A: Well, a lot of things actually. At first I just wanted to check my German skills. I have learned this interesting and tongue breaking language two years ago. I already planed to write children's fairy tales before I started to learn a foreign language. Then I was inspired during a walk near a swamp with a great fairy atmosphere around it. I have always loved children's books and films. I feel attracted by the free and creative thinking aspect children usually have.
BBB: How long did it take you to write The Enchanted Sixth Road?
A: Just the writing took only two hours, but the spelling correction took eight hours. I, fortunately, had some help from a very kind German teacher. The writing and the correction of the English version was easier. I found a French, great gifted illustrator, who needed the story in English. So I rewrote the fairy tale in English as I am Dutch originally.
BBB: Was The Enchanted Sixth Road the first book you ever wrote?
A: Yes, it is my first book, but I have written for magazines and branch related literature for several projects, also with the purpose to find some free publicity.
A: Well, with an eBook, you turn your story into a large project. In my opinion the eBook has to have an interactive function. The function of my bedtime fairy tale storybook, turned into a language educative fairy tale. The reader can look at both languages at the same time and listen to the pronunciation and compare, just by touching the screen with his finger. To make it even more interactive, I have thought up some games, like memory, slide puzzle, word-button sliding and so on. To create an eBook, you certainly need help. I was fortuned enough to work with an illustrator, a composer and a software developer.
With an eBook, you as an author are in control over everything, with every opportunity open, you can use all your creativity. This part I enjoined extremely, but the project expands, and afterwards you have to find a way to arrange marketing activities. It doesn't sell on its own. So on your question, do I recommend this option to others, I have to say, that depends on the demands and expectations of the author.
BBB: Do you have a favorite topic to write about?
A: Sweet fairy tales with humor and a moral. In The Enchanted Sixth Road the moral is, not everything is the way it seems to be. For instance, the teacher, who is not very clever, is the one that solves the problem.
BBB: What do you hope children will learn from your book?
A: I hope they will be motivated to start things they would like to do, just by trying it out. I hope they just speak and read the other language, they would like to know, even if they think they make mistakes. Practice makes perfect.
BBB: How were your illustrations created?
A: Kevan, the illustrator works with clay. He creates miniature characters, photographs them and then he edits the whole image by computer. He works with a great feeling for drama and humor, and puts his own little story into the illustration. For instance, just a figurant child runs after a lost balloon and you as an author just thought of a happy end illustration.
BBB: Are you working on any other books?
A: Yes, of course, I have written part two and I am working on Onno and Limei. Onno is a boy from Zürich, who hates school and loves to play in is own fantasy. He travels with his toy train to the Yangtze river in China, where he meets a girl who desires to go to school. He helps her to make that possible, he stays with her for five days. And now within 3 pages I must have find my happy end.
The Enchanted Sixth Road is available for iTunes and the Android Market. You can find out more by following the links below:
iTunes: The Enchanted Sixth Road
Andriod Market: The Enchanted Sixth Road