Today we are chatting with Patricia Lakin, author of
Read on for more about Patricia, her book and giveaway!
Meet Patricia Lakin!
Patricia Lakin, a former elementary school teacher and an award-winning author, has written more than fifty published works. Her books, both fiction and nonfiction, span multiple age groups—from toddlers to middle graders. Patricia lives in New York City with her husband, Lee Koenigsberg. They have two grown sons, Aaron and Benjahmin. When not reading, writing, or researching, she can be found traveling with Lee to far-off places in the world.
Go behind the scenes and see how craftsman Meredith Coloma makes custom guitars by hand with this nonfiction book that’s full of photographs and illustrations about the incredible process.
Discover where the earliest guitars were made and how the instrument has evolved. Then come to the present day to meet Meredith Coloma, someone so passionate about guitars that she learned how to make them by hand. In Meredith’s workshop, there are shelves of ebony, maple, spruce, and western red cedar woods. The tool benches are filled with chisels, clamps, and rulers. Curled wood shavings and sawdust cover the floor. The sweet smell of newly cut wood fills the air. Go step-by-step with Meredith through her process of making guitars. Charts, infographics, and bold photographs make this a perfect book for reluctant readers and visual learners.
~ Author Chat ~
YABC: What gave you the inspiration to write this book?
In truth, an editor I’d worked with was the person who created this series, Made By Hand. She knew we both admired hand-made objects and asked me to be the writer for this series. It was decided that the books focus on two instruments and two objects for travel. In each case, one object was to be wood, the other steel. That’s why the series consists of Skateboards, Bicycles, Steel Drums and Guitars.
YABC: Thinking way back to the beginning, what’s the most important thing you’ve learned as a writer from then to now?
Perhaps the most important things I’ve learned as a writer is 1—keep believing in yourself because you will be getting lots and lots of rejections and 2—learn to be patient. The patience not only applies to waiting for an editor to accept or reject one’s work…it also pertains to having patience in crafting one’s story. There are usually hundreds of rewrites that I personally do before I feel a manuscript has truly taken shape and ready to send off.
YABC: What do you like most about the cover of the book?
That’s an interesting question. I would definitely have to say the overall design. I love the lettering, the grid behind Meredith Coloma’s beautifully crafted electric guitar and the torn craft paper with the book title and my name.
YABC: What new release book are you looking most forward to in 2022?
In truth, I am really excited about this series, Made By Hand even though the fourth in this series just debuted. Due to a backlog of deliveries, the Guitar book’s debut was delayed by several months and just came out this past November so my head and heart is still focused on that book.
As for new titles, I am working on a series of fiction books with a strong STEM theme for Albert Whitman and will also be working on two very early readers for Simon & Schuster.
YABC: What’s a book you’ve recently read and loved?
I just finished reading A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles and fell into the book…for me that means totally falling in love with the book as I could “see” every scene and every character so clearly that I didn’t want the story to end. I’m now about to read The Lincoln Highway also by Amor Towles.
YABC: What’s up next for you?
As I mentioned, I am working on a series of fiction books with correct factual STEM elements for Albert Whitman. The first two books in the series debut in April of 2022. I’m working on the third and fourth in that series. In addition, I will be working on two very early readers for Simon and Schuster.
YABC: What is the main message or lesson you would like your reader to remember from this book?
I’m hoping that the sheer joy of learning about the history of each object and how they are crafted will be satisfying enough. What I personally came away with after doing my research and interviewing each maker was this—each person ultimately followed their own path—not always a conventional one—and discovered their passion—whether it be making skateboards, or bicycles or steel drums or guitars. I hope readers will discover that there is no one specific road to take in life. We all have to be open and listen to our inner most wishes for what makes us happy.
YABC: What would you say is your superpower?
Well, I have no superpower. But if I did, I’d want to encourage everyone—old and young alike—to think about what each of us can do in our own lives to help heal the planet. For many reasons, including the environmental impact, I do not eat animals of any kind and have become vegan. I’ve also made a pact with myself to only by used clothing. Once I learned how making clothing ravages the environment, I thought, well, that is another thing I can do.
YABC: Is there an organization or cause that is close to your heart?
Through our younger son, Benjahmin, our family raised money for the Gay Men’s Health Crisis. Each May, they sponsor a walk [interrupted because of Covid] and we have raised thousands of dollars. It is an organization where the donations truly go to the people for whom this wonderful organization serves.
YABC: What advice do you have for new writers?
I would encourage new writers to write, write, write and find a supportive critique group to join. Be open to the suggestions others may make as it’s a great learning experience. I would also encourage new writers to read, read, read and above all, write what truly moves you. If you are passionate about your story, your words will catch fire and inspire others as well. Be patient with yourself and diligent. Crafting a simple story takes hundreds of revisions.
YABC: Is there anything that you would like to add?
Yes—for new writers—don’t give up your day job. Many of us cannot make a living simply by writing. This is not said as a complaint but as a reality check.
Author: Patricia Lakin
Publisher: Aladdin Publishing
Publish Date: January 9th, 2022
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