Brett Fleishman loves to make children laugh and one way he does this is through his books for children of all ages. His books mix whimsical word play with creative illustrations, jokes, and puzzles.
Brett’s latest creations include the following:
1. Toilet Trouble (for beginners)
2. Take a Hike! (for intermediate readers)
3. Bedtime Story (for advanced readers)
Brett was kind enough to grant me an interview and here it is. Enjoy!
- How long have you been writing? What inspired you to write?
I started writing children’s poetry four years ago. Prior to that, I had never written a poem. In fact, up until then, I didn’t know the creative side of my brain existed! Unfortunately, it was a stressful personal situation, going through the early stages of a divorce that inspired me to write. At that time, I was desperately looking for a way to escape from the anxiety around the divorce. Writing children’s poetry was that escape. I guess everything happens for a reason.
- Why do focus on books for children?
Because I am a kid at heart. And I relate to children incredibly well. I’m not convinced my maturity level is too much higher than a 12-year old’s. So it’s a perfectly natural target audience for me. I was always the class clown / goofball growing up. I kind of still am?
- Describe your latest books?
My latest three books, which will be released on Nov 8 through amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com, and indiebound.org, are designed for beginner (grades K-2), intermediate (grades 3-5), and advanced (grades 5-7) readers, respectively. Each book is the second volume in a series of books I am writing for each of these three reading levels. Each book contains a collection of humorous poems with bright, colorful illustrations. The intermediate and advanced books are humorous, but also very educational since many of the poems employ word plays (puns and idioms). In the appendices of these books, I include a section that explains what puns and idioms are, and then explain, poem by poem, how the puns and idioms were used in the poems. Educators and parents seem to really appreciate this aspect of my books.
- What challenges do you face as a writer?
Finding the time to write is my biggest challenge. While I would absolutely love for this to become my full-time job, right now, unfortunately, it’s not. I have an M.B.A. in finance and work in the investment industry. (I’m guessing there aren’t too many investment poets out there.) I also spend a lot of time with my two sons and play competitive tennis. So carving out time to write is my biggest challenge, for sure.
- What are the reactions to your books?
Generally speaking, the feedback has been extremely positive. I have had a lot of parents and educators tell me that my poetry is very high-quality. They like the fact that my poems are not only designed to make children laugh, but also to make children think. For me, that’s what makes writing poetry so much fun.
- What advice would you give to other writers?
I would give other writers the same advice I give myself: Don’t get frustrated. Don’t give up. Believe in what you do. This is a very tough industry to break into. I like to read about all of the super-famous authors who were rejected time after time after time before finally being recognized for their work. If you aren’t persistent and confident in yourself, you aren’t going to last in this business very long.
- What are your future plans?
For Thanksgiving? Or for Christmas? Or for New Year’s? Oh, you mean future plans as a writer? Ah, right… So once these three books are published in November, I will have finished publishing six books in a little more than a year. I’m proud of that, but I’m also exhausted? My first six books all contain collections of poems. But I’ve also written a handful of fairly long poems that I am planning to publish as standalone books. One of them, which is called ‘Chasing Santa Claus,’ I am planning to publish in late 2019. I have hundreds of unpublished poems still, so after ‘Chasing Santa Claus,’ I am planning to publish many more beginner, intermediate, and advanced children’s poetry books starting in 2020 — and continuing on for the next decade (or two).