Sunday, August 28, 2011

Interview with Jennifer Dewing Author of Who Loves Me Personalized Book

Tell us about yourself:
I reside in the land of 10,000 Lakes with my husband Jeff and children, J.J., Lauren and Jack. Everyday life with three kids has filled me abundantly with love and inspiration (and a tad bit of sleep deprivation!).

My original career was in Children’s Toys after graduating from the University of Notre Dame in 1995. I have worked in Product Development and Marketing for kid’s brands ranging from Matchbox cars, Madeline dolls and Fisher-Price toys.  I loved the Toy Industry, but always had an avid interest in Children’s books. I pursued my dream to become a Children’s author and began taking writing classes at The Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis in 2005. 

I have always loved going on adventures, whether it be working on a Dinosaur Dig, climbing the Great Wall of China or sky diving (yes, I have tried all three!). I think books allow children to step into any adventure at any time. Their imaginations take flight. They learn. They grow. They blossom. It’s a beautiful thing.

Tell us 3 interesting/crazy things about you:
1. I went on a Dinosaur Dig in Montana the summer I graduated from college.
2. I've gone skydiving.
3. I climbed the Great Wall of China!

What inspired you to write the books?
I have been involved in a Bible Study the past several years and I was inspired to write "God Loves You!" after studying the Gospel of John and the Book of Isaiah. It's important for kids to realize that they are God's special and unique creations! The book is appropriate for Christian and Jewish readers.

What are your favorite children's  authors/books?
-Dr. Suess' The Cat in the Hat... my Grandpa Jack read that to me all the time when I was little. Now I read it to my 2-year-old son Jack! It is his favorite book.
-Chris Van Dusen "If I Built a Car"
-Melanie Watt "Scaredy Squirrel"
-Judy Blume "Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing"
-E.B. White "Charlotte's Web"
-Maia Haag "My Very Own Name"
-I also have a special love for "Cedric and the Dragon" since it was illustrated by my good friend from 7th Grade, Nina Victor Crittenden
-Gertrude Chandler Warner "The Boxcar Children"- I am currently reading this book with my son J.J. and daughter Lauren... I remember that I loved reading this as a child.
-Louisa May Alcott "Little Women"- I have three sisters and the four of us girls always loved this book growing up. I recently read a historical fiction  book for my book club called "The Lost Summer of Louisa May Alcott". I suggest this book for anyone who loved reading "Little Women" as a girl.

What advice would you give other young aspiring writers? 
This is not a craft of immediate gratification! Success comes with a lot of work, study, critique and patience. Don't get discouraged by rejections (there are likely to be many). Keep at it and follow your heart!

What are you working on now?
I have several more personalized books coming out with I See Me!, Inc. The next one launches this Christmas already! Mati Rose McDonough is currently illustrating the book. There are also four more titles coming out in 2012... all are currently in process of being illustrated by various artists. I LOVE seeing the illustrations as they are completed and watching the books come to life.          

Additionally, I have about ten manuscripts in various stages of development. I have been studying at The Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis and working on these manuscripts with my mentor, author Lisa Bullard. I recently got a very promising letter from an editor saying that one of my manuscripts was "clever" and "under consideration"... I jumped for joy and am hoping the story comes to fruition!

 What do you hope your books will impart to children? 
The common theme among all the I See Me! books I've written is that they are meant to make children feel special and important. The "Who Loves Me?" book tells children just how much they are loved by all of their family members. The "God Loves You!" book tells children that they are God's special and unique creations. And, the newly released "Super, Incredible Big Brother" and "Super, Incredible Big Sister" books are meant to make big sisters and big brothers feel important and loved when a new baby is born. I also have a "Christmas Bear for Me" and "Hanukkah Bear for Me" books available for the holidays, fyi.

If you weren’t a writer, what would you be?
The question is... what didn't I want to be? A newscaster, astronaut, doctor, business executive, waitress, lounge singer, photographer... you name it and I wanted to "be it" at one point in my life!

What obstacles have you experienced  in your writing journey? 
So far, I have over 50 rejection letters and emails! I have learned that it is not a trade that comes with immediate success.

Where can people buy your books? Do you have a web page or fan page? 
People can buy my books online at They are also available at several retailers such as Pottery Barn Kids, Neiman Marcus, Signals Catalog, etc. I have six titles out currently, all of which come personalized with the child's name on the cover and inside pages. I have loved working with I See Me! on these titles and I feel very honored that they have won multiple Mom's Choice and Creative Child awards! 

The "Who Loves Me?" book that will be won in the giveaway can be personalized for one child, a set of Twins or for a pair of siblings. You can take a virtual tour of the book at: Who Loves Me Virtual Tour 
 My website is in development and will launch by September 1st. I recently put up a facebook page at: Jennifer Dewing-Childrens Author I hope people stop by and "like" the page!

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