Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Interview with Carole P. Roman

Hi everyone and welcome to day 2 of my children's week. Today we welcome author Carole P. Roman.
You can check out two of her books and my reviews HERE.
Keep reading and find out more about her and her sweet books.


Award winning author Carole P. Roman is a former teacher turned businesswoman. She has successfully run a family business with her husband that employs close to five hundred people. Her most favorite job is being grandmother to her many grandchildren.  

Roman has two wonderful sons and hit the jackpot in the daughter-in-law department. She currently lives on Long Island with her husband.

Her first book, Captain No Beard - An Imaginary Tale of a Pirate's Life has been named to Kirkus Reviews' Best of 2012 as well garnered the star of remarkable merit.  Captain No Beard has developed in a series of 3 more books.  

Her next project is the book series I Want To Do Yoga Too.  She is currently working on a new educational series that explores different cultures from a child's point of view.


Ruty: Why did you decide to write children books? 
Carole: My older son self-published a book on Createspace.  He dared me to write one as well.  I sat down, thought about a game I play with my grandson, Alexander, and Captain No Beard was born. The story just flowed out, and as soon as I finished it, and dedicated it to my grandson, I had to write another.  You see, at the time, I had two grandchildren at the time, so Hallie had to get her own book as well, and “I Want To Do Yoga Too” was created.

I was overwhelmed with the response.  “Captain No Beard- An Imaginary Tale of a Pirate’s Life” was named to Kirkus Reviews’ Best of 2012, as well as received the Star of Remarkable Merit and then the Pinnacle Award for one of the Best Indie Children’s Books for 2013.  I wrote “Pepper Parrot’s Problem with Patience” and that has gotten 5 Stars from the ForeWord Review-The Clarion Review.  You see, I had another grandchild, and she needed a book dedication as well! This encouraged me to write three more Captain No Beards and gave me the confidence to write my non- fiction series “If You Were Me and Lived in…”

Ruty: How has your experience as a teacher helped you writing them? 
Carole: I loved teaching and even though I left profession almost forty years ago, I think teaching never leaves you! I love to read, especially about history or culture.  I enjoy teaching the kids little facts to make things interesting.  “If You Were Me and Lived in …Mexico” was the result of a walk on the strip in Las Vegas.  We talked about the different countries represented in the facades of the casinos.  A trip to Disney”s “It’s a Small World” reinforced all we discussed.  They kids were fascinated with all  the trivia we talked about.  I simply put it in a book form I thought might appeal to little one.  What would they notice or want to know about another country?  What could tempt them to want to learn more? Many years ago I was the “go to” sub in our local school, there were not a lot of jobs around.  I had a huge bag filled with things to keep the children’s interest and  used many of the ideas that made me a sought after substitute. 

Ruty: How long can take to write and illustrate one of your books? 
Carole: Writing the books comes fast and furious. I usually get an idea, right at dawn when my head is really clear.  I go to work, five miles from home, write it down and then read it to my sons.  I have picked the same illustrators for each of the series.  We have never spoken, but they are wonderfully intuitive and seem to understand exactly what I want to convey.  They are not allowed a credit per the contract at Createspace and that makes me sad, because they deserve it.  We do a storyboard of ink, once we agree, they do a color version.  After that’s approved, we finalized it and then we place the text on the correct picture.  The whole process takes a few months and each time we do another segment, it’s as exciting as my birthday!  It’s like unwrapping presents.  I am sort of addicted to the whole process.  The staff is wonderful and has been gentle with my lack of computer knowledge. 

Ruty: Being a grandmother surely has motivated you to write these books, how much inspiration do you take from your grandchildren? 
Carole: I remember my parents talking of being grandparents and thinking they were exaggerating about the experience.  Being a grandmother is the most amazing part of my life.  I adore these children. I love seeing my kids, my daughters in law and even my own parents in their faces.  They make me laugh like nobody else.  We rush though life so fast.  I remember someone said to me, that the days drag, but the years fly.  Life took off, so looking at these babies, playing with them, I now try to press the “hold” button and really savor everything.  Alexander is full of energy, and questions.  He has a vivid imagination and will play any game I can think of, from our brave pirate to the captain of a starship.  Hallie is the most reasonable and charming little girl.  Her tenacity to work though challenges is inspiring.  Cayla is the most adorable roly poly who is ready for anything, at any time.  Her smile lights up the universe. Yes, I would say they inspire me!

Ruty: How has been the experience of being a children’s author?
Carole: I am having the time of my life. I have worked since I am sixteen and have enjoyed so many and successful careers. I love creating something that is enjoyed by others.  When I have read the books at local schools, I am staggered by the rapt faces of my listeners.  They are loving the adventure. They get it!  I have had so many notes from people thanking me for the positive influence of the stories, or of the cultural series, I feel relevant.  I don’t want to sit back and watch the show, I love being in the show!

Ruty: Why do you consider is important to children to learn about other cultures?
Carole: Information is the best weapon against intolerance. The world is at our fingertips today, how can we not want to learn about why we do things a certain way, or not want to know we are all basically the same. If things are demystified, they lose the strangeness that separates us. 

Ruty: Do you consider there is an appropriate age for kids to learn about other cultures or anytime is perfect?
Carole: I started teaching my children and grandchildren about different cultures form the minute they sat up.  We sampled different foods, I took them to every house of worship I could find. We discussed the beauty of all religions, art, clothes.  We like the excitement of comparing information and finding a commonality. I exposed them to ethnic music from the time they were born.  Like I said, the world and all its beauty is at our fingertips in so many different ways.

Ruty: How many books are you planning to publish for this series?
Carole: If they sell, I will keep going.  I started with five.  I took a county from each corner of the world and wanted them to be as diverse as I could.  Mexico is my first and it seemed fitting to discuss our close neighbor to the south.  I chose France next, because I love French history.  I have a shop where I go weekly and always ask about their home, South Korea. As it was in Asia, I knew very little about the country, it was a natural.  We eat in a Turkish restaurant and it was a perfect country for the middle east. Up north, I picked Norway, and the whole thing was a revelation for me, and lastly Kenya called to me from Africa. My hairdresser is Russian, I want to do England, my friend has asked for Poland and my bankers have said they’d help with India and Pakistan.  My neighbor sent me info on Hungary. Lady Selah Sujuris from Storyteller’s Campfire radio has asked me to do her Native American Tribe in Canada. I WANT TO DO IT ALL!  I am loving this, but they are very expensive and must pay for themselves.  If it takes off, the sky is the limit. I would love to expand and do “If You Were Me and Lived in …the Middle Ages, or Ancient Rome.  


Ruty: Captain No Beard has the purpose to teach valuable lesson to kids, isn’t it? Why do you think is important to do that?
Carole: It’s better to learn though discussion rather when  we hurt each other.  Each of the books tackles skirmishes we address every day with children.  The first book in the CNB series was about loyalty, leadership, responsibility.  Pepper’ s book is about tolerance, understanding and patience, Doldrums shows the outcome when we don’t play nice or share.  It also teaches that grudges don’t solve the problem.  Strangers on the High Seas – due out this week, reminds children not to talk to strangers or approach and touch animals they don’t know.  The big lesson is not to judge friends because we think they don’t fit certain molds.  Help can come from the most unexpected places!

Ruty: How many books are you planning to write about Captain No Beard?
Carole: I have written 11 children’s  books this year.  Five Captain No Beards, Five Cultural Books, and one yoga book.  I would love to match it next year- we’ll see how it goes!

1 comment:

  1. Haha well what better way to motivate than a dare, eh? I really enjoy some MG books once in a while. My fav are those adventures that are friendship and magic filled! :)


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