Lorrie Manosh Interview Published on: 21, Jul 2020

Where did you grow up? As a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

I grew up in Rhode Island and now live in Massachusetts. As a child I dreamed of being a school teacher and would often play school with my friends.

Were you an avid reader? Who introduced you to the world of books?

Growing up I was not an avid reader and read because I had to for school. My love for reading came more when I entered the classroom as a teacher and in raising my four children. I loved to read to both my students and my children and found enjoyment in sharing the stories with them and making them come alive through voice expression.

With over 20 years of experience in education, what do you feel the most exciting or effective learning environment would be?

The most effective learning environment for children is one where they can enjoy the learning experience and engage in opportunities in a fun and creative way. I would always tell my students we are here to have fun and then I would model fun while still focusing on the objectives needed. Sometime it was understanding a read aloud through role play and acting out the characters in the story, teaching them to use inflection in their voice when they read, imaging themselves as one of the characters and how they would respond, or my favorite was teaching them to write their own story with all the creativity they had within them.

What was the first story you ever wrote and did you ever publish it?

As I child I wrote a few poems that my mom kept, and over the years following would continue to write poems as a way of expressing my feelings, however my first story was written in my college writing course. It was called a “Tribute to Mom, My Mother – My Friend”. The story was about her battle with Non Hodgkins Lymphoma. It was never published.

How has been your experience of serving as a teacher, principal and professor?

Having had the opportunity to serve as a teacher, principal and now a professor and children’s author is rewarding in many ways. My passion to inspire others to learn and to teach in creative and understandable ways combined with the desire to continue to learn and grow myself has been both fulfilling, and a dream come true.

What elements in a book do you think are important to attract the attention of children?

A book needs to be engaging visually to children and needs to be relatable to them in some way. When children search for books, they often look first at the cover to determine if they will then open to read it. What on the cover attracts their attention and/or relates to them personally? It could be the character, the colors or even the title name. The book then needs to hold their attention. Does each page lead them to wanting to read more? To wanting to know what happens next or how it will end?

What was your favourite part, and your least favourite part, of the publishing journey?

My favorite part of the publishing journey was creating the images to go along with the story. While I did not draw them out, I did through written description create each scene. I had the visual well played out in my mind down to the color schemes and every detail put in each picture. This was exciting because I knew exactly what I wanted and was able to make it come alive. As for my least favorite part, it would be time and waiting between each step as I was eager to see my book in print.

What inspired the story of "The Feeling Closet: What are you Wearing Today?"?

The Feeling Closet: What are you Wearing Today? was inspired by passion to see children grow strong emotionally. As I teacher I have always believed there was more to a child’s learning than just their academics. I believe growth needs to happen academically, socially, and emotionally. So many children, and adults, struggle with their feelings. They don’t understand that their feelings can be controlled by them and that they do have a choice in changing their feelings.

Writing can be an emotionally draining and stressful pursuit. Any tips for aspiring writers?

While writing can be emotionally draining and stressful, I believe if it is your true passion and if you are passionate about what you are writing then I believe you have to weather the storm and push forward. All seasons have stormy days, but they also have beautiful days. Focus on the beauty in what you are doing.

In what ways do you think your book, The Feeling Closet will teach children about managing their feelings?

My book, The Feeling Closet: What are you Wearing Today? teaches children an approach to manage their feelings that can be easily understood. It relates changing feelings to changing their shirt, which is something they all do. It also provides a list of feelings and activities in the back of the book to help them.

Who inspired the character of Matt in "The Feeling Closet: What are you Wearing Today?"

My two youngest boys were my inspiration for Matt. A little bit of each of them is portrayed in Matt’s physical features. As for Matt’s fear that he struggles with that is a combination of years working with children in the classroom and understanding the fears that they would often hold onto.

What are some elements you consider when figuring out a book title?

When choosing a book title, I try to choose a title that depicts the books content and may engage the reader to read further to see what it is about.

Did you miss attending your children's sports events from hockey to baseball to soccer and more during lock-down?

As a sports mom and mom of four children, lock-down did end the hectic schedule of running to each event and carpooling from here to there. While I did miss seeing my children play, I was able to embrace the time at home and enjoy a different type of activity. More family meals were spent together, family games were played, puzzles were created, deeper discussions and intentional devotional time was afforded due to the empty schedule. For all that I am grateful.

If there was anything you could say to your younger self, what would you say?

To my younger self I would say enjoy! Enjoy the road you planned out and the road that shifted and was not what you expected because unplanned change is often a blessing.

How has your experience with AllAuthor been?

My experience with AllAuthor has been great! I am fully enjoying the book mockups, the book cover contest in which I placed 5 th for July, the new authors, and friends I am meeting and so much more!

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