Good evening everyone.
Welcome to your first treat to start off the week.
Today on the Author Interview Series, we have the pleasure of spending some time with Children’s author Francois Keyser, as he talks to us about his endearing books for kids and how he too is continuing to expand his repertoire into different writing genres.
Join us both, we are sure to have a lot of fun.
Hi there Francois, a pleasure to have a Children’s Author with us today for the Author Interview Series, which I’m sure will please a lot of Mums and Dads with young children in the audience!
Hi David. It’s an honour to be here. Thank You!
Let’s start with your series of picture books called “The Junglies.” Where did you come up with the name/concept for this series and what sort of age range would your books be suitable for? What kinds of themes and messages do you promote in the books that children should take to heart?
I was inspired by my eldest daughter, Keona’s soft toys. She had a lovely little elephant soft toy. She called it “Elle” but we lost it in a taxi in our last days in Dubai. We replaced it with a tiger which she called “Aga”. With these two toys being jungle animals it was an obvious choice that other characters in the books should be jungle animals too. The books are for children between the ages of 4 – 8 years old.
As a Children’s Author and one who tells the story primarily with pictures, you have a lot of freedom to create weird and wonderful characters. What inspires you when you’re thinking up new characters? How do you ensure that your character creations will appeal to young readers?
I believe that the pictures in the books should be colourful and the characters cute. This will make the books attractive to children. Content is just as important though. I introduced a few ad hoc characters in the books such as a mermaid and a snake in the series. It was more a case of knowing the story I wanted to tell and deciding how best to tell it. If telling the story required a new character to be introduced then I would create another character.
Younger readers on the whole tend to have much shorter attention spans than adults. How do you make sure you keep them hooked on the story until the very end?
When I first started to write children’s books I believed that I had to include lessons in the books for children to take to heart. My lessons are not all obvious and may need explaining by parents which I think is a good thing as it creates an opportunity for parents to read to and with their children. The parent child interaction alone will help to keep children interested until the end. I also tried to make the books educational by including topics such as recycling, conservation, moulting and camouflage in the stories which are not necessarily mainstream topics as yet for children. I also try to keep the text to a minimum and have the illustrations match the relative text, so the pictures can tell the story as far as possible without the words.
What do you find the most difficult thing about writing for children? And what do you find the easiest?
I think writing for children is the hardest. I struggle to keep words to a minimum without feeling like I am taking away from the value of the story for children. Then you need to have illustrations done. I need to feel that the illustrations are excellent while trying to be impartial. After all, children need to like the illustrations as they will ultimately be the readers. What I may think are great as illustrations may not be what children like.
The easiest part of writing for children for me is actually the initial conceptualisation. It’s not actually a process but the moment when an idea comes to me and I then start to build the story from start to finish in my mind.
Who are some of the authors in general that inspire you? (This can be Adult & Children’s Authors too!)
I am inspired by authors who have been very successful for obvious reasons and also inspired by authors whose books I like to read. In the children’s genre, I enjoy Julia Donaldson who generally writes using prose. I am inspired by Stephen King, Dean Koontz, Sidney Sheldon, Steve Berry, John Grisham, Raymond Feist and Stephen R Donaldson who all write in different genres. I enjoy their styles and their story telling abilities in their respective genres.
Why do you write? What inspired you to become a writer?
I always wanted to be a writer since childhood. I remember when I first started being able to read I couldn’t get enough. I remember one of my favourite books was about elves, fairies and dragons at the time. Before too long I started to write my own story in a notebook. I even illustrated it then. I love how we can escape into a different world in books with our imagination and be in the story as an observer or participant. Just as we imagine it.
What keeps you motivated during creative slumps? How do you deal with Writers Block?
I have been lucky so far. I don’t really seem to suffer from writers block. When I sit down to write I can generally write and write. What prevents me from writing is when life happens or I am not in a place where I am inspired to write, a peaceful physical place which I can call my own and sit down to write without interference.
If something else is troubling me it will have to be dealt with before I can write effectively. If it does happen that I struggle to write then I will leave it and come back to it later. I find that generally works.
How do you spend your free time when you are not writing?
Preferably with my family or reading or doing something else I enjoy.
Tell us more about your upcoming projects. Are you working on anything specific or have plans in the pipeline? I understand that you are keen to publish a Young Adult Fantasy Fiction novel at some point in the near future.
I have completed the first draft of my Young Adult Fantasy Fiction novel titled, “Life Within the Pages”. I would prefer it be edited by another person who can look at it with a fresh pair of eyes but I will start to self edit it soon anyway. I did enter it in the Merrimack Media “Outstanding Writer Contest 2016” and reached the finals (one of five manuscripts) although I did not win which is encouraging.
I have also started work on a romantic suspense novel titled “Omega Horizon” now, which I hope to have completed by the end of the year as well.
Finally, are there any nuggets of wisdom that you can impart to other aspiring writers?
Never give up your day job until you have made it as an author.
Writing is the easiest part. Marketing and building your brand is one of the hardest parts of being an author.
Never give up!
And that’s a wrap!
Thank you again David. I appreciate you interviewing me.
Francois is the author of “The Junglies” children’s books numbering twelve in total. The first five books have been published while the remaining seven are expected to be published soon.
Following “The Junglies” he authored another children’s book, “The Tickle Tree” which was written in prose (rhyme). “The Tickle Tree” is yet to be illustrated and published.
Francois has now diversified in to the Young Adult Fantasy Fiction genre and completed his first book titled, “Life Within the Pages”. The manuscript for “Life Within the Pages” was entered in Merrimack Media’s “Outstanding Writer Contest 2016”. While the manuscript did not win it reached the finals, Francois’ journey to becoming an author was an education in itself and he enjoys sharing his life experiences and learning with others in order to encourage them to pursue and realise their dreams from as early an age as possible.
Francois shares his time between his family and his writing.
You can contact Francois on the following Social Media platforms:-
Amazon:- Francois Keyser (Amazon Author Page)
Facebook:- Francois Keyser Author (FB)
Goodreads:- Francois Keyser (Goodreads Author)
Google Plus:- Francois Keyser (Google Plus)
Instagram:- fkeyser1 (Instagram)
LinkedIn:- Francois Keyser (LinkedIn)
Pinterest:- Francois Keyser (Pinterest)
Quotesrain:- Author Francois Keyser (Quotes Rain)
Twitter:- @KeyserFrancois (Twitter)
You can buy his books here:-
UK/Europe:- Buy Francois Keyser’s books in UK/Europe
US/Rest of the World:- Buy Francois Keyser’s books in US/Rest of the World
If you too would like to be interviewed on my blog at TooFullToWrite and you have a book or a series of books that you would like us to chat about then fill out the Contact Me form here with your details and we can arrange a future interview slot.
Still want more? Well how about this. Children do not have any worries, trouble or strife and are carefree in nature. For more articles regarding the ‘Carefree’ themed prompt, check out the links below:-
1. Saint P. Blogging – Prompt for Today: “Carefree”
2. Vivid Dreamer – Irrelevant Opinions
3. Too much rosé – shame
4. A great gift – jessicasblog45
5. A Carefree Life. – Sunshine. Whimsy. Tacos.
6. Wanderlust – A new chapter – My Daily Post Challenges in Switzerland
7. A Momma’s View – Carefree
8. Intentergy – Carefree? When the Angels Let Loose
9. Being “plus-sized” at the beach – When I thought I was fat
10. It’s A Trap– A Butterfly Trap! – The Secret life of a Vagabond
11. Carefree – ideas and culture
12. A Letter to Little Me – Emily’s Table of Contents
13. HarlemATL Inner City Blues – The One Percent
14. As I See Things – Life is Beautiful
15. The Penny Dreadful Project – Carefree
16. A Texan’s View of Upstate New York – Carefree Teenage Years
17. Welcomed Refresher on Being Carefree – Smiles & Places
18. Carefree – A Pre-Published Indie Author
19. The Zen Hiker – Carefree
20. Carefree – blackcattwriting
21. Carefree – Inner Whispers
22. Game Time – The Chaos Within
23. Thoughts on the Carefree – NEWTS by OliveMegamean
24. Slowly – Onto My Next 40 Years
25. Depression or whatever the hell it’s called when you feel like you cannot breathe any longer – KimJournalia
26. Casual and Carefree – JulianneB
27. artifiswords – CAREFREE
28. A Few Poems – Fantasy Raconteur
29. My Self Evident Truths… – Happiness is being a carefree Old Fart
30. Anything, with enough coffee – Writing Beyond Ordinary
31. Angelic Hands – Care free
32. Carefree – adj. – to not give a… – Angela Montijo
33. babble2015 – Daily Prompt Carefree
34. duffrunning – Scales & Arpeggios – Running Lessons from Disney
35. My way to be a carefree person – olessial
36. Prompt for Today: “Carefree” – Saint P. Blogging
37. witchlike – Tripping the Green Fairy
38. WHY CAREFREE? – thepunkpenblog
39. Mac’s World – Carefree Words
40. tuckedintoacorner – The Call
41. littlegirlstory – Carefree
42. Sight of Life – Necessity for Life-Carefree…
43. Dear past me… #carefree – The Commonplace Chronicles
44. eclations – Carefree Isn’t So Free Afterall
45. Carefree, AZ – Abi&Stella
46. World Peace Pulse – Chronicles of an Orange-Haired Woman!
47. Petra Omoregie Caroline – Hiding moon
48. a carefree spy dog (dronexit#9) – a nerd’s confession: when-iam-68
49. Daily post prompt – mynotebook
50. Carefree – Inside The Writer’s Closet
51. Live “carefree” – YOLOcruz
52. Carefree (Daily Prompt) – STARfisher’s Blog
53. Carefree World – Akanksha
54. Reminiscing: Carefree – My life with Bostons
55. Leanne Murphy – Ten words #13
56. Daily Prompt – Carefree – Short Story – Brandon’s Rambling Writing
57. I Just Don’t Care – Karuchan
58. Fluffy Pool – Hilda’s Birthday
59. inspiration in progress – The Chronicles of Mary, Part 5
60. #Carefree – WORDS from SONOBE
61. Mainline_Matter – Carefree American World
62. How to be as Carefree as a Child – Don’t forget, it’s Huguet
63. How to Truly Be Carefree – Reflections
64. The Daily Post Word Prompt: Carefree – Bookish Girl in a Boring World
65. Sacrificial Chain Breaker – CAREFREE
66. Sonder Stories – A Nonexistent Existence
67. The Great Ability – farrahstyles
68. Post Graduate Glitter – Trying Not To Carry the World Myself
69. Big Bear The Carefree – Lost Property Repository
70. Carefree – Look, Dahling…
71. The Happiness Project: A Great Read – Writer in Progress
72. Carefree Living – Eagle’s Wing Ministries
73. Take me Back to Carefree Summers – Martha’s Daily Writing
74. Carefree: Celebration in Two Scoops – Seedy Syntax
75. Grumpy Axolotl – Carefree
76. pennyforyourthotsblog – Carefree
77. Carefree – z a y n e e a . n e t
78. Cage Dunn: Writer and Author – The Last Stages of the Journey
79. gbolaboadetunji – The Carefree Attitude
80. Maggie Madly Writing – Carefree
81. Carefree – Coffee Stains
82. Serendipitousbloom.com – Blue Ridge Mountains
83. Let’s hear it for the Ymca… – bookmarkingthedays
84. Blessed Moments -n- Memories – Carefree Lifestyle or Not?
85. Laurel Grove loves… – San Francisco: tough place to live?
86. Ethereal Compostion – Carefree kind of Love
87. Connection – Sascha Darlington’s Microcosm Explored
88. Stay Magnificent and Have Fun – mokita dreams
89. C.A. SANTIAGO – What do you think??
90. Blame it on the Boss in Roma – Hey! This is not my circus!
91. Monks ear – zorazebic
92. Indira’s Blog – Carefree- The Daily Post
93. Who Cares? – A lot from Lydia
94. writingjourneyblog – Carefree
95. You, me and she – Threeisthelimit
96. Jibber Jabber with Sue – “Footloose and Fancy Free”
97. Musings and My Two Cents – Take My Cares Away
98. Waste of Energy – Unebelle’s Musings
99. Carefree? That’s Not Me… – iBlog
100. C A R E F R E E – Author Tony Damian, RMT, CMT on Self-Healing
101. Belinda O – Carefree and Campy
102. La Tour Abolie – Leap while you may, Young Ladies
103. Set Free – Spilled Ink
104. Water of Rain – Of All The Words
105. Day 3: Carefree – burntbreakfast
106. Le Drake Noir – Let the thoughts free
107. We will paint the world with our love – Painted in words
108. Drowning Sorrows – Daniel Amatiello
109. Carefree – wordsareallihavesite
110. Francesca’s Frailties and Foilables – Carefree
111. why not? – Love it Now
112. multiplemyelomaandme – Free to float
113. The Carefree (in MMO’s) – Nerdy Bookahs
114. Carefree – Awordseeker
115. She is. – Melissa Erin Ferry
116. Writing with Spirit – Carefree
117. To Live Carefree – thealcoholicpoet
118. Carefree Stroll – Heaven’s Sunshine
119. A News Report Squelched My Carefree – Sascha Darlington’s Microcosm Explored
120. Life in a Few Words – Recklessly Carefree
121. Know Your Folly – Be Carefree – #NationalJunkFoodDay
122. Who has all these worries? – Prasant Radhakrishnan
123. Eden of Knowledge – Carefree
124. The Poetry Channel – This Land is Your Land, This Land is Mined Land
125. Presently from inside my head III – Expressions
126. CRAVE – Word Prompt-Carefree
127. Carefree.. are we? – The irrelevant ramblings of a relevant life form
128. The Eternal Seduction of the Unfettered Mind – StrangeLander2015
129. Cats – MaeAnnesDiary
130. Terrorism and the American Spirit – Writings from the Heart
131. littlegiablogwordpresscomwpadmin – Finding my Carefree
132. Daily prompt: Carefree – ink and toast
133. Insach – Carefree, really?
134. blogmylife86 – Carefree – Life
135. lifelessons – a blog by Judy Dykstra-Brown – Carefree
136. Musings of a Random Mind – Dentistry Made Uneasy
137. The Anklet Statement – The Corporate Fawn
138. MC’s Whispers – Chasing PokÃ©mon
139. Carefree Laughing and Playing Tips
140. Dive into the unknown. – talesoftoothless
141. Carefree – A Student Father
142. B_ up to date – Today is the day
143. Carefree; What does it mean? – thepathtocreativity
144. Eden of Knowledge – Mom Versus Dad
145. Daily Post Prompt: The Carefree Whisper, A Poem – Sumyanna Writes
146. Free as a bird – Girl With A Tripod
147. Despreocupado – apserranoblog
148. The Things I Won’t Do For Love – eddaz
149. Writing Web – To Be Carefree
150. a stupid carefree depth charge? ⋆ Obsolete Childhood
151. A Wish – atrangizindagieksafar
152. ATG Successful Living – 8 Celebrities Who Show that Life is Better Lived Carefree
153. Carefree – Sanjna13
154. mariatries – To care or not to care?
155. not at home – Carefree Solo Alpine Run
156. The Gad About Town – Footloose and Fancy Feast
157. SERENDIPITY – COMPUTER BEING DIFFICULT … BACK SOON
158. Carefree – disue
159. What it means to be carefree? – HashtagTrustYourInstincts
160. Write Here: Write Now – Carefree
161. Her – melancholy doll
162. Wish of the Hour – Topographical Heart
163. LOVE WHAT YOU DO – Carefree
164. Martha L Shaw – TODAY MATTERS!
165. Lakeland Musings by Irwin – Carefree trip of a lifetime
166. Fussy versus Carefree – Oh, border!
167. Misifusa’s Blog – When Was the Last Time You Felt Carefree?
168. Lustrous resonance – speaking up for myself
169. Awl and Scribe – Late Today
170. simply.cindy – Carefree
171. A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions – The adventures of Aimee
172. 83 Unsung Heroes – The Carefree Days Of Youth
173. The art of being carefree – minor art master
174. Common Pursuit – I Care
175. Your Nibbled News (c) 2016 YNN – Coffee break offers carefree time
176. The Daily Post prompt: Careless. Discovering Siamese Twins in my life.
177. Carefree – Daily Prompt – ladyleemanila
178. Living In the Freedom of Trusting God – Lance Price Blog 2016
179. Not a Carefree Summer… Self-Publishing – Where’s the Windmill?
180. masihbersambung – Dress Shopping
181. rhymeagination – CAREFREE AS A BIRD
182. To Be Carefree|Daily Prompt – Catherine’s Blog
183. Carefree? – Introverted n’ Proud
184. Rock-Climbing… – clumsyandsilly
185. MY OWN PRIVATE IDAHO – Carefree
186. Stand Tall! – HashtagTrustYourInstincts
187. Carefree – osindelive
188. Kimberlee K. – The Simplest Kind of Happy
189. Grammy Writes – Carefree
190. No Worries – Caillen James –Author
191. (Don’t Be) Too Timid and Squeamish – Wadsworth Falls and the Living is Easy
192. Relax – Explore Pets
193. CARE – it’s free! – Making Sense of Complications
194. Carefree – alkasharmablog
195. A Sea Of Illusions – Doldrum
196. Carefree 101 – KimJournalia
197. The Cat Chronicles – Daily Feline Prompt: The Carefree Feline
198. Flowers and Breezes – Carefree
199. The Definition Of A Good Life – Desertedroad
200. Carefree: Teenagers and Their Choices – Shelby’s Starlit Crossing
201. Random Brain Musings – I Just Don’t Know
202. American Dream circa 2016 – The Mono-Economy of the New Millennium
203. Carefree moments – Memorable moments – rupalislale
204. Carefree Daze – SUCCESS STRATEGIES
205. Chronicles of an Anglo Swiss – Carefree at last
206. Carefree Smile – Ripples N Reflections
207. Choices, Consequences, Cares, and Peace – Jerome Danner
208. A Paper Universe – Intricacy of Feelings
209. C a R e F r EE – Threewheelergran
210. The Dandelion – Awkward Babble
211. kristinakoti – Happy Birthday To My Blog
212. Parenting: Studying – lovelyricism
213. Poem-Ode: No Time – jotabouts
214. Haiku: Carefree Moments – whippetwisdom.com
215. cirque de la nuit – Puddles of Recollection
216. Forever Moon Day – My Second Act, Scene One
217. What time is it? Me time. – The Dadgum Blog
218. kStan(ly) kSays – buzz buzz
219. The Hair Lab – I Know Everything
220. What’s Carefree? – Breastcancerbeautiful
221. How to Pick a Survival Knife – Get Lost
222. Carefree – calliemm
223. Frozen Joy – Unlearning
224. Making Love to the Soil – mySestina
225. Desert glass – Jane Dougherty Writes
226. devildollmusings – I Want To Break Free
227. Zombie Flamingos – Boo Yah – Kitten Thursday!
228. nothing’s gonna change our world – themanbehindtheglass
229. Ungiving to charity – Geek Ergo Sum
230. sixty, single and surviving – Carefree Today!
231. Daily Prompt : Carefree Monday – Lost Property Repository
232. Carefree: The Panty-Liner’s Tale – Chronicles of an Orange-Haired Woman!
233. Guide To A Solo Day-Out – Specscladeyes
234. The Poetry Channel – Nostalgiums
235. the15thday – as far as i’m concerned, adulthood is very…meh.
236. Carefree – packratweb
237. Vexing Point – Carefree
238. A very apple morning to you – Hi India
239. Purposive Writer – Caroline’s 30 Days Photo And Health Challenge: Day 3
240. The Daily Post – Progressing into Solitude – Carefree
241. Carefree Days at the Beach – Good For You!
242. thelonerose – Free time
243. A Vibrant Palette – Can’t I just be me?
244. Life..Beyond Life… – The Mistful Mind
245. Hot White Snow – Hot White Snow
246. Designer Sophisticate – Oh, to be a kid again.
247. Jacki Kellum Juxtapositions: Read My Mind – The Four Noble Truths & the Eightfold Path of Buddhism – Meditation & Mindfulness Are Not Enough to Live A Carefree Life
248. Growing Toward the Sun – #ThrowbackThursday: Getting Old is Hell, Obsessing About it is Even Worse
249. Pihu – Carefree Bird – Un-communicated Lightning
250. ….on pets and prisoners….. – daily prompt: carefree
251. The Ocean, Always – Just Writing!
252. Passion through Poetry – Finding Peace
253. Carefree – Cognitive Reflection
254. The Wandering Poet – Joyfully in love and carefree
255. Lantern Words – Carefree With Thee