Elias: Happy to be here, Jourden?
Jourden: This is the biggest honour of my life, Elias.
Elias: You use a pen name, Teddy O'Malley. How many aliases do you have and are you really a double agent working with the North Koreans?
Jourden: I am not working for the North Koreans. As to whether I am a double agent, I am not at liberty to discuss! I only have two aliases, my pen name (Teddy) and my real name (Jourden.) However, when I was a kid I was not fond of my first name and tried on several different aliases. It often confused people!
Elias: Everybody knows you're Jourden Renee and Teddy O'Malley, so why still use a pseudonym? Are you hoping my slugs will get confused and attack the wrong one?
Jourden: I like the idea that if someone who hasn't met me is searching for my book, then my name is easy to pronounce and memorable! However, if it helps fend off slugs, then that's great too! Also, in some alternate universe in my mind, Teddy is a nickname for Jourden.
Elias: Why did you choose the pen name, Teddy O'Malley? What's wrong with Elias Zapple, Version 2?
Jourden: Teddy is cute and cuddly. It brings to mind fond images of childhood like a teddy bear! Who doesn't love teddy bears? I think it's possible that Elias Zapple, Version 2 was already taken. O'Malley is to honour my Irish heritage.
Elias: What was the inspiration for your book, 'Tell Me How You Say Good Night'? Were you inspired when Coco the Slug came to visit you and outstayed her welcome?
Jourden: Actually, I was inspired by an unexpected surprise of six adorable puppies, Alistair, Humphrey, Jean-Luc, Michaela, Marilyn (Mary), and Magdalena (Maggie). I took a lot of photos and put them together with the idea of the book in mind for a few months. I ended up publishing it as a way to both honour Alistair (who I lost on April 9, 2013) and share my love of puppies and languages with the world!
Elias: You used puppies for 'Tell Me How You Say Good Night' when everybody knows slugs are cuter. Why didn't you use slugs?
Jourden: Mainly because I have puppies and not slugs. I do have a kitten book planned for the future, but no slug books planned as of yet!
Elias: In your other book, 'Bristol's Big Wish' the protagonist - Bristol, wishes for a best friend. Her doll Mallory then comes to life. Wouldn't it have been better if Bristol had had a cabbage and became best friends with that?
Jourden: I don't think I've seen a little girl become friends with a cabbage yet, but I haven't seen everything! Bristol's Big Wish was actually inspired by my own doll that I had when I was a child. Her name was Mallory too! And Mallory's personality was inspired by my best friend at the time.
Elias: Did Vincent the Slug do the illustrations for Bristol's Big Wish?
Jourden: I didn't know that Vincent the slug was an illustrator. I have illustrated all of my books so far. Bristol's Big Wish is done in “virtual acrylic”. It's a medium I really liked working with.
Elias: Aside from infiltrating the NSA, what other projects do you have planned?
Jourden: My next step will be to convert Bristol's Big Wish into an eBook. Then I am trying to get Tell Me How You Say I Love You out by Valentine's Day. I also have more than ten manuscripts on my computer and around my office screaming, “Me next! Me next!”, but I'm easily distracted. And terrible with deadlines.
Elias: Are you the one taking cabbages from my cabbage patch?
Jourden: If they were genetically modified cabbages, then the answer is no.
Elias: Tell us about your writing process. Is it like mine? Tea, throw a cabbage, prick a finger, grill a slug then write?
Jourden: If you exchange tea for soda, 'throw a cabbage' for 'check Facebook a little too often', and remove the other two, then write, yes.
Actually, I have a sort of complicated process. Writing is the first and easiest part of the process for me. As I said before I have several manuscripts lying around waiting to be edited and illustrated. After I've written a piece I edit, edit, edit, then I get distracted and check Facebook or take a phone call.
I edit some more. My content editor suggests changes. I curse the book. Then I edit some more. After all that editing is done, I illustrate the book. That usually takes about two weeks. Getting the proof in the mail is like Christmas and makes the whole frustrating process totally worth it!
Thank you, Jourden.
Destiny and Faith Go To Twincentric Academy!
Destiny and Faith are going into second grade and their mom has a great idea. She's going to send them to a school for twins! They're not sure whether to be excited or terrified. Come join them and see what happens!
Destiny And Faith's Summer Adventures (Volume 2)
Faith and I are out of school for the summer, and we are eager to explore and seek new adventures! We'll start by checking out the new neighbors and their rickety old house. But what do a creepy old house, American Sign Language, and purple lemonade have in common? Come join us and find out!
Tell Me How You Say Good Night
With visually stimulating photos of puppies you can help your child say "Good night" in English, Spanish, French, German, and Italian. Tell Me How You Say Good Night is the perfect book for bedtime. Parents and children can enjoy this story and learn together as they say "Good night" to each little puppy.
Bristol's Big Wish
Bristol only wishes for one thing. She wants to have a best friend. But what will happen when Bristol's favorite doll Mallory comes to life? Will Bristol ever get her wish for a friend?
My moustache is great, my slugs are great, my cabbages are great and Elias Zapple is meh.