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Author Interview – Alison Neuman – Children’s Series – Book Launch

May 10, 2020
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Alison Neuman

 

home

 

  1. Please tell us the story behind your new book, Home.

My new book is the bookend of the Friends and Family series about Fluffy the cat and Levi the mouse. This book in the series was more challenging to write than the others because the series was written for my mom, and she passed away two years ago. My mom was my hero, and my best friend. She always provided me with a sense of security and home. As a family, we shared a love of reading, and my mom made sure, whether I was staying in the hospital or at home, that the routine of reading to me before bed was a constant.

As an adult, my mom’s macular degeneration made reading a challenge so I would read out loud to her. Then as her dementia progressed, she found a renewed passion for children’s literature. This series was based on a childhood pet of my mom’s and has a diverse character, which I wish I had to identify with when I was a child. Despite dementia stealing my mom’s words, the smile on her face and her reaching out to grab and hold Don’t Eat Family communicated her love and appreciation.

Mom would’ve wanted me to finish the series despite the fact that during the writing process and now the launch of Home, she would not be here in person. My illustrator, Katherine Restouiex, who also knew my mom, made the human character a cartoon version of her. While writing this last book in the series, memories mom and I shared and the lessons that she taught me were reminders that she will always be with me.

  1. As the third in the series, does it complete the series?

Yes, Home completes the Friends and Family series.

  1. How did you come up with the idea for the series?

My inspiration for this series came from a childhood cat Mom had and the fact that cats and mice don’t usually get along. This series was an exploration into each character’s ability to make their own decisions based on who they want to be and not who they are told to be by society. I wanted my characters to travel through the world with kindness, respect, and a belief in the goodness of people.

  1. Can you tell us about the characters and how you created them?

The character of Fluffy is based on a grey Persian cat that my mom had as a child. The character Levi is based on some of the strong and independent individuals I have met who experience disability. Maybe even a little part of myself is in the character of Levi.

Dont Eat

  1. In Don’t Eat Family what is the message you wanted to convey?

The main messages that I was trying to convey in the book Don’t Eat Family were that, just like Fluffy and her decision to be friends with Levi versus be a mouser as some cats are, you could be who you are and not give in to peer pressure. Also, individuals experiencing a disability may experience challenges but have other abilities and should not be judged by the way they get around in the world.

help

  1. In Help from Friends do the characters follow on from the first book?

Yes, the characters in Friends and Family continue along the journey to find their way home, a journey that started in the first book.

  1. Did you start out planning a series, or did the story and characters dictate more stories?

No, I didn’t start outlining a series, but the characters and the story dictated more books because their adventures required more pages than I wanted to squeeze into one book.

  1. Tell us about your writing life – what other books/plays have you written?

I have written the following

Books:

Ice Rose – A young Adult Spy Novel

Searching for Normal: A Memoir

Don’t Eat Family

On Ne Manage Pas La Famille

Help From Friends

Home

Plays:

Searching

The Sunset Syndrome

In Progress:

Book – Hindsight

  1. Do you only write fiction?

No, I also write creative nonfiction.

Alison’s website:

http://www.alisonneuman.ca/?fbclid=IwAR2_bjRPr3grdeLMeyR6Jv1JjZE0bLKB6nq7X0mOralPynATNr43q-M1YGo

Dream Write Publishing

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A Shakespearean Celebration and Prompt…

April 25, 2014
mandyevebarnett


FunDayI could not pass up the opportunity to share the celebrations planned in the UK for Shakepeare’s 450th birthday! http://www.shakespearesbirthday.org.uk/?page_id=19

The Bard would have been shocked and hopefully pleased, if he were present today with the adoration and celebration in his honor. For those who are curious about William’s life this link is great. http://www.shakespearesbirthday.org.uk/?page_id=88

shakespeare

Shakespearean Quotes:

Better a witty fool than a foolish wit.

Words without thoughts never to heaven go.

Suit the action to the word, the word to the action.

Give every man thy ear, but few thy voice.

Fun Prompt:

In true Shakespearean hommage let us write a sonnet.

Please share yours!

For my USA followers in MA here is a literary festival to attend. http://www.newburyportliteraryfestival.org/

A Superb Complicated Character…

November 24, 2013
mandyevebarnett


Maunder – definition: 1. to talk in a rambling, foolish, or meaningless way; 2. to move, go, or act in an aimless, confused manner

As a long time viewer of Dr. Who, I could not miss the 50 year celebrations of this fantastic time traveler show this weekend. I don’t mind admitting that I have watched every single Doctor from Hartnell to Smith. For any show to last such a long time, is in a large par,t because of the excellent writing. To have a character time traveling is one thing but this one can morph into new forms, ensuring the viewer is continually engaged with their personalities. Each reincarnation has his own character traits and some were more rambling in their diction than others. The story lines and monsters are obviously a major part of the show as well and the writers have managed to keep us guessing what they will create next.

Dr Who

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doctor_(Doctor_Who)

Everyone has their favorite Doctor or Doctors. Some are memories of episodes when they were children and others when as adults they can appreciate the complexity of the time traveling hero and his Tardis.

As a writer, I only think it fair to highlight the writers who have made us scream, hide behind the sofa and puzzle over the complexities of each episode. The attention to detail and back story makes each episode so ‘real’ that we are aware of the monster’s motivation and await the Doctor’s solution with avid anticipation.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Doctor_Who_writers

I salute these writers for their ingenuity and excellent writing. This quote says it all:

Douglas Adams, who was a Doctor Who writer of huge renown, said the show had to be complicated enough for children and simple enough for adults, and that still holds true, I think. The target audience is everybody from 6 to 106,” he continued. “You want it to be exciting and thrilling and have a lot of different takes to it. You want it to be emotional, and have great characters, and you also want it to be self-contained: within 45 minutes, you’re having to land on a planet, or a period of history, meet a whole bunch of people, solve a mystery, have an adventure and get back in the TARDIS — and with jokes, and you can’t afford to do any of it. That’s why it’s one of the hardest shows to write for, but when you even come close to getting it right, it’s the most exciting show in the world to write for.”

Source: http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/heat-vision/writers-explain-why-doctor-who-659103

Dalek

 

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