Thursday, July 05, 2012

Guest Jo Linsdell Interview

Today I'll be chatting books with author and illustrator Jo Linsdell.

EE: Hi Jo, thanks for joining me today.
JL: It's a pleasure to be here.

EE: When did you first get bit by the writing bug?
JL: I've been writing pretty much since I could hold a pen and have experimented with various genres over the years... and will continue to experiment in the future too. I don't like to limit myself or my creativity. So far I've published non-fiction, poetry, short stories and recently a children's picture book Out and About at the Zoo.

EE: Tell us a bit about Out and About at the Zoo and what you feel is the most important message you share.
JL: I'm really excited about this book coming out. Out and About at the Zoo was released on 1st June 2012 and is a children's picture book. It's a fun day out discovering the different animals at the zoo. The rhyming text and colourful pictures make it perfect for younger children.

It also carries an important message as it highlights the joys of spending quality family time together. A day out like this one will remain with both the mother and child for a long time.

EE: How did you come up with the idea for the book?
JL: I wrote the text after taking my son to the zoo for the first time. It was great to watch him discovering all the animals. Children see everything as magical and interesting. It's amazing watching them discover the world and being able to see it through their eyes.

I decided to make it rhyming text as those are my sons favourite type of books.

EE: You're both the author and illustrator for this book. What was the hardest part of creating the book?
JL: Anyone that thinks making a children's book is easy is VERY wrong. As the text is so limited, every word counts. You also need to balance the text with the illustrations and make it so they work together to tell the story.

The hardest part was formatting the book. I studied art at college but making illustration digital and print quality is a whole different ball game! The technically stuff like transparencies and layers caused me no end of problems. Luckily I have a friend who is an expert in this field and he saved the day several times as I tried to get the final file ready.

EE: You've written various genres. How has this children's book been different from your other work?
JL: I've written non-fiction which relies on facts and presenting them in an easy to understand fashion. I've written poetry which is, for me, the most personal type of writing. I've written short stories where you need to tell a complete story in a limited number of words and longer fiction where the story is more complex and developed.

Writing a children's book was fun. Not that I don't enjoy writing the other genres but this was pure fun. It also gave me the chance to involve my children in my work. I have a 4 year old and a 9 month old. My 4 year old gave very honest feedback about both the text and the illustrations. If he didn't like it, it needed to be changed.

As I wrote the story for him, following our own day out at the zoo, it seemed right that he should play an active role in it's creation. It made the whole experience even more special.

EE: You're currently doing a 3 month tour to promote the release of the book. Where can people find the tour schedule?
JL: I have a page dedicated to Out and About at the Zoo on my website that contains all information regarding the book and the tour.

EE: You've created some book extra's to go with your book. Can you tell us a bit about them and where they can be found?
JL: On the Out and About at the Zoo page on my website I've added some activity packs for children. All the activities are strongly linked to the book and the animals featured in it. So far I've added a word search, printable animal masks and some printable colouring pages. To download any of them all you have to do is 'pay with a Tweet or Facebook update' to let others know about them. There is a button on site for each.

EE: Where else can people follow you on-line?
JL: I'm a real social media junky and am pretty much everywhere. The sites I use most are:

Thanks, Jo for being my guest today. I've read your book and will post my review next Friday. See you all in the postings - E :)


Jo Linsdell said...

Thanks for having back on your site again and for your continued support.

elysabeth said...

Thanks for being here, Jo. I hope you have much success with your book tour. E :)

Susanne Drazic said...

Hello ladies. Great interview.

Jo Linsdell said...

Thanks for dropping by Susanne :)