Hi, everyone! Welcome to another edition in the ‘A Kansas Author’ blog series. Until the author fair at the Topeka Public Library, most of the authors I rubbed elbows with were all over the country and even the world. I didn’t really know too many of the folks here. It’s been a pleasure to get to know some authors who live right around the corner!
Today my interview is with Jan Allison.
Welcome, Jan. I’m so glad to have the opportunity to interview you.
J: Thank you!
Are you originally from Kansas?
J: Yes, Dodge City.
Have you lived in Kansas your whole life?
J: Yes, for 73 years
Wonderful! When did you start your writing journey?
J: I was the curriculum person at McConnell AFB in Wichita and in charge of the preschool curriculum. I found a need for books on Kansas history written for a lower age level. I knew that for that age, one could not appropriately write in detail about history, but could instead create stories to suggest happenings from historical accounts for young children. I got carried away and ended up with a book, Abigail, that was for 8 – 13 year-old children. I have presented it across Kansas and it has been well received.
Are you self-published or traditionally published?
J: Self published.
Is there a reason you took the Indie route?
J: My thoughts on self publishing are, we only live so long. To wait for some of the big wigs to be convinced to publish your works could take forever. Also, my friend wrote a metaphor in the form of a children’s book. It was steeped in religious rhetoric and the big wigs wrote back and said that it was a “cute book”. There is no way that book was “cute.”
I couldn’t agree with you more. I don’t hold any grudges against the traditional route, but there is a lot of waiting involved.
I can see Historical Fiction is your genre of choice.
J: Children need to learn about their state. In fact, history in general.
Is there something you’re working on now?
J: I’m working on research into the Comanche tribe after they were driven into Oklahoma. It will be released in 2017.
Jan, what has been your biggest challenge in life?
J: I have had many personal challenges in my life. My father was a philanderer and didn’t have much time for his wife or family. I was tall and gawky growing up. Bullied. I have not written about my adversities, but will at some time to help others through these problems.
Speaking of bullying… do you feel that the anti-bullying movement has helped to decrease bullying in schools?
J: Bullying has had more exposure now than in previous years. I don’t think it is worse now, but more attention is being paid to it. I was bullied unmercifully in junior high and the teachers seemed too join in and laugh it off.
That’s awful! I think the movement is especially important. Technology certainly has it’s value, but it has it’s drawbacks too. It’s much easier to bully now than it used to be.
Do you still work with children?
J: I now teach at Countryside U M Preschool as a music teacher.
Awesome. Lucky kids!
Who’s your favorite author?
J: I love Chris Van Allsburg.
What is the best book you’ve read recently?
J: A More Perfect Union by Dr Ben Carson.
And a few fun questions. Chocolate or vanilla?
Here, here! Coffee or tea?
Hot breakfast or cold?
J: No breakfast.
That’s me on the weekends. Dessert before or after your meal?
J: No dessert.
*Gasp!* I wish that I could honestly say that.
Thanks so much for being here, Jan. I wish you the best!