Follow by Email

Interview with Janice Lease

WHEN DID YOU BECOME A WRITER?
    I think I started writing and doing poetry very young.  I know I had a book of poems when I was 12 years old.  I took nurses training in Boston Mass when I was 17.  Life was fast and busy from that time on.  I graduated and married at 20 years and had my first child 10 months after I was married.  I had always wanted to be a teacher and I started my BSN to teach nursing.  My husband got a teaching job in California and by then we had two little girls.  We headed off to beautiful Simi Valley in California.  There were no hospitals in this small valley and only difficult curvy roads to get out to the San Fernando Valley where there were hospitals. 

     A builder had come in to Simi Valley and built a lot of low income houses.  Young families streamed into the valley to buy these houses.  The schools were overflowing.  Someone suggested I look for a job as a school nurse so I went down and applied.  They didn’t need nurses but they desperately needed teachers.  They offered me a job and 7 years to complete all of the requirements for a full California Teachers Credential.

    I jumped at it.  This was my dream to teach.  For the next 22 years I taught K-2.  During these years I made up stories for all the letters in the alphabet and vowels.  I wrote many teaching units that were used by other teachers but I never submitted any of this for publication.  I also started a novel that has been deleted from my computer about 4 times in the last 20 years.  I still plan to finish this.

     About 18 years ago we moved to Las Vegas Nevada.  I returned to nursing because of the pay scale.  I need a creative outlet so I began to photograph every beautiful thing in Nevada, Utah and Arizona.  I had a small card business for a while.  I saw all of my beautiful pictures of animals, birds and flowers just sitting with no one able to enjoy them. 

WHAT GENRE DO YOU WRITE AND WHY?
   When I retired 4 years ago I decided to put my pictures together and write a children’s book.  My first book was about the White Tailed Antelope Squirrel.  The book is called MARIGOLD.  This book was about a little squirrel that lived in a Cactus Patch and her name is Marigold.  The book is designed to teach children about the flowers, animals, & birds that live in the desert.  Marigold eventually finds the flower she was named after and her mother tells her, “This is the flower that makes me feel the happiest and that’s the way I felt the first time I saw you little face.”  The book ends with an educational section about the animals in the story.

     This was the beginning of my books.  All of my books are illustrated with my photographs.  I have four finished books on my web site and three more are in progress. The next book to finish in March 2011, is THE PUFFIN PARTY.  I went to Machias Island in Maine and photographed the Atlantic Puffin on a protected bird sanctuary.  It was totally magical.

TELL US A BIT ABOUT YOUR LATEST BOOK.
   A year ago we went to Panama and I photographed the White Faced Monkey on a tropical Island in the Panama Canal.  This will be my 6th book called MONKEY ISLAND. I am presently working on a book for parents about how to assist their children in the educational process.  I believe that Parents and Schools should work together to give the child the best chance for success.  This book will guide parents through this process.  This will be an e-mail book and available on my web site to download.

DO THE PHOTO’S DICTATE THE STORY?
     The photo’s do dictate the story.  I lay the photos out on my living room floor and look at them.  Finally a story comes to me and I arrange the pictures to fit a fun story, where the animals interact with each other.  I sometimes have to take other pictures to make the story work but usually the pictures tell the story themselves.  In Rudy the Roadrunner, I made a nest and put eggs in it because I could never have found a roadrunners nest.  I think it worked ok.

     The story in each of my books has an unspoken learning experience such as kindness, eating the right foods, friendship and safety etc.  The end of each book has an educational section.

WILL YOU BE PUBLISHING OTHER PEOPLES WORKS?
     Eventually I would like to publish other authors.  I am looking at one now that is quite adorable.  It’s a children’s book. 

DID TEACHING HELP YOU IN YOUR WRITING CAREER?
     As I explained before, teaching primary children gave me the experience and great opportunity, to see what children liked.  My stories were always their favorite stories and the ones they would ask me to repeat.  When I wrote the books,  I wanted children to see what animals really looked like.  I have such a love for looking into the face of an animal or a flower and seeing the marvelous world of creation that God has given us to enjoy.  I wanted children to see this as well.  Because of different beliefs I do not mention God in the books.  Parents can do this as they read to their children and blend the stories with their individual beliefs.

WHAT OTHER PROJECTS ARE YOU WORKING ON?  
     My present projects are the puffin book and my e-book.  I hope to finish both in the next few weeks.  The book on education is a new idea that has come out of the unrest with the economy and changes in the schools.  This book is called FAST FORWARD YOUR CHILD’S EDUCATION.

DO YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE FOR NEW WRITERS?
     I frequently meet young writers and I always tell them the same thing.  Start writing.  Don’t put it off the way I did.  You don’t need to take classes, even though it helps if you can.  Just write.. Read a lot and find the authors that you like.  I used to feel if I read too much I might sound like someone else.  If you write what you know about, that will not happen.  You must and you will, find your own voice.  I finally found out that reading is learning in many ways.  You will see sentence structure, how transitions are made and many basic writing principles that will move your writing forward.  In a poem that I wrote, one line says, “Life is a moment given in time, and Time is not ours to borrow.”  Time is a moment that moves so fast, don’t let it fly past you. 
     I belong to a Poetry group.  I write a lot of poems.  We evaluate each other’s poems and my poems are always better after I have taken them to this group.  I think new and old writers should be involved with some kind of writers group.  Other writers will see things you didn’t see and your writing will improve with a fresh perspective.  

WHERE CAN PEOPLE FIND OUT MORE ABOUT YOU?
     I just started a blog.  Look for me on Face book.  Friend me, JANICE LEASE, and go to my blog.  You can also e-mail me atJan@cinnamonridgepublishing.com or info@cinnamonridgepublishing.com.  I will have more info on my web site.  www.cinnamonridgepublishing.com.
  
WHAT AGE GROUP DID YOU WRITE YOUR BOOKS FOR?
  People ask me what age group enjoys my books the most?   I tell them 3yrs to 70yrs and older.  I have sold and signed books to all ages.  I have 3 & 4 year olds that their parents tell me my books are their favorite.  I have older people who need a larger type that love the books because they are interesting and they love the pictures.  Look at my books on my web site and see what you think. It was nice talking to you.  Jan Lease

   

0 comments:

I love to hear from you. So feel free to comment, but keep in mind the basics of blog etiquette — no spam, no profanity, no slander, etc.

Thanks for being an active part of the Writers and Authors community.

Featured Post

Featured Post

Featured Post