It is the middle of summer, and how to engage children in reading along with summer fun can be found in books from Julia Dweck. “Pie-Rites” is her upcoming new book .
“Zombie-Kids” by Julia Dweck and Mark Draisey was released this past June 14, 2012 .
During the busy summer activites, Ms. Dweck took time for an interview.
Q When did you begin to write? What was your first professional piece?
A Though I’ve written for publications over the years, my first published children’s book was “Zombie-Kids”. It was inspired by an illustration that I stumbled upon one day while looking at the art of illustrator, Mark Draisey. I didn’t realize at the time how “in” zombies were, but there was just something about the angst on that zombie’s face that tickled my funny bone and made me think of teenage angst. If love is the universal thread that connects us all, then it’s not too far a stretch to believe that zombies just want to be loved, too. Could I convince the reader that zombies are loveable and more like us than we realize? Though the topic is not traditionally for the faint of heart,” Zombie-Kids”, have really connected across a wide range of readers.
Q What do you like about writing?
A I remember when I was a kid my mother used to tell me that it’s not nice to make up things. However, as an adult I think that making up stories is just about one of the nicest things you can do. It’s a gift to be shared. There’s enough depressing news every day on television and on the internet. I hope my stories inspire laughter, wonder, and imagination.
Q How do you engage children to read your book?
A Children are a savvy and discerning audience. You need to treat them with respect and appreciation. I listen to my readers, who are sometimes my students. They tell me what they like reading and learning about. Children want to take the ride along with the story characters. I try to create immersive reading experiences, utilizing technology in creative and innovative ways. This generation is causing authors to look at writing from a different perspective.
I think you need to respect the intelligence of children. I recently wrote a book called, “The Hare with the Pearl Earring,” which was illustrated by a young, talented artist named Patricia Saco. The story integrates the world of art in an interactive adventure. Edutainment is a growing genre that celebrates the fun and enjoyment of learning.
Q Let’s talk about your latest book, “Pie Rites”.
A It all started one day when I was having lunch at a coffee shop. I ordered the salad when what I really wanted was the delicious cupcake that called to me from the baked goods shelf. It was so perfectly beautiful that it seemed a shame to eat it. The colors were vibrant and the frosting danced in lively swirls. I envisioned this little cupcake as a protagonist in a great epic adventure. Of course she would need to be a cherry cupcake, because the cherry is always the ultimate topping in any confection.
Q What are you planning for 2012 and 2013?
Lately, I’ve been spending time working on an upcoming series for Jumping Pages, Inc., a children’s book app publisher in New York. They produced a critically acclaimed book app of the David and Goliath story narrated by 2006 World Series MVP David Eckstein, and just released “The House that Went on Strike,” an interactive musical tale that teaches kids, and parents, respect for the house, narrated by legendary “House” mom Patricia Schroeder. I am collaborating with Jumping Pages Founder and Director, Rania Ajami, on an interactive ebook series that will blaze new trails for readers. http://www.jumpingpages.com/
Beyond that, I plan to keep writing, teaching, and enjoying each day, because there are more stories to be found in each and every moment.
Readers can connect with Julia on her website at http://juleloves2write.com/
Julia is a busy mother, teacher, author fully enjoying her books and reaching out to young readers. You can add her books to your young reader’s list of summer fun, as she has created a format in which to engage through humor and taking her young readers on a ride. You may find Julia Dweck on the Amazon book store.