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Author Interview With Jens Lyon

Updated on August 23, 2018
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I am the author of three middle grade children's books, and I blog on the side. My favorite topics are movies, writing, and pop culture.

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Introduction

The writers I have interviewed have taught me a lot about the self-publishing industry, and I always look forward to hearing about their approach to writing and publishing. Author Jens Lyon (pen name) published her book as a teaching tool to be used to put on musicals in class, getting kids out of lecture mode and into hands-on learning about dinosaurs and other animals. She has utilized her elementary education degree and unique imagination to create her 50 page story. Be sure to check out her book and our interview below!

The Interview

1. How many books have you written and where can you buy them?

I started writing when I was eight, but Time Trip: A Dinosaur Musical is the first book I've published. It's about a team of scientists in the year 2121 who travel to the Cretaceous period, unaware that their science center's lone resident crocodile has stowed away on board their time machine. Most of what happens in the Cretaceous period is seen from the crocodile's perspective. This crocodile has always lived in captivity and is amazed by this whole new world filled with reptiles who are both strange and familiar. Eventually, the crocodile has to decide whether to stay in the Cretaceous period or go back to the year 2121.

Time Trip: A Dinosaur Musical is available at Amazon.

For those in the European Union, check your country’s Amazon page. Type "Jens Lyon" into the search window and my book should pop up. I don’t know if Amazon plans to sell it anywhere else.

You can also buy my book via CreateSpace.

2. What famous books can you compare to your own?

It's a little bit like The Magic School Bus series, where the characters travel to various locations and learn about science.

H.G. Wells created the first literary time machine, so I owe him a debt of gratitude.

Time Trip: A Dinosaur Musical is similar to the various Reader's Theater books in the sense that the story is in the form of a script. But Reader's Theater is mainly for classroom readings without scenery, costumes, or props. My book can be used that way, too. However, it has a special section for teachers who are interested in staging a full-scale school musical with all the bells and whistles. Song lyrics based on traditional children's/folk tunes are woven into the script. They are also included separately so teachers can easily reproduce them and distribute them to students.

3. Why do you write for this particular age group?

I usually write for adult readers, but I have a degree in elementary education and I've worked with kids in this age group (8-12). A friend of mine who teaches music at a Montessori school asked me to write a dinosaur play for her students. That’s how Time Trip: A Dinosaur Musical was "born."

4. How autobiographical are your books?

Most of my writing is not autobiographical. I enjoy just making stuff up!

The teachers' section in Time Trip: A Dinosaur Musical does contain some details from real life, especially about the original show we put on at the Montessori school. There were certain things that worked well for us that I wanted to share. For example, if you are building a time machine out of cardboard, decorate it with a string of LED lights!

5. What’s the best compliment that you’ve ever received about your writing?

When someone needs a writer and asks me to do the job, I consider that a compliment.

6. What has been your greatest moment as a writer so far?

Seeing a published copy of Time Trip: A Dinosaur Musical for the first time was a great moment. A real book— yay!

7. Where do you get your covers?

I made the artwork for the cover for Time Trip: A Dinosaur Musical myself. The cover design came from one of the CreateSpace templates. I spent a lot of time playing around with the colors until I found a combination that looked right.

8. Who is your biggest fan?

My parents and my nieces are my biggest fans.

9. What is next for you?

I plan to publish a novel for adults called Red Flags. It’s a coming-of-age story about an elite figure skater from the Soviet Union.

10. End with a favorite quote.

"There's just one person in the whole world like you. And people can like you just the way you are—" - Fred Rogers

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