“Don’t Give Up And Don’t Compromise On Your Product Even If It Means Extending The Process.” – A Conversation with Author, Lisa Mclean

Lisa McLean

Lisa McLean is a Math educator, who loves reading. Her first book, “Love Has Wrinkles”, was written in response to the limited availability of children’s literature with Caribbean images and themes. Lisa is passionate about teaching and believes that all children should have access to a quality education as this opens doors to a range of opportunities.

You are an education professional. Where did the writing urge come from?
When I was completing my BA in Education I wrote a children’s book as an assignment for a course I was taking. It was then that my interest was peaked. This assignment became the first draft for ‘Love Has Wrinkles’. In hindsight I’ve always enjoyed writing. I took a course in playwriting in University. However, I found as a teacher that I became increasingly interested in writing children’s books that Jamaican children could relate to.

Is “Love Has Wrinkles” your first book?
Yes, it is.

Tell us about the book “Love Has Wrinkles”?
It is a children’s picture book about grandmothers. It contains pictures of a variety of family representations featuring grandmothers with their families. The text is developed to elicit conversations for children to make connections about their family experiences.

What comments do you hear most often from your readers?
Generally that the stories remind them of their own grandparents. I have also had some persons in the diaspora say that it reminded them of their childhood growing up in Jamaica.

You have been doing the media rounds and meeting different people in the media, entertainment and book industry. Apart from your interview with us (DWL), what has been a pinch-yourself moment so far?
Wow, I think every moment has been some-what of a ‘pinch-yourself’ moment. I never imagined that I would have been given these opportunities to share my story. I am so appreciative of every interview, book fair and launch. Every media outlet or individual who has given me a chance to share my story has added to the joy of the journey.

You were writer, publisher, editor, and promoter for your last book. What lessons have you learned after being “the head cook and bottle washer” for the first book?
So much. I’m not sure where to begin. It’s hard work, and you have to be prepared to put in the time and be consistent. Never underestimate the kindness of others. The pictures for the first book were taken by a friend of my son’s. They were exactly what I imagined and she wouldn’t accept payment. Don’t give up and don’t compromise on your product even if it means extending the process. Be open – you never know which conversation, interview or experience will lead to additional opportunities.

Do you have one sentence of advice for new writers?
Do your research, whether on writing technique generally, the content that you’re writing about or the publishing process.

What is next? Are you working on a new book?
I have a series that I’m working on. The first one in the series is finished just finalising the illustrations. I’m pretty excited about it. It’s for a slightly older age group than the first, 6-8 years. And I love the main character. He’s so likeable.

Who are your favorite authors?
My favourite author is C.S. Lewis. I have a favourite genre rather than specific authors, which would be historical fiction.

What are your 2 favorite books of all time?
I only have one – The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, by C.S. Lewis.

Seven day, six night, all expense paid, my vacation destination is…
New Zealand

My favorite guilty pleasure is…
Good wine

Growing up my hero was…
My, mom. She could do anything it seemed and I wanted to be like that when I grew up.

On behalf of the readers of thanks for providing us with this interview. Do you have any closing thoughts for our readers?
Thank you for allowing me this opportunity. Closing thoughts…hmm….if you have a dream pursue it. Never let it be said that you didn’t at least try.

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Xavier Murphy