Please tell us a bit about your Countries books:
The If You Were Me books are an introduction to customs and culture around the world. It is a series designed to place children in the same shoes as a child in different parts of the world, letting them experience the things that are important in their lives. The idea of countries, borders, and customs is hard for young ones to grasp, so I broke it into various subjects that small children could identify with- what their name might be, where the country is located, what they would call their parents, what kind of food would they eat, what one thing identifies the country, like a landmark. They finish each book able to identify both similarities and differences. With the added benefit of having multiple books, they can compare how life is all over the world.
Have you always known you wanted to be a writer?
I am an avid reader. I will read everything. I don’t think I had the confidence to write until Createspace came along and said, you don’t need to worry about rejection- we will give you a platform. I have written my entire life, plays, stories, I did a vanity published romance years ago, but with Amazon, KDP and Createspace, I can now do it successfully.
How did you come up with the idea to write books about children from different countries?
I was in Vegas for a family vacation. My grandchildren and I were walking on the strip and when my oldest grandson saw the Eiffel Tower, he asked what it was. I tried to explain national identity and realized his four-year old mind couldn’t understand what I was talking about. I ruminated all night and at about dawn, both the format and the name of the series came to me. I wrote Mexico, France, Norway, Turkey, and Kenya that first week, wanting to make sure I explored the “four corners of the earth.”
What do you enjoy most about writing for children?
I love their discovery. I enjoy hearing from parents that they are having fun reading the books and learning right along with their children. When I hear that I created an opening to further discussion or exploration to learn more, or somehow one of my books helped a child deal with peer pressure, problem-solving, or any other kind of distress, I feel completed.
What kinds of things do you like to do when you’re not writing?
I work in a family business, so I am pretty busy with my day job. I do yoga, play with my grandchildren, have lunch with my daughters-in-law, beta-read my son’s books (he is author Michael Phillip Cash). I promote all of our books on social media and keeping our names in the spotlight. I play a wicked game of craps and love Words with Friends.
Who are some of your favorite children’s book authors?
I love JK Rowling. I read Harry Potter when it first came out and was not impressed with it. However, my grandson was having a reading issue in school. I started reading with him on Facetime nightly and now a year and over twenty books later- we are reading for an hour together every night. I adored harry Potter after reading it with him, and will admit was teary when we finished the last book. We are reading the Percy Jackson series right now. He enjoys the Hilo books by Judd Winnick. I loved Martha Doesn’t Like to Share by Samantha Berber, Knuffle Bunny by Mo Wiiems and No, David, by David Shannon are some of my favorites too.
What types of books do you like to read?
I am a big history reader, both fiction and nonfiction. My entire life was spent reading blocks of genres. My 20’s were filled with science fiction, my thirties were spy thrillers, my forties were all about historical romance, fifties were the years of historical fiction and now we are in a free-for all- I’ll read anything.
What would readers be surprised to know about you?
I can work on my books and have an entire conversation while being creative. I am the Queen of Multitasking.
How can readers connect with you?
What are you currently working on?
I have just completed If You Were Me and Lived in...Cuba, as well as If You Were Me and Lived in..the Ancient Mayan Empire. I am finishing up an early reader chapter book- my first called Oh Susannah: It’s in the Bag and I am starting another self-help with my social media partner called Self- Publishing- As Easy as ABC. I am also doing my own Blog radio show called Let’s Say Hello to our Neighbors highlighting children’s books. http://www.podfireradio.com/
What advice would you give aspiring authors?
Don’t be afraid, join a good discussion group on Goodreads and ask questions. Write and when you are done, be prepared to wear multiple hats, otherwise no one will hear about all your hard work.
ABOUT CAROLE P. ROMAN
Carole P. Roman is also the author of the award-winning non-fiction culture series, "If You Were Me and Lived in...", that explores customs and cultures around the world. She has co-authored a self-help book, Navigating Indieworld A Beginners Guide to Self-Publishing and Marketing. She lives on Long Island with her husband and near her children and grandchildren. Carole invites readers to connect with her via her website.