Monday, February 27, 2012
The Writer's Block Interviews: Damir Fonovich
1) Tell us how you became an author?
My wife and I had been talking for a while after our son was born about writing a children’s book. My wife in particular wanted to write something that included suggestions for parents, as she had found a lot of children’s literature to be lacking in true educational experience. After about a year of talking about it,one cold winter day in December of 2010, we were looking at how long our son’s eyelashes were and came up with the idea for Luca Lashes, a boy with magic eyelashes. It took us till about April of 2011 to really get going on the idea,and it has snowballed since then. This truly became a family business, as my wife, her sister and myself worked hard at researching, writing and editing our first nine stories by the end of summer. We found a company to help us create eBooks and Apps, and finally in December of 2011 we achieved the publication of our first eBooks and Apps on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Apple.
2) Describe how you chose your illustrator.
I am an author, and I definitely stick to writing. We, Luca Lashes LLC, found an amazing illustrator out of Chicago, who really captured the essence of both our son and the magic that we were trying to create.
3) Where do you live and work?
My wife and I live in Woodstock, IL, and work on our books out of our home office!
4) Who or what inspires you?
As is obvious, my son Lucas is my main inspiration and motivation. Also, my wife Nicole is the central hub of our entire operation and I could not accomplish anything without her inspiration, motivation, and candor.
As far as my inspiration as a children’s book writer, the obvious choice is Dr.Seuss. As an author in general, I am inspired most by Victor Hugo, CS Lewis,and Neal Stephenson.
5) What was your first writing job?
I wrote and contributed other content for an economics-based website from 2001 to 2003, and the experience of managing my own time and writing for a living were part of the reason for a standing desire I had always had to become a writer.
6) Tell us about your new children’s book series.
The series, Luca Lashes, is about a special boy with magical eyelashes. He lives with his parents and discovers the world and new experiences all the time.Every time he sees something new or encounters something difficult, he blinks his eyelashes twice to find the strength to get over any fears. Our first book, Luca Lashes the Brown-Eyed Boy with Magic Eyelashes, introduces our character and sets the stage for all of the following books that will be coming out. We have already finished publishing the second book, Luca Lashes Learns to Brush his Teeth, and are ready to begin the online publishing process for our third book, Luca Lashes and His First Trip to the Dentist. Our books are also all multilingual, having been translated into French, Italian and Spanish. Futurebooks titles include Luca Lashes and His First Haircut and Luca Lashes and his First Swimming Lesson.
7) What steps are you taking to promote it?
At the moment, we have done strictly self-promotional social media, mainly through Facebook, YouTube (where you can find book previews and our Press Kit), LinkedIn, and Twitter. Our website, http://www.LucaLashes.com, will be completed shortly, and we look forward to finding additional marketing channels this year.
8) What is your definition of success?
I have an audio recording of an old author being interviewed, and I never forgot his answer to this question, “Do a little good, have a little fun, make a little money.” I always liked this, and it’s kind of a personal philosophy at this point.
9) What do you plan to accomplish in 2012?
The plan is for our first nine eBooks and Apps to be finished and published. We would also like to begin the process of having hardcover and softcover board books published to go in tandem with the eBooks. Having the next set of 9 books written and edited would also be a great step to complete in 2012. We are looking at the long-term viability of our eBook/App series, and would like to continue to the series indefinitely. We might explore merchandising opportunities that enhance our series.
Luca Lashes LLC created and is publishing a multilingual compilation of e-books/apps helping children to be brave when confronting new and unexpected experiences. Life lessons are taught which help children deal with fearful situations. Parents can use these books to help children deal with their“firsts”, including first visits to the doctor, first visits to the dentist,first haircuts, etc. In addition to offering these in English, French, Italian,& Spanish, what makes these e-books/apps unique is the parent’s section at the back of each book, which highlight the key teaching concepts and offer questions parents can use to prompt learning opportunities. Check out our website which is set to go live soon at http://www.LucaLashes.com!
You can find us on our YouTube channel here:
Follow us on Facebook, and like “Luca Lashes”:
Follow us on Twitter at:
Our books and Apps on Amazon can be found here:
Our books and Apps on Barnes & Noble can be found here:
You can also found us on iTunes for iPad, iPhone, andiPodTouch.