Suzy Liebermann author and illustrator of Hugo The Happy Starfish
A native of Germany and former resident of the Dominican Republic, Mexico, the Islands of the Bahamas and Switzerland, Suzy Liebermann —now living in South Florida, USA—has traveled the world in pursuit of language, art, and culture.
Having found it, she now shares it with the world’s teachers, parents, and children through educational literature. Leveraging her decades of global experience teaching in German, Spanish, French, and English with a degree in foreign language translation and a master’s degree in business and international business, she launched Happy Language Kids LLC in 2010 as an interactive language learning program for children and their young-at-heart elders.
This program is particularly aligned with the aims and values she upheld as a teacher of cultural art and foreign language at a prestigiousInternationalBaccalaureateWorldSchool.
I want to thank you for being my guest here on Mymcbooks Blog
What is the last book you read?
Caribbeanby James A. Michener
What were your earliest memories of writing?
I grew up in a little village inGermany. Cruising the streets I always had a little notebook with me writing funny little skits which my friends and I acted out later on.
Were you encouraged to write or was it something that came natural?
Both! I have always been a “doodler”. When I started my job as a teacher the teaching sources in that particular area of teaching were scarce. Therefore I developed the HUGO THE HAPPY STARFISH series to help me teach the curriculum, IBO principles, the attitudes and the Spanish language at the same time.
Are you working on a new book?
Yes …. all the time!
What inspired you to write Hugo the Happy Starfish wants to be different?
I believe that children of all ages want to be happy and this most assuredly can be gained through self-esteem. The vehicle I chose to demonstrate this is HUGO THE HAPPY STARFISH WANTS TO BE DIFFERENT and it actually teaches children that self-esteem is gained by being the best you can be and learn how to appreciate who and what you are.
Great ideal to mix English and a native language in the book; what was your ideal behind that?
I feel that learning a language develops a part of our brain that no other academic exercise can accomplish in addition it helps children to become well rounded and educated individuals – again adding to their self worth.
How did you come up with the characters?
The characters are chosen by my interpretation of how their general appearance dictates their personality. They are all based on sea life that I have encountered on my trip to the Bahamas.
Have you ever suffered from writer’s block?
Absolutely. There are days when I can write and the words just come to me and then there are days where I cannot get a sentence together. I use this time to illustrate my characters in order to have some feeling of accomplishment at the end of the day.
What is the most difficult part of writing?
For me it is the marketing – not so much the writing part.
What do you do when you’re not writing or promoting your books?
That seldom happens. I love to travel and put a smile on other people’s face. I enjoy different countries, their cultures and the interaction with the children. I enjoy my friends and family and having a good time with them.
When time permits I ballroom dance, ride my bike, rollerblade and swim.
How do you react to a bad review?
If it comes from someone who does comprehend what my books message I don’t pay much attention to it. If it comes from someone who is knowledgeable in the field I take it as constructive and learn from it.
What do you hope that readers will take away from your book?
The ability tohandle life’s situations with the proper attitude thereby gaining self-esteem and a love of life.
Who are some of your favorite authors you would love to dine with?
Shel Silverstein, Barack Obama, Howard Brinkow
What discipline do you impose on yourself regarding schedules, goals, etc.?
I usually do things that I don’t like first, so I don’t have to deal with them later.
I am always thinking about my stories and taking notes through the day until I am able to sit down and put a story together.
What advice would you give parents on selecting the right books for their children to read?
They should select books that are fun and educational while at the same time build character.
What advice you would give to new writers?
Live within your means and do not over extend so you do have the time to develop your writing.
Is there anything else you would like to share with our readers?
Enjoy your children, while they are still young. Read to them as much as you can and make every day special for them. Teach them to love who they are, and look forward to who they will become.