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Interview with Patti B. Jefferson, Author and Illustrator of ‘How Long Will You Love Me?’

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pbjpalmsPatti Brassard Jefferson lives under a palm tree in sunny Florida with her husband, Ken & her two rescued mutts, Marley & Mollie. She began drawing when she was a little girl and didn’t know that she was suppose to stop playing with crayons and chalk when she grew up. How Long Will You Love Me is the first children’s’ book that Ms. Jefferson has written & illustrated. When she is not working on her next book, she is usually working on a mosaic, painting or wishing she knew how to cook.

Do you plan everything or just let the story flow?

My first reaction to this question was that I absolutely just let it flow! I realized, however, that I write outlines for the text and plan out storyboards for the illustrations right from the start. So I think my actual response is that I try to let the creative thoughts flow but into a semi-planned space.

Do your characters ever want to take over the story?

Luckily in the world of children’s books, the story isn’t very long so I have a pretty good handle on it. I do have characters that demand their own spin-off stories so I am trying to fit some of those into my schedule.

What is your favorite food?

I have a theory that any food dish that tastes good would taste even better with cheese, bacon or garlic. In generally I try to eat pretty healthy but chocolate is just so yummy!

Are you a morning person or a night owl?

I am definitely a night owl. Unfortunately, my dogs, Mollie & Marley, are both morning people.  I think I would like mornings if they just started later in the day.

Where do you dream of traveling to and why?

I would like to go to Italy and see some of the ancient mosaics. I also have a deep love of blue water, sand and colourful foliage so I’d love to explore the beaches of Greece, too.

Do distant places feature in your books?

In my books, animals talk. That’s kind of a distance place in and of itself.

Do you listen to music while writing? 

Not while I am writing because I need to hear the cadence of my rhymes and count syllables. It’s a different story though when I am illustrating. I often have on head phones and listen to Pandora radio. I created a station of 80’s music with artists like Don Henley, Cyndi Lauper and Prince. I have one that is reggae with folks like Bob Marley, Burning Spear and Pato Banton. Lately the station I listen to most is one I call Raspy Radio which is guys like Bob Dylan, Van Morrison and Johnny Cash — great storytellers with gravel tones

What have you learned about writing and publishing since you first started?

It’s definitely a different world. I did a ton of research on the whole process before I started but, by far, the best decision I made was in choosing the right publisher. You really need to find someone that shares your vision not only of the book in your hand but also all of the future books that are still in your head. As an author/illustrator, I  don’t have to know everything about publishing but I do need to surround myself with the right team of people who do.

Is there anything you would do differently?

Any mistakes or missteps that I have made along the way got me to where I am so I don’t think I would change anything. I put off launching my career until I was 50 but, in honesty, it was when I was ready. Maybe I took too long to submit my book the first time but the disappointment from that made me more determined. I am glad I launched the KickStarter campaign for the funding because that actually helped me on a whole bunch of levels — not just financially.

Follow Patti Brassard Jefferson:

Author Website:  www.HowLongWillYouLoveMe.com
Blog Address: www.1crayonshort.blogspot.com
Twitter URL: pbjmosaic
Facebook URL: facebook.com/pbrassard
Facebook Fan Page URL: facebook.com/howlongwillyouloveme

You can find out more about Patti Brassard Jefferson, her work and World of Ink Author/Book Tour at http://tinyurl.com/pxvhsc7

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About VS Grenier

  • Patti Brassard Jefferson

    Thank you for a fun interview! I appreciate it!