I wanted to be a part of their young, growing minds. I think it’s important to supplement the teachings that our children learn in school, in everyday life. The practice will give them a better grasp on the concept, and in turn will excite them because children are usually excited to share their knowledge.

What can you tell us about your main characters

The main character is Avie Lewis. She is a kindergartener who is excited about school and the things that she learns. She learned about dollars and coins, and has taken it upon herself to discover the different ways of making change from $1, as well as the usage of it. She is fun spirited girl who enjoys learning.

Did you have to do any research in order to help you with the writing of this book?

I didn’t have to do research in particular to the writing. I did however; do research to solidify the topic and content of the book. I wanted to make sure this is an area that children of a kindergartner’s age, do indeed learn, and the extent of what it is that they learn.

What made you decide to become a writer?

Writing children’s educational literature was actually a dream of mine before I even knew that I loved to write. For years, I’ve worked with kids, mostly in an educational capacity, and it’s just been something that I’ve loved to do. I figured, why not look into this dream of mine and pursue it. Once I started brainstorming for what I wanted to write about, and picking my target audience, creativity and ideas just started flowing, and I easily fell in love with what I was doing.

What genre do you generally write?

Children’s educational

Are you interested in writing other genres?

I haven’t really given much thought to writing anything else. There’s so much for me to focus on within this genre, that I find inspiration to be endless.

Do you follow a routine when you begin to write a scene or chapter?

Well, because its children’s literature, I have to pay attention to the vocabulary and content of my work. So my “routine” is basically, getting into the mindset of a child, thinking about how they think, process, emote, and speak, then going from their with writing my text. This is my routine whenever I sit down to continue writing.

How long does it usually take for you to write a book?

Well, being that this my first book, I can only say how long this process took me. I wrote the draft of the story within about 3 hours I’d say. I continued revisions over the course of about 2 weeks. The title actually took about 3-4 weeks to come up with. I had to keep searching through my words until I found a title that just sounded right to me. Avie Changes a Dollar just fit, and I loved it.

Do you have a general idea of what direction you want the plot to take ahead of time or does it come to you as you write. 

I suppose I have a general idea of what direction I want to go in.  Filling in the gaps and the details how my characters are interacting and what it is that they are doing comes as I go along.  I just know points A and Z. 

Have you ever had second doubts about a story you’ve written?

I didn't with this book.  I liked where it started, where it went, and where it ended.  I thought it made sense, it told an informative story, yet it had fun aspects of the day within the story.  I was content with what I came up with.

Are there any authors you admire? I’d have to say the one children’s book that has inspired me is Jamie Lee Curtis’ Is There Really a Human Race? I read many of children’s books, but I loved this story; the humor yet child-like thought processing, and I thought it was a great story with a great message. So I guess you can say that I admire Jamie Lee Curtis because her book has always stuck out to me in the message that it is conveying.

What other projects are you currently working on I’m currently working on my second book. I’m still in the brainstorming stage of narrowing down my characters and the content.

Did you self-publish? If not, is that something you will be willing to consider in the future? Yes I did self-publish. I found it to be an easy, yet great process and option for the many authors who have the desire to write, yet don’t want to or rather not go through the process of finding a publisher.

What is your least favorite part about getting published? I didn’t necessarily have a least favorite part in publishing. I used, and it’s a fairly easy process to navigate. I also worked with an author who has published via Createspace before, so she was very aware of the guidelines of the site, and knew how to send the document to me so that it fit the parameters.

What are you doing to promote your work? I’ve used social media to promote my work; twitter, facebook, and linkedin. I also am creating an ad for the local newspaper, as well as scheduling book readings at local area schools, and joining book forums.

Where can the readers find more information about you? I have a website for the promotion of my books, and to give a little more insight into my vision for my work. It’s at:                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

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