Anita's Haven

books, thoughts, stories, poetry, interviews, writing

CHILDREN’S BOOK AUTHOR INTERVIEW no.7 – Amanda DeJong

on 28/11/2015

How many of you had a secret wish as a child to become a detective? Come on, don’t be shy!

Well, here is the perfect children’s book author to talk about then – Amanda DeJong!

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INTERVIEW TIME

1. Pretend we are all children and tell us 5 things about yourself which you consider the most important!

«Hello kids!
1) My name is Amanda DeJong
(…Because it is important when you address peple, that they know WHO you are…
–Just a tip  )

2) I am a kind & understanding person
(I would say this so that you know you kids are safe with me.
–NO stranger danger…
I am a good guy… only I am a girl…
Hmmm –that’s probably an important piece of information IF I am not addressing you in person…
Because if it was in person, I would’nt have to SAY that outloud…
…You would be able to See that, with your eyes… Uless you were blind…Oh I digress…)

3) I am a girl…
-Woman
-Female…
I would tell you that I am female because with the initials A.J., how would you really know unless you were looking at me. –Which I assume you are NOT right now… Right!!!??

4) I have two children, 1 dog and I am married to my high school sweet heart
(….That is probably considered five or even six things… But I will only count them as one… Because I think I can.)

5) I wish for hunger to be erradicated and peace on earth
-For real… I do

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2. Why do your write books for children? What motivates and inspires you? How do your books come to life?

I write books for children because I feel like my attention span has not gotten any better with age and therefore I can relate to younger people on so many accounts.
…I believe that children are our future… (-Wait, I think someone has already said that a time or two)
I am inspired by SO MANY THINGS!! I love children’s imaginations because they are limitless. The way they think, play and act are so beautiful and innocent.
My books come to life because they are inspired by either actual events, people, places and things OR the imagination of actual people, places and things.

3.  What were your favourite children’s books and characters when you were a child (and still)? Was there a character you wanted to be, or a book you wanted to step into? Why?

I loved some of the classics like:
Amelia Bedelia by Peggy Parish
If you give a mouse a cookie by Laura Joffe Numeroff 
And a little later I liked the Boxcar Children by Gertrude Chandler Warner & thought that I would fit in nicely with their family dynamic!

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4. What is your main goal when you write a children’s book? What do you want your readers to think or feel?

I want it to be relatable.
I want them to read along with Jane and be excited when she is, and feel her frustration, then eventually sit back and say; «Hey, I do that too!!!»

5. How do comments and reviews affect you? What do your friends, family and colleagues think about you as a writer?

I am blessed that those that are around me are supportive of what I do and highly encouraging!
Therefore, I THRIVE on the positive reviews!
Unfortunatly, not everyone out there is going to feel the same.
There will always be someone who thinks that what you do is not good enough, and perhaps even they can do it better.
To that I have to say: There is ALWAYS someone who will be better than you at something, and there will always be someone who is not as good as you are at something.
To the individual who is better, I offer encouragement and praise because there is beauty in a job well done.
To the individual who does not do as good as you, I offer gratitude.
Thank you for being who you are and never stop trying.
Because EVERYONE deserves praise & admiration, there is certainly enough to go around.
(…And to the NA-Sayers… I simply cannot please everyone, and no one should have that kind of weight on their shoulders! There are plenty of other good books in the sea! )

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6. What is the most difficult thing about writing a children’s book? What is the most fun aspect of that process?

Difficult: At first I was worried that my vocabulary was too adult for children and then I thought: That’s not a fair assumption and perhaps I am selling my audience too short.
(Even though in all actuality they probably ARE short –in the literal sense… Because they are kids… –BUT I am not here to judge since I am 30 years old and stand at 5 ft 1 inch…)

Fun: Getting what is going on inside of my head on paper!
My father used to preach to me: «Never forget what it’s like to be a kid» and I took this to heart. I think about what it’s like to be a certin age and the task at hand, then analyze how I would have handled it.
–To get that translated into words is SO MUCH FUN!

7. Do you like reading your book in public? Who is the tougher audience – the adults or the children? Share an anecdote if you wish.

I DO because then I can really emphasize how I had originally intended for it to be read!!
Adults tend to block you out because they are busy doing «important» things…
Like FACEBOOKING (To which I shake my head in disaproval)
Children will sit there and listen, as long as you are entertaining!

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8. What is the one genre or topic you think you would never write and why?

Crime… There is enough violence in the world and I honestly don’t enjoy reading about it anymore because I feel bombarded by it constantly.

9. If you could interview any famous children’s author, who would it be and what would you ask?

OH WOW… J.K. Rowling because her PERSONAL story is so inspiring, and just look at the empire that was built on her characters!

10. Why is reading important for children? Is it more important for them to read by themselves or with an adult?

Because using one’s imagination (in my humble opinion) is one of the most important skill to build upon.
–Artists, engineers, archetects, Mathemeticians, Scientists, Dr’s –the greatest philosopers of our time use(ed) their imagination in order to solve and analyze problems!
Never stop dreaming and using your imagination!
I dont believe one is MORE important than the other.
Reading with an adult serves multiple purposes: -It enhances a child’s ability to comprehend & learn about language/verbal skills, and of course the quality time & bonding is highly important.
But I also see the advantages to reading on your own, as you have no one to «impress», there is little to no stress and you can simply immerse yourself into what you are doing unabashedly!

11. Would you like to add anything about your current work or send a message to the readers?

One’s imagination can be a powerful tool.
Never stop using it. –Ever.
No matter what you are going through, your thoughts have the ability to save you.

AUTHOR’S BIO & LINKS

Author Page
Jane Brown Facebook Page
Twitter

ABOUT THE BOOK – Jane Brown and the Case of Mistaken Identity

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“Allow me to introduce myself, the name is Brown, Jane Brown, and I am the greatest detective the world has ever seen. I’m known to solve multiple cases, on any given day, without even breaking a sweat. In fact, I am working on one now.”

Meet Jane Brown, a tenacious young girl with a wild imagination. Follow her and her partner, Ares the Rottweiler, as they attempt to solve various mysteries using her trusty detective kit.

On this day, Jane’s father has recruited her to find the television’s missing remote control. But when the evidence begins to point toward her colleague and best friend, Jane must figure out how to close the case and prove his innocence before it’s too late.

At seven years old, Jane may not be investigating much more than larceny of the most mundane kind, but that is certainly not going to slow her down. Yeah, times are hard for a budding gumshoe trying to catch a break. Yet, Jane makes the best of every situation, and digs deep to reveal a compelling conclusion to each assignment. Her charming personality and witty sense of humor will have readers cheering for her from start to finish. Jane shows us all that with a little determination and the right support, anything is possible, as well as fun!

This book on Amazon

Feeling curious already? I know I am:) Thank you, Amanda! Happy writing and may you have many readers,

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