Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Alexandra Faer Bryan: Green Kitty

Author Alexandra Faer Bryan visits The Plain today with something special. Alexandra wrote Green Kitty for children ages 8-12 to help to them understand Alzheimer's disease and dementia, but the story is enlightening for all ages. Got an iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch? Alexandra is going to Giveaway a copy of Green Kitty, so be sure to leave your contact information in your comment.

Welcome, Alexandra. Tell us a little about yourself. Where are you from?
I am an Atlanta native and have lived within the metro area almost all of my life.
What sparked your interest in writing?
I write to convey a message or to impart knowledge. My first book was written after taking a class which didn't include a workbook and I approached the instructor about making my extensive notes into something for all future students. Seeing a child visiting her grandmother and not understanding the grandmother's dementia and how to respond was my inspiration for Green Kitty.
Do you set your books/stories in your hometown, or do you prefer more exotic locations?
"Write what you know" is my motto and my book is placed in my home town.
What was the easiest part of the story to write?
The easiest part of Green Kitty to write was the animal stories. I have been telling the anecdotes at parties for years and it was easy to put them down in print.
Was there much research involved?
Helpful information about Alzheimer's disease and dementia was researched to be up to date and accurate so that the work would be truly helpful.
Do you celebrate when you finish a story, and if so, how?
My son and I go out to eat at a really good restaurant, usually Japanese, and I do my "happy dance" to the song by the Police- "Every Little Thing She Does is Magic!"
What do you like least about writing?
The editing process is the hardest part for me because I do have dyslexia and it is hard for me to see the mistakes. Plus, my mind seems to add the missing words. I have to read the stories out loud in order to catch my mistakes.
Which authors do you feel have influenced your writing most?
Mark Twain, Terry Pratchett and C.S. Lewis were the strongest influence on my writings. I find that a lesson wrapped in humor is more easily "digested" so to speak!
Name a few titles I’d find if I browsed through your personal home library.
My library includes many biographies, the works of J. R. R. Tolkien and C. S. Lewis. I have every book ever written my Terry Pratchett, who was recently found to have early onset Alzheimer's disease and, of course, J. K. Rowling's "Harry Potter" books. Other authors include Isaac Asimov and other science fiction authors from the 60s and 70s. There are also many books about health care as I am a nurse.
What’s next for you? Can we look forward to a new story soon?
I am working on a book about my godparents and growing up in Atlanta in the 60s. The reason I want to write about them is because of their influence on my life and to teach the true meaning of "godparents" because the movies by the title lead people to believe that godparents are bullies who will force people to give someone what they want against their wills.
Who supports your writing activities most?
My son is my biggest fan and the most helpful one. He is my first editor and he gets to read my first drafts.
What advice would you give an aspiring author?
Write something every day even if you only take ten minutes to work on your project. Proof what you wrote earlier, write a brief synopsis or outline, or a conversation that came into your head. Little snatches of time add up to hours and days of effort.
Name a few of your favorite non-writing activities.
Yoga and walking my dogs take up about one or two hours of my time most days. I crochet baby blankets for my friends and their children. My son and I used to go camping and hiking and one goal in my life is to hike part of the Appalachian Trail.
How can readers reach you?
My email address is on my website. I love feedback and have made changes in some of the book when parents have contacted me with suggestions.
Thanks so much for visiting today, Alexandra. And now, let’s learn more about Green Kitty.
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Called a book for all ages, Green Kitty was written for children ages 8-12 to help to explain Alzheimer's disease and dementia and is both educational and entertaining. It was a finalist for both USA Book News "Best Books 2011" and "International Book of the Year 2012" in children's fiction. It is a collection of stories within a story as a grandmother recalls old anecdotes, mostly about family pets, for a visiting grandchild. The grandmother is in the first stages of dementia and the bond grows stronger through the visits despite the illness. Helpful information about dementia is deftly woven into the work without distracting from the storyline.
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About Alexandra Faer Bryan:
A mother, nurse and author who loves to read, Alexandra began writing in 1985. She has written three very different books since then: an instructional manual for a massage class, a nonfiction account of her nursing experiences, and this children’s book. Her fondest memories of being a young mother are of reading books out loud to her son. Dementia is a cause close to her heart because her mother and others in her family have suffered with the disease. Alexandra is pictured above at the age of eight with her first dog, Princess.

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Green Kitty / Available from

1 comment:

  1. A difficult concept for children. Kudos for helping to explain.