3 Question Interview - AIMÉE BISSONETTE
I'm happy to highlight author Aimée Bissonette on my blog today! We met through the #2020BookLook group and I'm so excited about her 2020 releases! And she definitely deserves the nickname given by her young neighbors - "The Book Lady!" Read on for Aimée's thoughts about stories . . . creativity . . . and connection.
STORIES – Discuss the inspiration for your ideas and stories, and share the process about your latest projects.
As it says in my bio, most of my stories are inspired by my love of the outdoors. I hike, rock climb, snowshoe, and I dabble in nature photography. I also am inspired by stories of strong, feisty women. Miss Colfax’s Light came to be after I read a vignette on Harriet Colfax in a book about women of the Great Lakes and then visited the lighthouse she tended.
Aim for the Skies is a story that took place in my lifetime but very few people are aware of it. Jerrie Mock was a contemporary of my mom and faced a lot of the same obstacles my mom faced.
I have three books coming out this Fall and they are all nature based (dragonflies, the desert southwest, and animals in winter).
I wrote my October book, When Winter Comes: Discovering Wildlife in Our Snowy Woods, more than ten years ago. I’d almost forgotten about it. Then I spent an afternoon snowshoeing with a class of kindergartners and just knew I had to dig it back out! Inspiration can come from the simplest things at the most unexpected times.
CREATIVITY -- How do you showcase your creative side through writing/illustrating and other pursuits?
Like so many writers, I started writing poetry and stories at a very young age. I’m a practical person, though, so when it came time to go to college, I decided on a more “reliable” career – ultimately going to law school and practicing law for more than thirty years. I didn’t stop writing during that time. I just wrote for myself, filling lots of journals. I read through some of those journals now and then, looking for long buried ideas, wincing sometimes at how often I complained in my entries about not having time to be creative. Now that I am more or less “retired” from practicing law, I am making up for lost time: writing, photographing, and taking art classes with my husband.
CONNECTION -- How do you connect to your young readers through your writing/illustrating, and how do you stay connected to the KidLit community?
We are blessed here in Minnesota with a friendly, burgeoning, supportive KidLit community. It’s truly a marvel. The Loft Literary Center hosts classes and conferences. Several area universities offer MFA programs and provide offerings to the public, as well. We also have two incredible independent children’s bookstores in the Twin Cities: Wild Rumpus in Minneapolis and The Red Balloon Bookshop in St. Paul. All of these things make it easy to stay engaged, learn from each other, and support other authors and illustrators in their work. I connect with young readers via library and school events – not to mention having a bit of a reputation as “the book lady” among my littlest neighbors.
Aimée Bissonette’s books are inspired by her love of the outdoors and the Northwoods. She lives in Minnesota with her family and Guinness, her rambunctious Irish Terrier.
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