Friday, July 26, 2013

Interview with Jodi Desautels

Good Morning Jodi - I have heard so much about you but for those folks who haven't stumbled across you yet let's start by telling us about yourself...

Hi Ingrid, I am a children’s book author/illustrator as well as an educator. I live with my husband and mother-in-law in the country. I enjoy nature, photography, and caring for others.

Sounds like the perfect life...Is writing your full time career?

No. I am a full-time caregiver for my mother-in-law. The time home with her gives me the time to write and illustrate, as well as grow my online education site.

The internet is definitely the way forward for education now.  Kids are engaged with learning in a way they weren't a few decades ago... What is the worst job that you have ever done, and why?

I do not know if I have had “the worst job.” I guess I have been lucky in that respect. I have had a few that I haven’t cared for much. But… not any that stand out as “the worst.”

Lucky you - I could spout off a list as long as my arm LOL...If you could have written any other book by any other author, what would it be, and why?

I am not sure. I think it would be “The Giving Tree” by Shel Silverstein. I think it is a great book for depicting how nature provides so much to us. It is the book I bought myself when I found out that I got my first teaching job.

What Genre is your work – Do you have any plans to work outside of it?

Both of my books so far are children’s books. One is a concept book addressing colors and feelings. The other book is one which depicts a strategy for motivating children who do not like to read very much to do so. (Although, it is a great story for any child.)

I have Clarinda Cloud on my list pending review and I am looking forward to getting to it!!! What inspired you to write your first book?

Well, I haven’t even mentioned my first book, because it is no longer in print. (I will have it republished when I have a chance to re-illustrate it.) The idea for my first book, “There Were Always Noises,” came from my first experience of hearing rain on a tin roof for the first time.

That sounds great - I love the fact that you can illustrate as well as write.   I have ideas for children's books but because I don't know one end of a paintbrush from the other I don't think it is a genre that I will actively pursue...Although never say never - Maybe I could convince my son to collaborate with me at some stage - He is a brilliant artist!!  Moving on, Do  you ever get ideas at random moments, and if so how do you hang onto them?

Yes, I sometimes get ideas at random times. I try to write them down or at least a note of some sort as soon as possible. (I try to keep paper with me at all times.) But… it doesn’t always work like that. I have lost ideas before.

I think everyone has lost ideas, however I like to think that they are floating around somewhere in the back of your mind just waiting for the right moment to pop back up in a stronger, more defined form... Do you have a structure when you are writing, and if so what?

No, not really. I will often times go on an idea and see if it is something I like.

Which was your favourite character to write, and why?

Actually, I think my favorite character to write is on a story that isn’t illustrated or published yet. But… of the characters I have written, I would say Johnny. He is like so many children who do not like to read. Yet, with the right care and motivation, children will often enjoy learning.

My daughter went from hating reading to the point where she can't get enough of it.  It is definitely down to the right tools and support package. Do you read for pleasure or out of habit?

I read for many reasons. I read for pleasure, for research, to learn, to write… for all kinds of reasons.

What are you reading at the moment, and why?

I just finished reading “Writing Workshop: The Essential Guide” by Ralph Fletcher and JoAnn Portalupi. It was the textbook for a class I was taking.

Sounds like a book every writer and aspiring writer should have!!! Meat eater or vegetarian?

Bring on the steak!

YUK!!!!!! Snow or ice and why?

Definitely snow! First of all, if you have driven in both, you might suspect that snow is much better. Also, snow is so beautiful with all the lovely shapes of the flakes. It looks breath-taking hanging on the trees with the “winter wonderland look!”

What is your favourite movie and why?

LOL! I think this is the most difficult question you have posed. I like many movies. I do not know if I can choose just one. I like family movies mostly. Let’s see, at one time, my favorite movie was “The Sound of Music.” I have always had a special place in my heart for nuns as I thought, at one point, that I wanted to be one and, I think that what that family and others went through and did to survive and stick to their values….was just inspirational.

Jodi - a nun - never!!!  I still enjoy the Sound of Music too.  It is one of those movies that I used to watch every single year as a child with my mam.  It's timeless and the songs stay with you forever. Do you have an opinion on life after death, and if so what?

Sounds better than death after life. ;-) Well, I do not know all the logistics of it, but do believe that the spirit lives on.

Good answer!!! When you eat out would you choose Chinese, Indian or Italian, or other, if so what?

Hmmm. I have not had Indian food. But… I like both of the others. I would say that my favorite is Italian… but… I have Chinese when I am out more than Italian.

Never had Indian Food?? I don't believe you!! EVERYONE has had Indian food LOL.  It is my husband's favourite.  Promise me that you will try it next time you are out and I want you to take a photograph of the menu and your meal and send it to me as proof, okay???? London, Paris or New York and why?

LOL! I have been to all three. I think I have to say that London is my favorite though. It has such a rich heritage…with many nice surrounding villages/towns.

Ah yes, the home counties...It's not quite as bo ho where I come from. What do you have in the pipeline?

Well, I am currently about half way finished with an activity book that is based on “Clarinda Cloud.” I am also developing a webinar program that will give schools and libraries an opportunity to let authors and illustrators have a virtual visit. The latter is called “The Storyteller’s Tale.” I have a few children’s stories that need to be illustrated as well. So… I have my plate full at the moment. LOL!

Sounds like you do - and if you want any help breaking into the UK schools (Not literally I hasten to add!!!) just let me know. What inspired you to be a writer?

I’m not sure. I didn’t like to write when I was in school. Maybe because I always seem to have something to say. LOL!

Do you write poetry or short stories as well? If so what?

No. I haven’t tried writing either one of those genres. I would like to try writing a novel and possibly a short story in the future.

What is your earliest childhood memory?

My earliest memory is a horrid dream I had about snakes. I thought they were everywhere… all over the room.

Hmmm, I am sure the mind doctor would have plenty to say about that LOL. How do you overcome writers block?

Sometimes it isn’t easy. Often times I will chat with another author, read, or go outside in the country for some inspiration and serenity. Those things usually help.

Where would you like to be in 5 year time?

I would like to be able to make a living writing and educating… hopefully independently. Most importantly, I would like to continue to learn, grow and thrive as person… to try my best in all that I do.

If you only had 60 seconds remaining on this planet, what would you say, and who would you say it to?

I’m not sure. I would think that I would want to say, “I love you,” to someone… my family, my friends, God, whom ever may be there. Yet, I don’t know if I could say until I get to that point.

Yeah  who knows whether you would even be able to speak, or whether blind panic would set in...  Chocolate or pizza?

You will probably think that I am strange, but I would like to say neither. I will eat pizza a little bit, as long as it has the toppings I like and is cooked to my satisfaction. But, I am really not that enthusiastic about either. And, I do not really care for chocolate at all.

Yes definitely weird - How an you NOT like chocolate.   I think I am going to have serious words with you LOL. Can you write on demand and under pressure, or do you need time and space before the creativity starts to flow?

I can do both. But, I would rather write when the creativity hits me.

What advice would you give your 18 year old self?

I would tell myself or anyone to: “Always follow your heart, do what you feel is right, try new things, get to know yourself, always speak your peace, and do not let anyone hold you back.”


To find out more about Jodi's work and her educational material check out the following links. 

Ingrid Hall is the author of Granny Irene's Guide to the Afterlife - Revenge.   She offers reviews and interviews to indie authors at

1 comment:

  1. Nice interview Ingrid with Author Jodi Desautels.


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