Name Jodi Desautels
Age Old enough to know better
Where are you from Vermont, USA
A little about your self `ie your education Family life ect Hi. I have a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s degree in elementary education. I am a wife and mother. I currently am a caregiver for my mother-in-law, which gives me the opportunity to stay home and write. I am a life-long learner. Passions include caring for people, education, writing, illustrating, photography, and nature. I have two rules to live by: “The Golden Rule” and “Live. Laugh. Love.”
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
Oh, I have some awesome news! Clarinda Cloud will be making an appearance in a movie titled, “Quigley’s Christmas Adventure.” I am not sure how prominent of an appearance and if it will be her as a character or the book! But… I am so excited about this opportunity for Clarinda Cloud. I have read the book by the same title and think it will be a cute little movie! I believe this will be a fabulous experience and hopefully will be great exposure for Clarinda Cloud!
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I actually started writing in the early ‘90s. I was a new mother and wanted to stay home with my daughter. I have always felt creative, but had never tried writing. I didn’t even like to write in school. But… something told me to just start writing. I never got published back then. It wasn’t until fairly recently that I really started writing again.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Even though my first book published is no longer published, I think that is when I first considered myself a writer. It felt real for the first time.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
I wrote what was technically my first book published, and now waiting to be re-published, when my daughter was very young. I think I was hoping to be able to stay home with her. But… it never got published way back then. (This isn’t “Clarinda Cloud,” but a story based on the first time I heard rain on a tin roof as a child.)
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
I’m not sure if I have a particular style. I try to keep my writing relatable and educational in some way. I think about how my daughter talked or how my students talked and their interests at various ages.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
Well, the story was about a cloud. I wanted to keep the title simple. I was also hoping to take advantage of alliteration. So, I titled it “Clarinda Cloud.”
Fiona: Is there a message in your book that you want readers to grasp?
The main message in the book is the importance of young children to be taught to identify and share their feelings in a healthy way. That helps out in so many ways as a person grows and matures.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic?
While there is no part of the story in “Clarinda Cloud” is real, the message is very real. (Clouds don’t have feelings and change colors with each feeling.) Teaching children at a young age to identify and share their feelings in a healthy way is very important!
Fiona: Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Well, I have a bachelor’s degree in psychology and have always wanted to “figure out” my family. I care about people and their feelings. I think that is stem of the idea behind the story.
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most?
That is a complicated question. LOL! I would have to say many, many books have influenced me in many ways. Dr. Seuss books taught me that you didn’t always have to follow the rules. Amelia Bedelia books taught me how silly the English language can be. Eve Bunting’s books taught me that you can write about disturbing issues for a child. Shel Silverstein’s books taught me that poetry can be written so children can enjoy it. The books my great aunt gave me as a child taught me the importance of giving the gift of reading to a child.
Fiona: If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
It is difficult to pick just one writer as a mentor. I enjoy the writing of authors such as Dr. Seuss, Maurice Sendak, Eve Bunting, and Shel Silverstein. I would consider them all mentors. As far as new writers, I would say Angie Harris and Virginia Wright would be considered my mentors. See? I can’t choose just one.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
Actually, I have been reading children’s books by some of my author friends for a review or to help with proofreading or promotion.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
I have quite a few author friends who do some lovely work. None of us are as famous as Dr. Seuss, but we all hope to get there some day. LOL! With that being said, it is difficult to name them without hurting the feelings of others. How about I suffice it to say, that they know who they are!
Fiona: What are your current projects?
Most of my current projects have to do with illustrating instead of writing. I have a few stories written that I am trying to get illustrated. Also, I have three websites that I am currently developing and building. And, I am working on some educational services and products.
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
I have many author and writer friends who are constantly supportive of me. Most of them, I have never met in person. Yet, most of them feel as close or closer than family. Some people who are very supportive of my work are: Virginia Wright, Angie Harris, Rhonda Patton, Debra Cornelius, and Cathy Lee Carper. There are more…but too many to name! I thank them all! It their support, that sometimes keeps me going. I appreciate it so much.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
I would like to say, “yes” here. But, considering I am off to a slow start financially, maybe I should say that I am going to “wait and see.” LOL!
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
I haven’t published any new titles in a little while. Yet, I have just changed the cover design on “Clarinda Cloud” in hopes of making it more eye catching.
Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
I think part of it is that I had quite a few ideas when my daughter was really young. I wanted to work from home so I could be near her. So, I started writing. I sent in stories to publishers back then, but none of them were ever accepted. I haven’t written much since, until about two years ago.
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
Oh wow! That is a difficult question. Hmmm! I have so many! I have a couple of more stories featuring Clarinda Cloud in the works, an anti-bullying/bullying prevention book in the works, and I am currently re-illustrating my first book, “There Were Always Noises.” I hope to get all of these out in 2014.
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Sometimes I find the editing difficult, if I can’t get the story to read exactly the way I want it. My most challenging part in being an author is getting noticed! LOL!
Fiona: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
I don’t know that I have a “favorite” author. I don’t think I could name just one.
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
I haven’t traveled much yet concerning my books. I do not get out much with my care-giving responsibilities. Yet, I plan to do more when the time is right. I have done one author visit and have brought books to a bookstore and a couple of libraries. I have also done two TV interviews.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
For “Johnny’s Adventure Makes Reading Fun” Sarah Bowman designed the color and did the illustrations. But, I designed the cover and did the illustrations for “Clarinda Cloud” and for the “Clarinda Cloud Activity Book.”
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
I think the most difficult part of being an author is the marketing and promoting afterward. You do so much to market and promote and it takes you quite a while to see a fan base.
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
I have learned quite a few things since I have written and attempted to publish my first book. Writing and illustrating “Clarinda Cloud” is really a beginning for me. It is the first book that I wrote, illustrated, formatted, and published myself. Clarinda Cloud, the character, and “Clarinda Cloud,” the book, will always have a special place in my heart. I have learned quite a bit about writing, illustrating, formatting, and publishing since beginning this book. It is too much to get into specifics. Although, I can say that it has been through trial and error, networking, researching, asking questions, and working past my confidence issues that have helped me immensely.
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
If you have a dream to write, follow it! Yet, don’t write just to be published and don’t write for the money. With today’s technology anyone can publish anything. But, not everyone will make money. And, if you are going to write, give a quality book to your readers. Proofread and edit your work. Even have an author friend read it or hire a professional editor. In an adult novel, one little spelling or grammar mistake might not make a difference. But, in a children’s book with less than 1,000 words, it makes a great deal of difference. It makes both the book and the author look bad, even if the rest of the story is well done. Don’t rush it. And, don’t forget to network even before you have finished your book… maybe before you start it. Good luck!
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
I have no real words, other than “thank you.” I appreciate all the people who take time to read my work…whether it is a clip of the book to help me brainstorm and edit or the book in its entirety. Thank you! I feel blessed! And, I always look forward to comments, interactions, questions, ideas, and new friends. Please feel free to contact me. All of my sites have “contact me” pages.
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done ?
Well, besides writing and illustrating, one of my biggest passions is education! I enjoy teaching and learning both! I have my own educational website even, called DUO Education.
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? if so what is it?
Yes, I have three websites with blogs: