Lis Drage is the bestselling author of the Lacey series, a trilogy of children’s books that bring fun and warmth to every reader. It’s my absolute pleasure to announce that Lis has just launched her third children’s book, Yup! To celebrate the release, we sat down and chatted about the book.
MIRIAM LAUNDRY: Hey Lis! Congratulations on your third children’s book. Can you tell us who this book is for and how you started writing it?
LIS DRAGE: Yup! is for children aged four to eight years old. I had the idea sometime in late 2016, and I wrote it in the beginning of 2017.
ML: What has your author journey looked like so far? What inspired you to continue writing?
LD: Well, the writing seemed easy, and fun. The publishing … It had its challenging parts. The whole process has created a lot of space for personal growth to overcome my fears: fear of judgement, fear of failing, even fear of success. It’s allowed me to venture into the ‘uncomfortable’, and be ok with that as I learn something new. But after doing it once, the journey was so rewarding, I knew I could do it again!
ML: What was the inspiration behind this book?
LD: Well, my maternal grandfather was an English teacher and school principal, and he was very strict on grammar. So strict, I’m told, that he made my dad take a grammar test before allowing him to date my mom! He would ALWAYS correct me if I said ‘yup’ or ‘nope’. They were not proper English! It sometimes drove me nuts, but it stuck with me. Sure, I still say ‘yup’ all the time, but I always think of him when I do.
ML: What was your biggest challenge when writing this book?
LD: Again, I chose to write in rhyme, which is always challenging because I’m very particular about it. But to bring in different words from different languages and keep it rhyming? That was interesting. I searched so many languages to find ‘yes’ words that rhymed.
I’ve learned to let go of a lot of my perfection issues — that ‘done’ is better than some unreachable level of perfection I used to set for myself. It makes things move so much faster when I let go of that kind of stuff.
ML: How was publishing this children’s book different from the other two books?
LD: It was SO much easier! I procrastinated on every single step while publishing my first book either out of not knowing how to do something or by letting my fears get in the way, and I almost bailed on the whole thing many times. But now, knowing what to expect, knowing what comes next, knowing where things get uncomfortable for me, recognizing when to ask for help … it all makes it so much easier to get through to the finished product.
ML: Why did you decide to join Publishing Mastermind Pro for this children’s book?
LD: I joined the Mastermind program because I know myself; I know my weaknesses around procrastinating and staying on track, and my fears of marketing and promoting. I knew this Mastermind program would help me stay focused and help me push through my fears and give me the deadlines I needed to stay on track.
It feels so good to be amongst a group of people who are all working towards the same goal. No matter where you are in the process, they are there cheering you on … literally cheering on zoom calls or social media; someone was always saying ‘WOOO’ each step of the way. And in return, I got to be a cheerleader for those people as well!
ML: Do you have a fond memory from the publishing process?
LD: I loved watching my mom read the book, knowing it was inspired by her father. She laughed and she and my dad reminisced on my grandfather’s near obsession with proper English and grammar. I loved hearing the stories.
ML: If you could give any advice to an aspiring author, what would you say?
LD: It can be done! If you don’t know how to do it or where to start, ask questions, because someone out there has the answers you need to get started and to keep moving forward towards your goal! Don’t be afraid to ask whatever questions you need to.
ML: Lastly, what do you hope parents and children take away from this book?
LD: There’s no ‘deep’ lesson to be learned in this book. For me, it’s always been about creating something that parents and children can enjoy and have fun reading together. Maybe it will open conversations about different languages and cultures, but mostly, just to enjoy time together.
ML: Thank you, Lis, and congratulations again on your third children’s book!
Watch the Full Interview:
Lis Drage is the author of the Lacey series. Her time spent in the Early Childhood Education field and twenty-five years as a stay-at-home mom led her to develop a deep love of children’s literature and poetry, which inspired her to write her own.
Her goal is to write stories that are positive, fun, and entertaining to both children and parents. You can learn more about Lis and the Lacey series at www.lisdrage.com.