Saturday, February 20, 2016

Interview: Reading for Jewish Children

Hi! I am Carolyn Howard Johnson, your trusty New Book Review blogger and author of the multi award-winning HowTo Do It Frugally Series of books for writers. This blog has heretofore been exclusive for reviews but I thought I’d do a special series of interviews after I chatted with Jeanie Loiacono, President of Loiacono Literary Agency – Where ‘can’t’ is not in our vocabulary!  I thought sharing the interviews would help the many subscribers and visitors to this New Book Review blog, including authors, reviewers, and, of course, readers who just might find a new favorite author among the featured books and authors.

So, today welcome Bracha Goetz. 

Bracha Goetz is the Harvard-educated author of thirty children’s books, including  Remarkable Park,  Let Your Fingers Do the Mitzvos and The Invisible Book. She also coordinates a Big Brother Big Sister Program for Jewish Community Services in Baltimore, Maryland.

Her first published piece was a poem that appeared in McCall’s magazine when she won a Junior McCall’s contest as a twelve-year-old.  Years later, she was the editor of her high school paper, and later on, helped coordinate and contributed an essay to the anthology, Women Look at Biology Looking at Women, while at Harvard, which became a text for many women’s studies courses nationwide. Her writing has, since then and up until now, almost exclusively been aimed at the religious Jewish population;  being interviewed twice (2009, 2010) on the Zev Brenner Radio show in NY, the most popular Orthodox Jewish radio show. What Do You See on Purim? A fun way for toddlers to learn vocabulary! Teaches toddlers about the holiday of Purim with a bright and colorful word-and-picture book!  Children will learn basic vocabulary while becoming familiar with the objects and concepts that are unique to this special holiday. It’s available from Judaica Press and in the local Jewish bookstores!

She also has a chapter entitled “From Harvard to Homemaking” in new release from Coffeetown Press called Torn: True Stories of Kids, Career & the Conflict of Modern Motherhood.
She has recently released What Do You See At School?  and Because of a Smile . Available online and in Jewish bookstores – What Do You See On Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur? 
Her latest release is Hashem’s Candy Store

“What do you think you would see if you opened the door? What would you find on the shelves in Hashem’s Candy Store?

In this adorable book by bestselling author Bracha Goetz, kids will learn the most amazing things about some of the yummiest “candy” available on the market – namely, the delicious fruits and vegetables that Hashem created.

“Children will devour the captivating rhymes and illustrations…and don’t be surprised if you soon find them beginning to devour their fruits and veggies, too!” — Bracha
Hashem’s Candy Store is available both online and in Jewish bookstores.

1.      What is your genre? Is it fiction or nonfiction? I am the author of thirty picture books. Some of them are fiction and some are non-fiction.
2.      What made you want to be a writer? I love reading children’s books, and I wanted to write the kind of books that I wished I could have read when I was a child—spiritual children’s books with answers to life’s deepest questions, presented in a delightfully simple way.
3.      Of all the authors out there, who inspired you most? Anne Frank
4.      What is your writing style? Do you outline? Linearly? By scene? Why? When ideas pop into my head, I jot them down, even if it is in the middle of the night. I keep a pad and pen near my bed for that purpose so I can go back to sleep after writing it down. Then when I have some time, like when I am a passenger in a long car ride or taking a plane trip, I play with the ideas that I have jotted down and see where we can go.
5.      Do you write every day? How much? How long? I probably write something every day, whether it’s editing a piece I once wrote, or communicating about my writing to others.
6.      Do you think reading is as important to writing for an author? Why? I think reading is as important because it opens up the writer’s mind to go in new directions.
7.      What are some of the things you would like to share with budding authors? As soon as I get a rejection, I try to do something with the manuscript, whether that means sending it to a different place or revising it. If I don’t respond quickly, then it will just sit and go nowhere, and I wrote it to get it out into the world.
8.      Do you have any marketing and promotional advice, referrals, tips you would like to share? Email blasts are still very effective when new material is published, but the emails need to be kept short as they are often viewed on phones now.
9.      Do you think conferences are beneficial? If so, what have you learned? Which ones do you frequent? I attended conferences when I began writing professionally and found them very helpful at that time. I think they must have helped me learn how to get my foot into doors.
10.  Where can we find you, your books and when is your next event? All of my books can be found on my Author Amazon Page: . These are picture books for Jewish children, but soon I will have spiritual kids’ books for all children (and their parents and teachers) to enjoy as well! My next event that is open to the public (not at a school) is on Sunday, December 12 from 10 to 11:30 am at the Leon Weiner Jewish Library in the Young Israel of Houston in Houston, Texas. I will attach a flyer I just received about this event. Amazon Author Page – Bracha Goetz  David Clarke Blog Talk Radio Interview  Bracha Goetz books/images  Listen to Bracha reading her books  
Represented by Loiacono Literary Agency, Jeanie Loiacono

Jeanie Loiacono, President, Loiacono Literary Agency
A facilitator of dreams, Jeanie Loiacono represents over eighty authors. Her forte is mystery, romance, thrillers, historical/military/southern fiction, and all quality fiction/nonfiction. Her passion is to see her authors succeed.

“There is nothing more rewarding than to hold one of my author’s books and know I helped bring it to fruition. I am so blessed and privileged to be able to work with some of the most talented writers in the world.”



The New Book Review is blogged by Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of the multi award-winning HowToDoItFrugally series of books for writers. It is a free service offered to those who want to encourage the reading of books they love. That includes authors who want to share their favorite reviews, reviewers who'd like to see their reviews get more exposure, and readers who want to shout out praise of books they've read. Please see submission guidelines on the left of this page. Reviews and essays are indexed by genre, reviewer names, and review sites. Writers will find the search engine handy for gleaning the names of small publishers. Find other writer-related blogs at Sharing with Writers and The Frugal, Smart and Tuned-In Editor.

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