Monday, October 17, 2011

Interview with Children’s Author JD Holiday

J.D. Holiday is the author and illustrator of two children’s books: Janoose the Goose and The Great Snowball Escapade. A chapbook of her short stories called, Trespasses was published in 1994 and she has had short stories printed in literary magazines and numerous articles about writing and publishing. JD is a co-host of The Writing Mama Show on Blog Talk Radio. She is a member of both The Society of Children’s Writers and Illustrators, and Small Publishers of North America.
JD’s website:
JD'S Blog:

A goose that wears glasses, a fox up to no good, and a barnyard of farm animals make for a story that will delight young readers. Parents, be prepared to read it over and over to your children.” - Author Beverly Stowe McClure

Hello JD. Please tell us about your picture book, Janoose the Goose.

Hi Linda! Thank you for having me on your blog. I'm so happy to be here. Janoose the Goose likes life in the barnyard very much. She is there visiting her cousin, Molly Duck and her baby, DeeDee. Her vacation is over and Janoose must go home because there are no job openings on the farm. When her flight home arrives, the fox has begun a crime spree. Though the farm animals had a farm watch program once, they were no good at it! Janoose is the only one who can stop him.

Your book sounds fascinating. Where did you get your inspiration for this book?

It comes right out of my childhood. My father gave me two nicknames. My first name is Janice and when I was very young, my father would tease me by calling me, Janoose the goose. I actually developed a life for the goose. That is what inspired my story! When I was in my teens my father began calling my JD. 

That is so funny. My husband uses rhyming names for our kids, also. I enjoyed the review by Jean S. Eisele. She wrote, “This could be the beginning of the Janoose the Goose detective stories - sort of like the Hercule Poirot sleuth of the barnyard.” Hercule Poirot? I love that series. Tell us your thoughts about this review.

I was surprised and pleased that it was clear that Janoose was a problem solver. In the story, Janoose is trying to figure out why the fox is coming to the farm and chasing her friends around. So she is somewhat of a sleuth herself. I had no intentions of having a series when I wrote Janoose but my 5 year old grandson has encouraged me to write a second Janoose book and I'm in the writing stages now. Janoose will be following the trail of her nemesis, the fox, in this one too.

I think a series like this would be fun. It would be something an adult would enjoy reading to her child or grandchild. You have another book called The Great Snowball Escapade. What is it about?

This story also comes out of my childhood. As a child, every winter day that snow was on the ground I would spend time on the hill in front of the high school near where I lived sledding. I loved sledding!

The Great Snowball Escapade is a chapter book for 6 to 8 year olds. The young girl in it is Wilhemena Brooks. Wil's, as she likes to be called, cousin Bud Dunphry comes to live with her family. Right around Christmas Wil finds her new pink pencil sharpener is missing. And Wil knows Bud has it! Who else would have taken it?

Bud has problems! He doesn’t like girls and in fact, Bud doesn’t like anybody. Wil tries to ignore him but he pulls her friends hair, takes over games at school, and when Bud is in trouble he makes his “you’re going to get it” face at her.

After a snowstorm closes school, Wil and her friends go sled riding. Bud shows up and starts a snowball fight, which lands Wil in her room for the rest of the day for fighting. When her pencil sharpener is found, right where she left it, on the piano, Wil decides she has to try harder to understand her cousin and stay out of trouble. Her mother told her to be nice to Bud and to treat him like she would like to be treated. Wil doesn't think this will work. And if she treats Bud nicely does that mean he'll be nice to her? Of course, you will have to read the book to find out! 

I like the message you’re giving your readers, that we should treat others the way we would like to be treated. Okay, now it’s time to tell us something about the real you that we’ll never forget.

I developed the plot line for the published version of Janoose The Goose while shopping for pillows! The original version of Janoose The Goose was a nursery rhyme, and in the 1990's I had begun to think that the old type of nursery rhyme with what the fox was really going to do to the members of the barnyard was not what I wanted children reading my books to have to think about. And while pillow shopping I realized the farm community, especially those who have feathers, had another reason to be afraid of the fox and it gives Janoose the perfect reason to chase the fox away. This might give you a good hint as to what goes on in the story.

I love it! Apparently pillow shopping relaxes you so much that you can think more clearly and come up with great plots. So if you’re ever stumped with another plot, just go pillow shopping! Hahaha! Thanks, Jan, for this fun interview.


brendajean said...

How cute that she wrote a book that's titled her nickname. Sounds darling:)

bchild5 at aol dot com

Kate Lovan said...

I love the pictures- bright and cheerful! I also like that Janoose is a problem solver- it will give me a theme to talk about in our library story times! Kate

Melanie Ski said...

I love any picture book that is about farming!! Cute, cute Janoose the Goose. Great interview!

apple blossom said...

Janoose the Goose sounds like a cute book. Being a teacher, Children's books hold a special place in my heart. I'd love to be included in this book giveaway thanks.

ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

Tina Peterson said...

Both of these books sound really cute although I'm really interested in Janoose the Goose. It sounds like a very good book.

Thanks for the giveaway
Tina "The book lady"
familyliteracy2 (at) gmail

Linda Kish said...

This looks like a very cute book.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Clarbojahn said...

I *Met* JD last year at the muse online writer's conference. So excited that she gave this interview and I got to know her better. Would love being part of this give away. My email is Clarikebowmanjahn at yahoo dot com.

Clarbojahn said...

Hi Linda, I would be honored if you would interview me for my children's book "Annie's Special Day". You can contact me at Clarikebowmanjahn at yahoo dot com. Look forward to hearing from you. Clar

Jan said...

Wow! Thank you everyone for the wonderful comments. It's so nice to hear what you all have to say.
And I can't thank Linda enough for having me on her blog!
Thank you, Linda!

Best to all!

chirth7 said...

Hi Linda and JD!

I love to buy books for my best friends son. I can go over board but I have always loved books and childrens books since I was little. I'd love to win this book and pass it on to Kaleb. I know he'd love it! He loves to be read too. I love that the goose chases the fox away. I can't wait to hear the story myself now. :)

Thanks, Christine

Margaret said...

My kids would love this one! Thanks for the giveaway!


Linda Kish said...

This looks like a very cute book.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Linda Weaver Clarke said...

Congratulations, Christine Hirth! You are the winner of this wonderful children's book. I know the children you read this to will enjoy it very much.

Anonymous said...

Enjoyed the interview. CONGRATS to the winner!