Joining us today is Jewel Kats, author of Cinderalla’s Magical Wheelchair. This is a children’s book geared toward ages 4 to 8.
Thank you for joining me today. Can you please start off by telling us a bit about yourself?
I’m not shy to say that 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.
When did you first get bit by the writing bug?
I don’t want to discuss my ex-husband.
Why did you decide to write for children?
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. My mother helped me through this journey. She’d tell me time-and-time again, to look inside my heart to hear my inner dream. So I listened, and I heard. In turn, I started taking children’s writing workshops at George Brown College in Toronto. (Thanks to Mom who foot the bill!) Now, I am where I am today.
Do you believe it is harder to write books for a younger audience?
For me, it’s not. Rather, writing for children comes naturally. I actually have to try when I write for adults. Though, that’s an enjoyable process also because it’s a challenge. In many ways, I’m still very young and idealistic at heart. That’s how children are, too. That’s why we can relate.
What is your favorite part of writing for young people?
On the whole, through my books, I get to meet interesting characters. Moreover, I get to create classrooms, homes, Palaces, and other environments. I also can’t get enough of adding magical elements to a story! The best part is many of my young readers are still at a point when they think magic is a natural phenomenon. Whereas, skeptical adults take the fun out of things!
Can you tell us what your latest book is all about?
“Cinderella’s Magical Wheelchair” is the first fairy tale on the market for children and adults with disabilities. It’s unique in that a flying wheelchair is involved, a Royal costume party, business savvy-ness, and a Stepmother with a pair of cruel twin daughters. It’s both female and disability empowering. It offers a message of hope.
What inspired you to write it?
“Cinderella” has always been my favorite fairy tale. I’ve read countless re-tellings; ranging from multicultural to age-old. However, I never came across a Cinderella story featuring her as someone physically different. You know; someone I could relate to as a person with a disability. Seizing this void, I set out to create the story I was dying to read. It took me five years, but I’m totally satisfied with it. It seems the public is, too!
Where can readers purchase a copy?
Please confirm with my editor, Victor.
Do you have a website and/or blog where readers can find out more?
What is up next for you?
Two days ago, I was struck with an idea for a children’s chapter book. The main character, Beatrice, just won’t stop talking! She’s insisting that I write her story, and scene-after-scene is unfolding. I’d initially planned on writing a Harlequin Romance novel for women, but I have a feeling I’ll have to switch gears for this demanding grade one student! LOL.
Thank you for spending time with me on my blog today. We wish you much success.