Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Author Interview & Book Giveaway - Jean Fischer - Part I

Author Jean Fischer and I met on Facebook. After getting to know each other and visiting each other's blogs, I asked Jean if she'd do an interview, and she graciously agreed.

Jean Fischer is a professional writer with a solid background in publishing. Her writing career began at Golden Books where she worked as an editor and creative manager. As a freelance writer, she has co-written and ghostwritten children's books with Christian authors/teachers John MacArthur, Dr John C. Maxwell and Thomas Kinkade. She has also created devotions for the Adventures in Odyssey series concepted by Dr. James Dobson. Jean lives in Racine, WI where she is proudly owned by two house cats and a ring-necked turle dove. You can contact Jean through her Web site. 1. Jean, I understand you worked for Golden Books. Nurse Nancy was one of my favorite stories. Would you share a bit of your experience from your days at the company?

Hi, Susan. Thanks for having me here at the Christian Writer/Reader Connection.

I had just graduated from college when I was hired as an associate editor at Golden Books. I had planned to work in their Book Division, but I was assigned to the Activity Products Division instead. It was the best thing that could have happened. Not only did I gain a wealth of experience about publishing storybooks, but also about a variety of other book formats including word search and crossword puzzles, coloring books, books with stickers and tracing pages, and even educational workbooks.

During my almost 20 years with the company, I did everything from planning and writing to approving book samples as they came off the printing presses. My most rewarding experience at Golden was managing the creative development of books with audio. In that capacity, I worked with Sesame Street, Nickelodeon, Jim Davis (creator of the Garfield comic strips) and other children's entertainment companies. Along with writing the audio scripts, I attended recording sessions in New York and Chicago. It was an amazing experience and also great fun.

2. Some of our readers are interested in freelancing. How do you typically obtain jobs?

Unlike most freelancers, I don't rely on online job boards to find work. I spend hours on the Internet researching publishers who use freelance writers. I especially look for smaller niche publishers that fit my qualifications. For example, I have a degree in elementary education and a strong background writing for children, so I researched book packagers/book producers who act as the middleman for big educational companies. That led to freelance jobs writing language arts textbooks for major educational publishers. Sometimes, the best way in is through the back door.

My advice to your readers interested in freelancing is to read and learn about how the publishing industry works. Big companies often subcontract book development to smaller companies (book packagers and producers). Freelance opportunities can be found there by contacting the Human Resources Departments. It takes time to research and find these smaller companies, but if you connect with one, it can lead to some solid freelance work.

Thanks, Jean. We'll continue with Part II next Wednesday, 9/23/09.

Jean has offered to give away a signed copy of her latest book, Kids' Bible Dictionary, to the winner of a drawing. To enter, simply comment and leave your email address in the usual spam-busting format (susanjreinhardt (at)____ (dot) com). Winners will be drawn from comments to this post and the 9/23/09 post. Limit two entries per person (1 from each post). I'll send along the winner's snail mail address to Jean, who will ship the book directly to you. Contest ends Saturday, September 26, 2009 at midnight. The winner will be announced Sunday, September 27, 2009.

43 comments:

Diane said...

Thanks so much!
estrella8888(at)roadrunner(dot)com

Jessica said...

What a neat interview and job she has! Thank you for sharing it. I wish I had the qualifications to even try that out.

THanks for the info, and please enter me. :-)

jessica_nelson AT yahoo Dot com

Karen Lange said...

Susan - Great interview! Thanks also to Jean for taking the time to share with us. Lots of good info; I'm going to check into Jean's suggestions. Kindly enter me in the giveaway. klange61@hotmail.com
Thanks and blessings!

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Diane -

Thanks for entering.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Jess -

I thought all of you might find Jean's experience and insights of interest.

Have a great time at ACFW!

Blessings,
Susan :)

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Karen -

Don't forget to enter again next Wednesday when Part II of the interview runs. Woohoo! Two chances to win!

Blessings,
Susan :)

Pastor Barbara said...

Thanks for sharing these interviews with us.

Barbara Bruneau
bbruneau001 AT luthersem DOT edu

Stina Rose said...

Very interesting interview. Sign me up Susan! stinarose(at)bell(dot)net

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Pastor Barbara -

Thanks for stopping by and entering the drawing. Jean's a fascinating woman and has a wealth of knowledge.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Stina Rose -

Thanks for entering! Don't forget to get your second entry in next Wednesday.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Jamie said...

Jean is quite accomplished and thanks for the advice about approaching smaller publishing houses. But am most impressed with her ability to keep turtle dove happy (and alive) with two cats as roomies.

Jamie Miles said...

Jean is quite accomplished and thanks for the advice about approaching smaller publishing houses. But am most impressed with her ability to keep turtle dove happy (and alive) with two cats as roomies.

Lynn McCallum said...

Thanks for the great interview!

Wanda said...

I would love to be entered in your draw. Thanks!
wandanamgreb(at)gmail(dot)com

quietspirit said...

Susan:
Thanks for sharing Jean's history and thoughts with us.

cll4him(at)sbcglobal(dot)net

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Jamie -

Welcome to my blog! I post here Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

Maybe Jean will stop in and let us in on her secret to keeping peace between the kitties and dove. :)

If you want to enter the drawing, please leave another comment with your email address. :)

Blessings,
Susan

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Lynn -

Welcome! I'm glad you enjoyed the interview.

If you wish to enter the drawing, please leave your email address.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Quiet Spirit -

Thanks for entering the drawing.

I thought it was interesting how she was assigned to a different department than originally planned. The change gave her experience that would benefit her later in her career.

We are sometimes disappointed when things don't work out as we thought they should. Perhaps we're being prepared for a different path.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Wanda -

Welcome to my blog! Be sure to stop in next Wednesday and comment for another entry.

I post here Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Jeanette Levellie said...

HI, Susan.
What a fun lady Jean is, and you conducted a great interview!
Please enter me in the drawing,
Jeanette

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Jen -

She is a fun lady, and I love her blogs. One is called, "From the Compost Pile." Is that a great name or what?

I've entered you in the drawing.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Jean Fischer said...

Hi, Susan and Everyone!

Thank you for your very kind compliments.

Now, regarding the cats and the dove. I inherited the dove from my mom when she died. I already had two housecats. Amazingly, they all get along great. The cats don't seem to know that an indoor bird is the same as an outdoor bird, but just to be sure, I never let the bird out of its cage. Its a big cage, and the bird is quite content to stay inside.

One of my cats is quite attached to the dove. He sits outside the cage and lets "Lucky" "kiss" him on the nose. Is that cute, or what?

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Jean -

Thanks for popping by and saying, "Hello," to us. I'm sure everyone will enjoy the story of your dove-friendly kitties. :)

Blessings,
Susan

Linda said...

Hi Jean,

Wow! Impressive resume! I feel honored to have written the Camp Club Girls books with you. Blessings on your writing and ministry.

llcarlblom(at)yahoo(dot)com

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Linda -

Welcome to Christian Writer/Reader Connection! I post here Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

Thanks for entering the drawing.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Jean Fischer said...

Hi, Linda.

It was an honor to write the Camp Club Girls series with you, as well. I hope that readers here will check out your web page to learn about you and your Interactive Children's Sermons: http://www.lindacarlblom.com.

Blessings to you, Linda!
Jean

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Jean -

Thanks for stopping by again. I'll have to check out Linda's site.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Maria I. Morgan said...

Thoroughly enjoyed the interview! Christian Writer/Reader Connection is a great blog find for me! Thanks for sharing.

morgan.maria.i@gmail.com

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Maria -

Welcome! I'm so glad you found Christian Writer/Reader Connection. I post here Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

Thanks for entering the drawing. Have a great day.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Janet Halfmann said...

What fun to read about a fellow writer with whom I worked at Golden Books. Great interview. I look forward to the second part.

janetdothalfmannatgmaildotcom

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Janet -

Welcome to my blog. :) It's nice to "meet" you.

Thanks for entering the drawing.

Blessings,
Susan :)

cstironkat said...

Great interview and full of positive energy. THank you.

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Cstironkat -

Welcome to Christian Writer/Reader Connection! Thanks for commenting.

I hope you'll come back again.

Blessings,
Susan :)

~Tami said...

I'd love to win this one for my kiddos!
Tami
mymadakaja at yahoo dot com

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Tami -

Welcome and thanks for entering the drawing. Don't forget to check out Wednesday's post for another chance to win Jean's book.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Mama Hill said...

Awesome! My boys would get great use out of it! Thanks!

ralphandtara at gmail dot com

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Mama Hill -

Welcome to Christian Writer/Reader Connection! I post here Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

Tomorrow, be sure to comment on the remainder of Jean's interview for another entry into the drawing.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Amanda S. said...

I'd love to win! Thanks!

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Amanda -

Thanks for entering the drawing. Please leave another comment with your email address so I have a way to reach you if you win.

I hope you'll check out tomorrow's post and comment. Each person is allowed two entries.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Lily said...

Hubby and I listen to Adventures in Odyssey on the radio! I know it's a kid's show, but we like it.

Jean's freelance advice is not something I've read before.

I'd love to win the Bible Dictionary for my grands!

mzzlily (at)live (dot)com

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Lily -

LOL! I just suggested you come over here in response to your Part II comment.

Jean has a lot of freelance experience. Since many people are interested in going that route, I knew her words of wisdom would be timely.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Leslie said...

Sounds like good advice regarding freelance writing! (If I ever get there!!)

Hope you're doing well! Sorry to hear about your computer!

ottosmom1964(at)hotmail(dot)com

Love and Blessings, Leslie

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Leslie -

LOL! We all start off feeling that way.

Thanks for stopping by and entering the contest. Hope to see you at the October writers meeting.

Blessings,
Susan :)