Wednesday, 24 October 2007 06:36
Q. When did you know you wanted to be a writer and what inspired you?
A. I didn't know until my first child was born. Reading children's books with her gave me such pleasure that I began dreaming up stories of my own.
Q. How do you get ideas for stories?
A. From life. From things that have happened to me or my family, or from issues that have impacted me in some way.
Q. How long does it take you to complete a book?
A. Well, since I write everything from toddler books to 300-page historical fiction novels, that varies a great deal. Sometimes I can write the first draft of a picture book in a day, and refine it in a week. Other times it takes much longer. Novels take me a year or more, and historical novels take several years when I include time spent in research.
Q. Did you have any role models as a child and who were they?
A. I learned persistence and the value of hard work from my parents. Without these qualities I never could have been a writer. I also admired Walt Disney and dreamed of being an animator for Disney Studios. That was before I really understood what animators do. I think I believed that the Disney characters would sit on my desk and talk to me the way they talked to Walt on the show. I think the seeds of creating for children might have begun with those early dreams of being able to cross over into a fantasy world.
Q. Do you have any advice for kids who want to write or illustrate?
A. Yes. Read. Read. Read. And write, write, write. Writing is like anything else. It takes practice to make perfect. I'd recommend trying to find other kids who are also interested in writing and forming a writers group. If you don't know any, ask your local or school librarian to help you find some writing friends. Remember, too, that it can take many years to become a writer. It took me over 10 - and hundreds of rejections. Be patient.
Q. Do you have any pets or a favorite animal?
A. Yes, I have two dogs - Labrador Retrievers - a yellow one named Sara and a Black one named Cassie. You can see pictures of them - and of my family too, at my website: Jackie French Koller's Home Page
Q. What are your hobbies?
A. Gardening, painting, reading, quilting, and making elaborate gingerbread houses. You can see those at my website as well.
Click here to visit Jackie French Koller's website
Below is a list of Jackie French Koller books:
Bouncing on the Bed
Dragons and Kings
Dragons of Krad
If I Had One Wish...
The Last Voyage of the Misty Day
Nickommoh : A Thanksgiving Celebration
No Such Thing
Nothing to Fear
One Monkey Too Many
A Place to Call Home
The Primrose Way
All of these books can be purchased at amazon.com