I randomly met author Alan St. Jean while doing market research for one of my good ol’ Ohio clients. He gave me some amazing self-publishing input; I was hired as his publicist. Since my move down south, I’ve had to cut back on freelancing. However, I have continued to watch Alan’s career expand and grow. I have continued to be impressed by his ambition and resourcefulness; so of course, I had to ask him to be my second H and Five W’s victim.
Alan St. Jean was born in Pittsburgh, PA, on Christmas Day, 1962. He grew up in central Ohio and attended college at The Ohio State University, graduating in 1985 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration. Alan spent the first twenty years of his professional career in business and management when, in 2002, he made a life changing decision to pursue his true passion, which is a love for writing and teaching. In 2007, he completed the final book of the award winning Aidan of Oren medieval trilogy, a heartwarming and epic tale of friendship and courage written for all ages. His next project, a four edition picture book series called The Daydreams Collection made its debut in 2008 to overwhelming excitement and acceptance by schools and children alike.
How did you become a writer?
My path to writing is quite unusual. I had no intentions of being an author, and no illusions of getting published. I wrote the book, Aidan of Oren: The Journey Begins, to go along with other items I planned to sell in a new company I founded called Oren Village. It was a doll company—a collectible doll company. I tried to mirror the successful business platform of the American Girl doll company but having my own line of dolls and books. The bad news is, in the post-9/11 economy, people just weren’t buying $150 collectible dolls anymore, and my fledgling company did not survive. The good news is that Aidan of Oren got published, and I was contracted to visit schools to help market the book. It was then that I realized what I truly loved to do…write children’s books and work with kids.
Who is your biggest literary influence?
CS Lewis. He wrote for the right reasons—to leave something behind for his children and his grandchildren. His stories carried with them lessons for his children that were meant to teach them about life and help them grow in many ways.
What is your preferred genre?
Fiction and fantasy, absolutely. Some people are good at nonfiction; some people are good at detailing biographical information. But, for me, I’m best when I’m just making things up.
Where do you get your inspiration?
All around me—everything I see, feel, touch. But mostly, when I see the excitement in the eyes of a child that’s reading one of my books, it’s THAT inspiration that lights the fire of confidence and determination to write the very best books I can.
When is your best time to write?
It varies. Sometimes the wee hours of the morning, sometimes late at night, sometimes during the middle of the day. Inspiration hits when inspiration hits. And, if I were to be honest, inspiration really hits when deadlines become ominous. There is no fuel for inspiration like that of a tight deadline.
Why are you a writer?
First, I’ve found that writing is like breathing for the soul. It’s good medicine, regardless of whether or not what I write will be published. Also, I want to teach, and I want to leave something behind after I’m gone, something of value. But most of all, I write with the hope that my words can make a positive difference in the life of a child. There is no higher calling.
Thanks for all this amazing information, Alan!
A little more about this talented author:
Currently, Alan is working on a young adult thriller called The Chronicles of Oren, scheduled for publication during the summer of 2010. A talented speaker, Alan spends much of his time visiting schools and teaching children about the writing process. In his spare time, he can be found at his piano, where he is also an accomplished musician and songwriter. Alan is a life-long Pittsburgh Steelers football fan and enjoys books written by C.S. Lewis, epic movies like Lord of the Rings as well as haunting thrillers like The Sixth Sense.
Places to buy the books:
For SIGNED books – Author Website: www.alanstjean.com
Barnes & Noble