HA: We're so excited about I See Lincoln's Underpants! This is our first kids book, but it fits right in with some of our other books that are focused on bringing history to life. This was also the first Kickstarter project that we've done.
Why did you choose to work with Heart Ally Books?
MS: With The Past and The Curious and it’s extensions, I’ve spent many years creating a voice that an audience not only understands but loves. Lisa’s understanding and appreciation of my creation and goals was crucial. I knew the book I released would be a pure reflection of the work I've done and stories I’ve told so far. But I also knew she’d help me create the best version possible.
HA: This is not your first book. What was the most surprising experience you had while becoming an author the first time?
MS: That people actually read my book and had relationships with it! When I create something I tend to finish it and move on immediately to the next thing and it’s easy to forget that someone out there, at any time, might be engaging with it. It’s pretty cool to hear from families who are just discovering something I set out into the world years ago!
HA: Was there anything that struck you as different from working with Heart Ally?
MS: I like collaborating, I like having a teammate to hold me accountable, I like being pushed, and I like having freedom to take chances. Working with Heart Ally has been great because of the mutual trust.
HA: Do you have a favorite or least favorite part of being an author?
MS: I don’t like tedious things, and obviously there’s plenty of that. But at the same time, it can be good to practice the things I don’t like doing because I have to do them, and they need to be done well.
As far as favorite, I like nothing more than learning something new, getting excited, and sharing it with others.
HA: Talk a bit about why you chose to write a book about underwear.
MS: I mean, why not? It’s underwear! My book is about people from the past and the moments their underwear might have also made history of their own. There’s a lot to learn from that. First, we can see they’re all very human. But we can also learn about their times and the context of their worlds, we can see people in a different light, and in some cases we can laugh while we learn.
If someone laughs - or at least smiles - while they learn something, I believe they’re much more likely to remember it later.
HA: We've had such great feedback from readers throughout this project. There's definitely laughter and learning going on.
Let's talk about your podcast and how it’s developed into a source of learning and joy for families.
MS: I’ve produced The Past and The Curious in my basement for years now, and it has grown far beyond my expectations. I’ve met so many other creators making audio for kids from whom I’ve learned a lot, and I’ve committed so much time and energy to the production. It’s always been my goal to get people interested and excited about exploring the past. It’s also been a goal for parents and kids to do so together.
I get so much feedback from families that indicate both of these things are happening. So it’s my goal to continue to do it, at a pace I can maintain, and keep reaching people in as many ways as I can.
I See Lincoln’s Underpants is an extension of this.
HA: Check out The Past and the Curious Podcast here.
Learn more about I See Lincoln's Underpants here.
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