Stephanie: I would like to introduce B.R.A.G. Medallion Honoree, Author Adrienne Austermann. She is an accomplished artist, writer and art educator. As a graduate of the School of Visual Arts in NYC, her career has crossed multiple disciplines which include graphic design, advertising, art direction, writing, and photography. She is an independent blogger for the Huffington Post, and now adds author/illustrator to her resume with the release of her new children’s book The Sleepy Star.
Please tell me about, The Sleepy Star and what genre it falls under?
Adrienne: The Sleepy Star is a hardcover children’s bedtime book. It is about a little star who stays asleep while all his friends are playing and has an incredible underwater “dream” adventure. The book was written to promote a positive bedtime routine while maximizing parent/child interaction. The Sleepy Star is as educational as it is entertaining. It is written in rhyming verse with text to visual connections which help to promote word recognition for early reading readiness. The nice surprise in all my feedback to date is how much a book which is categorized as the Juvenile fiction is being enjoyed equally by adults.
Stephanie: Is this your first children’s book?
Adrienne: Yes! However it is designed to be a series. Every time the star falls asleep he has another adventure.
Stephanie: What inspired you to write this book?
Adrienne: Actually, the initial seed of the idea came from a school assignment when I was studying art education at The School of Visual Arts in NYC. We had to create a visual story without words, and I kept imaging a star falling from the sky splashing into the ocean and becoming a starfish, it fit perfectly. The written story came a bit later when my daughter was two years old and I wanted an engaging bedtime story for her. I was working as an advertising art director at the time and pictured this fabulous world of The Sleepy Star things such as the pillow doll, bedding, wall covering and nightlights!
Stephanie: Who designed the book cover? Did you create the illustrations?
Adrienne: I designed the cover and created all the illustrations. This was the most daunting task for me, as I never considered myself an illustrator. I was everything but, a graphic designer, a painter, writer etc…Illustration was a specific discipline that I was never comfortable with and avoided like the plague. As an art director I always hired the perfect illustrator for various projects and always imagined doing that with this book when I landed a publishing contract! However as a single working mom, that became a daunting task, querying publishers was a full time job in itself, and anything that put my kid’s needs on the back burner got shelved. I unearthed the project 20 years later and decided to finish it after realizing the story had completely withstood the test of time. I dedicated it to my daughter and published it in time for her 22nd birthday.
Stephanie: What is the age group for this book?
Adrienne: Although it was written as a child’s bedtime book making it appropriate for birth though the pre and early primary grades, I am finding readers of all ages are enjoying it.
Stephanie: Will you publish more children’s books?
Adrienne: Yes! As I mentioned earlier, The Sleepy Star is designed to be a series and The Sleepy Star Goes to Heaven is in the works hopefully to be released this holiday season. It is designed to be a comforting and uplifting “must read” story for anyone who has lost a loved written in the same style as the original book. It address a difficult subject in a positive and inspiring way.
Stephanie: How did you discover indieBRAG?
Adrienne: I discovered indieBRAG when a friend was telling me about her neighbor who was a self published author and when I looked up the book title I saw it was an indieBRAG medal honoree.
Stephanie: Where can readers buy your book?
More information and some interior illustrations can be found at The Sleep Star
A message from BRAG:
We are delighted that Stephanie has chosen to interview Adrienne Austerman, who is the author of, The Sleepy Star, one of our medallion honorees at indieBRAG . To be awarded a B.R.A.G. Medallion TM, a book must receive unanimous approval by a group of our readers. It is a daunting hurdle and it serves to reaffirm that a book such as, The Sleepy Star, merits the investment of a reader’s time and money.