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Nan Evenson thought it would be fun to explore the world and take a few writing classes after her four children grew up. Her first book Good Night (Not Really): Let’s Count Forward AND Backward, has won three awards and she is writing 3 more. She has published five short stories and won two awards for them. Nan is having fun and living her dreams.
Find out more about Nan on her website at https://nanevenson.com
What inspired you to write your first book?
We have four children and many children’s books. When my two grand daughters were born a few years ago, I pulled out all the books. I noticed there were a lot of “count to ten” books as well as “good night” books. It occurred to me to write a backward counting book that is actually a good morning book. Good Night (Not Really): Let’s Count Forward AND Backward was born! It’s the first in the Not Really series, to be followed by The Terrible Day (Not Really): Let’s Count by Twos and I Don’t Want a New Teacher (Not Really): Let’s Count by Fives.
What were the challenges (research, literary, psychological, and logistical) in bringing it to life?
This is such an important question for me. The illustrator of Good Night (Not Really): Let’s Count Forward AND Backward is an enormously talented young woman from Kiev, Ukraine. It has been an incredible journey to work with Karina. Obviously, she is in the middle of a devastating war, and I have no timelines for her to do illustrations for the second book in the Not Really series. Even so, she recently sent me sketches for The Terrible Day (Not Really): Let’s Count by Twos. I am so humbled that she wants to do this work at this time. I hope it brings her calm.
What are your current projects?
My first Not Really book has been amazing to work on. I’m so proud of the whole team, the great reviews and the three awards it has won. My current project is writing the second book in the series, as well as a Young Adult Historical Fiction/Time Travel book. It’s set in the time of the Great Famine in Ireland in the 1850s, and is currently titled, Famine. It’s been challenging to turn so much loss into hope, but the time travel aspect ends up being the key.
Do you see writing as a career?
It is not a “career” for me. I have worked as an Organizational Development Specialist in a large company as well as with teens learning English over my career. But writing is more than a “hobby”, too. I just looked up a synonym for “hobby”, and the word “enthusiasm” is perfect. It’s an enthusiasm. The Thesaurus, my ever-trusty friend…
Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
I used to live in London, where I worked as an off-track bookmaker (horse racing). Many stories! It’s my favorite city ever, along with millions of other people’s. I take any opportunity to go there and write at the British Library. My dream would be to write at 5-10 of the world’s most beautiful libraries.
Which famous person, living or dead, would you like to meet and why?
Wouldn’t it be incredible to meet the person who created the Rosetta Stone? I’ve seen the stone in the British Museum, and it’s sacred. A decree in three languages, carved into stone in 196 BC, is pretty cool. Who did that! Want to have coffee and tell me your story?
What is your favorite quote?
My guiding quote is the title of a book I’ve never read: Just Ask.
Be polite and clear, and then – just ask.
I also like “I don’t know.” These are often the three most intelligent words we can say.
How can readers discover more about you and you work?
First of all, thank you to those who are interested in learning more about my little backward counting, good morning – can be read anytime of the day – book. Please check out my lovely website, nanevenson.com, created by Lost Lake Publishing. In addition, you can find the book on the following sites, as well as on many others. The book was published in London, so it is also widely available in international markets, too. Thanks much and best wishes to all of you in your endeavors.
Good Night (Not Really): Let’s Count Forward AND Backward can be purchased on Amazon or BN.com
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