*Shout out to Lisa Pellegrene of Publicity With Purpose for sending today’s guest our way.
Marc Joseph is our guest of the day; he resides in Arizona where he and his wife Cathy enjoy spending time with their family. Marc is the author of The Secrets of Retailing “How can I help these stores stay afloat?” retail expert Marc Joseph asked himself while writing this helpful guide looking at the psychology of buying, tips for hiring employees, working successfully with vendors and more. He also writes in the children’s genre under the pen name: Gramps Jeffrey. Marc (aka Gramps Jeffrey) spent a great deal of time throughout the pandemic with his grandchildren, who inspired his 2-book series (so far?). He has written over 100 articles about small businesses, education, the homeless and several other nonprofit topics. Join us in this fascinating discussion about the world of writing, and drop by his site at: https://grampsjeffrey.com
Q: Marc I’m very interested in your recent experiences in the children’s genre. First – what age group do you write for?
A: When I started writing this book, it was for kids from the ages of 2-5. But as I finished the book, I realized that it really was a tool for communications in teaching young children lessons, like what is the difference between “me and us” and answering questions like: “At what age do you actually start taking responsibility for your actions”. So today – I have to say that I wrote the book for grandparents and parents to read with their children.
Q: Why did you write for this particular age group, 2-5?
A: Living this past year because of the pandemic caused by Covid19 in isolation, except for being with my family, gave me the opportunity to really be with and study grandkids from 1 to 8 years old and what a trip that was. Their interaction was the basis for this book. And they now feel like they are truly part of this story.
The book is written in the first person of Jordan, (the main character) who is 2 today and turning 3 tomorrow. Much of the dialogue is what I heard him say, but the book is more of a cumulation of the 4 grandkids that were aged 2-5 at the time of the writing, and some of the dialogue is what I imagined that they were thinking.
This book is really a true story. The images in the book are based on pictures I took and sent to the illustrator so she could turn them into more cartoon pictures. The cover of the book is actually Levi and Jackson in the bathtub where Levi loves wearing goggles and Jackson loves his sea creatures.
We all struggle with sharing. We all struggle with taking responsibility. Most of the habits we have as adults start with what we learn and experience when we are 2,3 and 4 years old.
If I can provide a vehicle for parents and grandparents to start talking about these issues, and kids can see themselves struggling with these issues in a children’s book, then perhaps this book can help start conversations that will help mold us to become better human beings.
Q: Did writing this book change your life?
Keep in mind that I wrote this book during the middle of the pandemic caused by COVID 19. I was in isolation except for being with my family, which gave me a special time to watch and interact with my 6 grandkids.
I had a chance to really focus on being the grandfather you want to be, but rarely get the opportunity to be. Because the book is based on a true story and my grandkids can relate directly with this book, I would say this experience changed my life for the better.
The most memorable moment came from my grandkids when as they were reading the book they said: “That’s me in the bathtub!” and “That’s me playing with my dinosaurs!”.
Q: Where do you hope to take your writing in the future?
I am now working on the second book in this series titled I Don’t Want to Turn 4. My 9-year-old granddaughter approached me last week for an idea on a book called I Don’t Want to Turn 10.
Q: What is the most difficult part of marketing for you, as an author?
You may have the best idea for a product or a book, but unless you can find the right niche audience to buy or read what you have developed, then all of your efforts are wasted. So, finding that audience at a reasonable cost is the most challenging task.
People will react to personal interaction with an author. Take advantage of the latest internet marketing channels to reach out directly to people. Make sure you are on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and more.
Q: Who helped me get where I am?
When I started my own company, I became friendly with a retired investment banker about 20 years older than me. His message was follow your instincts and then follow your heart. He said “If you do not have passion for what you want to accomplish, then move on to another project. Bottom line, passion is what makes us who we are today”.