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Interview with Jewel Kats


Jewel Kats is not shy to say, “I’m a disability activist. I believe all humans and animals have the right to be treated with respect—regardless of their abilities.”

Jewel Kats is an award-winning author and one tough cookie. At the age of nine, Jewel endured a car accident. Her physical abilities altered forever. She spent weeks in the Hospital for Sick Children recovering, has survived eight leg surgeries, and currently walks with a cane. (Note: It’s fashionably hand painted!)

For six years, she penned a syndicated teen advice column for Scripps-Howard News Service and TorStar Syndication Services. Jewel has earned $20,000 in scholarships from Global Television Network and Harlequin Enterprises Ltd. She has penned three children’s books, including: Reena’s Bollywood Dream, What Do You Use to Help Your Body? and her latest book Cinderella’s Magical Wheelchair.

Could you tell us a little about yourself?

First off, today is my birthday! Let’s do a little dance together. Wiggle, wiggle, wiggle. As you can see, I love celebrating life. I believe your attitude defines you. Positive thoughts lead to positive results. Laughing is important, too. I’ve been told my giggle is contagious. But life isn’t all about play. Hard work is vital. We’ve been given the power to love; so do so. I always tell people it’s never too late to do anything. Go for your dreams. Make them happen. What’s my weakness? Animals. I’m especially attached to my dog, Miss Dolly. My fiancĂ© and I are expecting a new miniature poodle pup to join us mid-November. She has the softest golden fur. We’ve already named her, Bambi. I can’t wait to welcome home my new bundle of joy!

Describe your desk/workspace.

Okay, so this when I’m supposed to describe a beautiful—say a mosaic china plate desk—decorated with pink scented candles, and inspirational quotes on standing wood pieces. Well, that’s so not happening. Read: I don’t even OWN a desk! I actually write on my bed. (Yes, you read that correctly.) With my Shih Tzu dog, Miss Dolly, who sits next to me. Sometimes she even snores…loudly! In my defense, my bedroom is pretty with warm faux suede covers---though a tad disorganized. Correction: Make that really disorganized. Who says authors are perfect? Certainly, not me J   

Do you have a favorite quote?

"If there's a book you really want to read, but it hasn't been written yet, then you must write it." ~Toni Morrison

What are you currently reading?

Here’s a confession: I don’t read stacks of books and never watch TV. I’m always too busy working! When I don’t have my hands on my keyboard--either writing or surfing the web-- you’ll catch me on my blackberry. When I’m not doing either, I’m out and about visiting family or at home reading a comic book. I didn’t say this right away because some folks don’t consider comics a form of “reading.” (I’ll leave this topic for now, as it’s a whole other issue.) In any case, my nose is currently buried in a Betty & Veronica Friends Double Digest issue. My secret, secret, secret dream is for them to add a physically challenged character to the Riverdale gang. I’m determined to see this happen. I’ve written. I’ve called. If you can help me, please let me know!  
                                                                                                                 
What is the best advice you've ever received?

“Rejection is a part of the publishing game.” These words have really stuck with me. I wish I could credit someone for the quote, but I can’t.

If you could have coffee with anyone (living or dead, real or fictional), who would it be and why?

Oh, this is a toughie. I know it would be a fictional children’s character. They fascinate me most. Give me a moment… Tick, tock… Ok, got it!! It would have to be, Junie B. Jones, from the Barbara Park children’s book series. This little girl is HILARIOUS! I’ve read all of her chapter books—some even twice. I even went to a book signing, and met a Junie B. Jones lookalike! I think I was one of the only adult “fans,” but I digress. They don’t know what they’re missing out on!   

What are your top three favorite books?
I love every version of “Cinderella” on this green planet—even mine! (Sheepish grin.)
“Clementine” by Sara Pennypacker (Another children’s book. Surprised?)
“Snow White and the Seven Dwarves.”|

What was your favorite book as a child and why?

I loved being read to by my mom. It didn’t matter what it was. I felt special during that time. Though, I did have my favorites.  I adored Cinderella, Dr. Seuss’s “Green Eggs and Ham,” and my collection of “Bernstein Bears” books.

What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?

I often get my best ideas at night. To tell you the truth, I don’t know why this happens. More often than not, you’ll find me pulling “all-nighters” in the fashion of a college student. Perhaps, that’s why I sometimes get circles under my eyes. Thank goodness for my fantastic makeup concealer!

Do you write full-time or part-time?

I write full-time.

What are your current marketing strategies?

I network a lot. I’m constantly adding “friends” and uploading interesting Facebook statuses. I contacted several magazines, and landed a full-page book excerpt in a powerful periodical called: “Ability Magazine.” I promote my book through www.goodreads.com. Basically, I offered 10 free copies, and up until now 1,747 people have entered. I also plan on contacting hospital gift shops and organizing book signings.

Could you share about any current writing projects?

I’m currently planning to fulfill a childhood dream by writing a Harlequin Romance novel. I recently finished the plot and character outline. It’s going to be a definite challenge as it’s for a whole new audience. However, challenges make up life, right?

What would be the best way for readers to contact you?


Where can people find your books?

We recommend readers use Fetchbook to find the best price for Cinderella's Magical Wheelchair in their own areas http://www.fetchbook.info/compare.do?search=9781615991129
My books are carried on all the online retailers including, Amazon, BN.com, Powell's, Blackwell, and Books-A-Million.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

I’ve always, always loved fairy tale classical stories for children. It’s my dream to be the first author to re-write these stories with a disability twist. I’ll make sure it happens…
  
 You can find out more about Jewel Kats’ World of Ink Author/Book Tour schedule at http://storiesforchildrenpublishing.com/JewelKats.aspx. There will be giveaways, reviews, interviews, guest posts and more. Make sure to stop by and interact with Kats and the hosts at the different stops by leaving comments and/or questions.
In addition, come listen to Blog Talk Radio’s World of Ink Network show: Stories for Children at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/worldofinknetwork. The hosts VS Grenier, Kris Quinn Chirstopherson and Irene Roth will be chatting with Jewel Kats about her books, writing, the publishing industry and experiences with virtual tours. Kats will also be sharing writing tips and trials, and tribulations of the writer’s life. The show will be live November 7, 2011 at 2pm EST.


3 comments:

  1. Thanks for hosting Jewel today on your blog. She's an amazing author.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I really enjoyed learning more about Jewel. Thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete

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