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Interview: Meet Award-Winning Author Jewel Kats

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Jewel Kats is an award-winning writer. She’s also one tough cookie. At the age of nine, Jewel endured a car accident. Her physical abilities altered forever. She spent weeks in the hospital and has survived eight leg surgeries. She currently walks with a cane. “It’s fashionably hand painted!” shared Jewel, who was also not shy in declaring, “I’m a disability activist. I believe all humans and animals have the right to be treated with respect — regardless of their abilities. I’m very passionate about social issues and that’s why I use my writing skills to bring to light issues regarding sexual abuse, disabilities and multicultural awareness.”

Jewel for six years has penned a syndicated teen advice column for Scripps-Howard News Service and TorStar Syndication Services. “After my syndicated advice column and marriage ended, my life came to a standstill. I had time to think about what I wanted to pursue. I started taking children’s writing workshops at George Brown College in Toronto,” said Jewel.

Since then Jewel has penned three children’s books, including: Reena’s Bollywood Dream, What Do You Use to Help Your Body? and her latest book Cinderella’s Magical Wheelchair. “As a children’s author, I often observe little ones keenly to capture them on a written page. I’m taught to try to imagine the world through their eyes,” shared Jewel. “In my children’s book, What Do You Use to Help Your Body? a young girl named, Maggie loves going on walks with her momma. What makes these walks so special is during every outing, Maggie learns about something new. Maggie doesn’t just stop to chit-chat. Rather, she gets to the bottom of things. By asking the right question, she discovers how many people with disabilities use aids to help them out.”

Jewel did share an interesting confession when we started talking about her recent book, Cinderella’s Magical Wheelchair. “I don’t read stacks of books and never watch TV. I’m always too busy working! When I don’t have my hands on my keyboard — either writing or surfing the web — you’ll catch me on my blackberry. When I’m not doing either, I’m out and about visiting family or at home reading a comic book. I also love every version of Cinderella.”

Jewel’s book, Cinderella’s Magical Wheelchair is an inspiring book, which shows that all children can achieve their dreams, even if they need a wheelchair. The story has Cinderella slaving away for her cranky sisters and stepmother. However, the twist is that Cinderella is in a wheelchair! “This new spin on a beloved fairytale demonstrates that people with disabilities can overcome abuse and build a new future. The book is upbeat and builds young readers’ self-esteem,” proclaimed Jewel. “I’ve always, always loved fairy tale classical stories for children. It’s my dream to be the first author to re-write these stories with a disability twist. I’ll make sure it happens.”

Jewel also plans to fulfill another childhood dream by writing a Harlequin Romance novel. “I recently finished the plot and character outline. It’s going to be a definite challenge as it’s for a whole new audience. However, challenges make up life, right?” posed Jewel.

If anyone can do, I believe Jewel Kats can. She is one author who not only inspires her readers, but those who have been bitten by the writing bug as well. She is truly living her dreams and not letting anything stop her.

Jewel Kats is currently part of the World of Ink November 2011 Author/Book Tour. You can find Jewel’s schedule at Stories For Children Publishing. There will be giveaways, reviews, interviews, guest posts and more. Make sure to stop by and interact with Kats and the hosts at the different stops by leaving comments and/or questions.

In addition, come listen to the November 7, 2011 Blog Talk Radio’s World of Ink Network show Stories for Children. The hosts VS Grenier, Kris Quinn Chirstopherson, and Irene Roth chatted with Jewel Kats about her books, writing, the publishing industry and experiences with virtual tours. Kats will also be sharing writing tips and trials, and tribulations of the writer’s life.

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