An H and Five Ws with Award-Winning Author Alan St. Jean

Alan St. Jean wins over kids, teachers, and parents with little more than a stanza when he reads his new Daydreams Collection to classrooms nationwide. Not only does he have a new book hitting shelves, but his birthday is Christmas. So I thought…why not? Let’s do an interview to celebrate Alan’s newest accomplishment: the release of Alyssa and the Spider!

Alan St. Jean's Alyssa and the Spider, illustrated by Libby Carruth Krock
It’s summer vacation, and all young Ralphie wants to do is relax and watch some TV! His little sister, Alyssa, has other plans. She wants to play with her big brother, but Ralphie sends her away. “She’ll be fine,” he reasoned, but Ralphie is wrong! Soon, Alyssa finds a spider, and Alyssa hates spiders. Ralphie hears her screams and begins to wonder, what would happen if his little sis was gone? Ralphie has to save her, but (gulp) he didn’t expect to find a spider so LARGE! Will Ralphie be able to save young Alyssa, or will she have to save her big brother?

Alan St. Jean spent the first 25 years of his career in management when, in 2002, he made a decision to pursue his true passions—writing and teaching. In 2007, he completed the final book of the medieval trilogy Aidan of Oren, an epic tale of friendship for all ages. His next project, a four edition picture book series called The Daydreams Collection, made its debut in 2008. Alyssa and the Spider is the third in this series. Mr. St. Jean lives in Battle Creek, MI. He is available for school visits, speaking engagements, interviews, and workshops. Visit his website at

So let’s pick his brain a bit about Alyssa and the Spider. Without further ado…

An H and Five Ws with Award-Winning Author Alan St. Jean

Will Ralphie be able to save Alyssa from the spider? How did you think of the premise for Alyssa and the Spider?
I wrote Alyssa and the Spider for my little sister; it is based on a true story from way back in the day when we were young.

Who has the final say in your manuscripts?
I do.  Although much input is solicited from friends, experts, and children (ok, children are the real experts) – I have the final say.  The manuscripts are my voice; it is important that I have the final say to ensure continuity and consistency of the work.

What is your favorite part about school visits?
That’s an easy question. My favorite part of school visits is seeing the kids light up and get excited about reading and writing.

Where was your favorite author event/book signing?
It was a book signing combined with a poetry combination here in Battle Creek, Michigan.  I had the opportunity to work with the kids on their poetry and presentation skills prior to the contest, and then served as a judge for the competition.  Book signing followed with a couple of other authors.  It was a very nice, well attended event…and it was great for the kids to feel so involved.

When have you been most frustrated as an author?
I get frustrated when I submit work to publishers that gets returned in seemingly perfect, unread condition, along with a form letter telling me that my work is not what their company is looking for.  It makes me wonder, but it does not dissuade me from writing.

Why do you write children’s books?
I write children’s books because I’m a story teller, I love kids, and because I have great passion for teaching.  I’ve learned that humor and music make great teaching tools, so I incorporate them into my writing every chance I get.

Alan has TONS of resources on his website. Check them out!

If you’re interested in a review copy, an interview, or booking an event, feel free to leave a comment here or get in touch with me! Happy holidays! And happy soon to be Christmas birthday, Alan!

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