This week I got to interview the wonderful Kelly Louise Jarris about her latest book 'IMAGINE OUR SPECIAL PLACE.'
Welcome Kelly and thank you for taking the time to interview on The Book Tree Blog.
My pleasure and thanks for having me.
'Imagine Our Special Place' is obviously very close to your heart. How important was it for you to get the story out there?
This story was inspired by watching two very special people in our family go through palliative care and terminal cancer. Hearing how my sister saw her diagnosis and her positive outlook and how she coped, I saw a strength that I admired. We had small children at the time, and it was really difficult to articulate what was happening and the process that comes with this whole journey. I am hoping I have done that with this book as so many families are dealing with this daily.
The illustrations are so bright and playful. Did you collaborate closely with Sandunika Dissanayake?
Absolutely, my concept art, references and notes were very thorough. They needed to be as I wanted Sandunika to understand my vision for my story and she definitely did.
The story is very uplifting which is not what most people would expect from a story about grief. Was this intentional as an appeal for younger children?
It really was and I am so pleased that is what you took from reading my story. I think keeping a child's innocence for as long as possible is so important. My intention for the book was to get kids to use their little imaginations and hopefully create a soothing thought process for such a hard topic to talk about.
Do you share or ‘test drive’ your stories with anyone – students, family - before you submit them for publication?
Yes, always. I usually get my kids, young nieces and nephews to listen. In fact, they are already quoting lines from my next book, which I love.
What has been the most helpful advice given to you on your journey to becoming an author?
I was told early on to always surround yourself with people that have your best interests at heart and want to see you succeed and achieve your goals.'
Read the book review here.
Thanks to Romi Sharp and Books On Tour PR & Marketing for facilitating Kelly's book launch and this interview.
Follow Just Write For Kids Blog and the blogs and websites below for more reviews, interviews and information.
Too Many Books, Not Enough Space!
It seems spring is the time for new releases here in Australia and there have been so many wonderful books come onto the market. All of the books below are stunningly illustrated and beautifully written and my favourites so far from this year and 2020. Whether you are a parent, a teacher or a librarian, they are all must haves for your collection. I think I'm going to have to have my bookcase extended. . . There are also a few writer competitions and publisher openings both here and overseas to dive into some of which I've listed here. Happy reading and writing wherever you are!
Twitter: Fall Writing Frenzy #fallwritingfrenzy Follow @LydiaLukidis and @KaitlynLeann17 for more details
Pitch It! Competition 2021 from Just Write For Kids. More information here
Cardinal Rule Press are open for picture book submissions from now until November 1st. More information here.
It's Been A While. . .
It's been a long time in between blog posts! World Language and Literature Week, Virtual Author visits, a bout of illness and end of year school craziness have gotten in the way. But thankfully now we're on holidays there's more time to write, reflect and relax!
In terms of reflection, I wanted to share my favourite books for 2020. They are all by Australian authors and illustrators and I'm really proud of the fact that each one of them are absolute standouts in their respective literary genres and have already won numerous awards. I've reviewed some here under Book Reviews and now that time permits, will get around to reviewing the rest.
I really think our Aussie authors and illustrators are much undervalued and overlooked in favour of American and/or British writers by a lot of international school libraries and I hope that you will look at these and add them to your #musthaves list for 2021.