Tell us something about yourself?
I’m originally from the UK but came to Rome, Italy in July 2001 for 3 days and ended up staying. I’ve been happily married to my lovely Italian husband since 2006 and together we have two amazing little boys.
I enjoy experimenting with my writing and trying out new genres. As well as working on my books I also do freelance writing work for clients.
I’m a social media junky. I LOVE it and have profiles everywhere. As a writer I get to combine two of my passions, writing and marketing.
How did you come to write your book?
My 4 years son asked me why I hadn’t written a book for him. I figured he made a good point and so wrote Out and About at the Zoo inspired by the first time I took him to the zoo. I decided to make it rhyming text as that’s his favorite type of book.
You both wrote and illustrated your book. Do you have any training as an artist?
I studied art and design at college and have always loved indulging my creative side. This was my first time using a graphic program though and it was a huge learning curve. I hadn’t taken into account the technical stuff like transparencies, layers, embedding etc… It was fun though and I’m already working on my next children’s picture book.
What tools did you use in creating the art work in your book?
I used Adobe illustrator. I started by drawing to-scale sketches of each page layout and then scanned them into my computer to use as a guide.
Why did you decide to write a book about zoo animals?
My son LOVES animals. When I asked him who he wanted in the story with him he just gave me a list of animals. Using our trip to the zoo seemed like the perfect solution.
How did you pick the animals in your story?
I made a list of all the animals we’d seen during our visit to the zoo and then picked the ones that fitted best with the flow of the story.
How do you feel that living in Italy and knowing Italian has affected you as a writer?
It makes me simplify more.
You have two small children. How do you find time to write?
I write when I can. It’s not easy as I have to grab 5 minutes here and there when I get the chance or stay up late after they’ve gone to bed. One of the great things about Out and About at the Zoo is that it gave me the chance to involve them in my work.
My 4 year old was a great help and not at all shy about giving me his feedback. It was an excellent motivation to get everything finished as he was constantly asking “mum is it finished yet?”
What are you working on now?
I’m working on another rhyming children’s picture about a young fairy called May that dreams of one day becoming a tooth fairy.
I’m also working on a chick-lit and a non-fiction book about social media.
What’s the best writing advice you ever got? The worst?
The best would have to be to believe in myself and not under value my talents. Luckily I haven’t been given any bad advice yet.
Where can readers find your book?
They can also find information about the book and my current promotional tour at my website www.JoLinsdell.com