Benjamin would rather read about adventures in a giant peach than eat one!
Unlike his family members who are happily munching away on scraps, Benjamin is a different kind of worm. He loves to read. Yet, all he finds are old newspapers and magazines full of tomato splotches. Not one to give up on his dreams, Benjamin sets off on a quest to find “real” books.
Hello book lovers! Today is a day where I will be writing another author spotlight for a well-accomplished author whose work I have loved. As you know book lovers I love learning about authors and the inspiration behind their work, it fascinates me and adds to the depth of the book because the reader will be able to better understand it. That is how the author spotlights were created because I soon discovered that you lovely readers ALSO love learning about author’s, so I am excited to tell you a little bit more about author R.G de Rouen whose book Books for Benjamin is a charming and insightful children’s tale that shouldn’t be missed. With today’s author spotlight, a biography of the author and an interview between me and R.G de Rouen will be shared, and I hope that you book lovers enjoy reading it! To kick this off here is an author bio about the wonderful R.G de Rouen!
R.G. de Rouen is a graduate of the Institute of Children’s Literature in Connecticut and writes books that inspire a love of reading with a pinch of humor along the way. He has been working these past 25 years as an elementary teacher throughout the world.
Books For Benjamin is his first book for children. Like his fictional character Benjamin, R.G. de Rouen can’t live without books!
Now, how wonderful does R.G de Rouen sound?! R.G de Rouen is a truly exceptional writer and I hope that you lovely readers have a read of the author’s work because you will not regret it! Please see below an interview between me and the author and I hope that you enjoy R.G de Rouen’s answers to my questions, they are incredible and provide some great advice too!
Thank you for joining us today at Red Headed Book Lover! Please tell us more about yourself
I grew up in Carmel, California, and have been working these past 25 years as an elementary teacher in international schools throughout the world. Born in Korea to an American father and a German mother, I consider myself to be a true “Third Culture” kid. Not only later in life, but also as a youngster, my family moved a lot (as my father was in the U.S. military). My parents always stressed the value of getting to know other cultures, which my wife and I have tried to pass on to our two daughters.
I am a graduate of the Institute of Children’s Literature in Connecticut and enjoy teaching creative writing skills to my students.
Could you please tell us readers about your book and what inspired you to write your book?
The idea for Books For Benjamin came about while visiting the Library of Congress. I thought it would be great to have a character that loves books so much that he or she has to go on a quest to find them. I thought the LOC as a housing for the world’s greatest depository of items (not only books) would be an ideal setting. During the visit, I learned about Thomas Jefferson’s contribution to the library and his famous quote, “I cannot live without books.” This inspired me to create Benjamin, a bookworm (only the name stems from Benjamin Franklin, another great man who cherished learning and reading). Benjamin and books go well together. I also like the alliteration in Books and Benjamin and used that in the title.
What would your advice be for aspiring writers?
First of all, to never give up on your dreams! When I started the manuscript I just published, the internet was just taking off and there was no Amazon to help Indie authors. Life got in the way, and manuscripts were put aside, but the hope remained that one day I could call myself a writer.
Secondly, put your personality into your work as much as possible. This will show your very own style and your passion for the project.
In your opinion, what is the most important thing about a book?
I hope for kids to find both entertainment and education in a book. A book that inspires reading will have the most beneficial impact on their lives.
What is your writing process like?
I like to be around people and love to hang out in cafes. That’s where I get the most inspiration and work done. Often, when I write a draft, I like to come up with the beginning and ending first. It’s the pesky middles that I sometimes struggle with. I bounce ideas off my two daughters and my wife a lot.
I also find it helpful to get away from the manuscript for a while in order to shed new light on any issues. In addition, I do appreciate to get the critical input of professional editors.
What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?
Research was needed for the back matter of the book. I not only would like kids to enjoy an entertaining book but also to learn the facts. Books For Benjamin, for example, gives a fictionalized story of how the copyright symbol came about.
Do you have a set schedule for writing, or do you only write when you feel inspired?
Unfortunately, I have never been able to stick to a regular schedule for writing. When my kids were young and I was teaching full-time in schools, I simply didn’t find the time to incorporate writing to a daily schedule. Today, my kids are grown, yet I still don’t find the time to write every day. I do enjoy teaching creative writing daily to my students, so, in a sense, this could count.
Do you read much and if so who are your favorite authors?
Oh, this is a hard one. I have many favorite authors and I love to read. I especially love historical fiction. Give me anything about the medieval period, and I’m hooked (like Ken Follett’s Pillars of the Earth series). I am also a big fan of Charles Dickens, especially A Tale of Two Cities.
As a kid I enjoyed the humor of Roald Dahl as well as mystery books like Encyclopedia Brown by Donald Sobol.
Lastly, when can we readers expect to read more wonderful books from you?
In the next few months, Mother To Elephants should be ready for publication. It is another picture book, but this time a non-fiction one. It tells the biographical story of a lady who has rescued orphaned elephants with the goal of returning them to the wild. And a sequel to Books For Benjamin is already under way.
Its official book lovers, I am obsessed with R.G de Rouen! If you have liked what you have read about the author and are interested in learning more, then please do have a browse of the links below and be sure to have a read of the preview too! You will not regret it.
Goodbye for now book lovers,