Interview with New Zealand author Jo Carson-Barr

Updated: Jan 31

Tell me a bit about yourself….


My name is Jo Carson-Barr but I write under my full name Josephine Carson-Barr. I have been writing for about 20yrs. Currently, I live on the road full time with my husband Rod Carson and we just love the gypsy life. We also visit Early Childhood Centres and some schools selling our books, and do the occasional market, while enjoying our beautiful country of Aotearoa NZ.


What genre/s do you write in?

Children's Picture Books


How long have you been writing?

20yrs at least maybe longer, I started off writing short stories and articles for magazines.


Do you have any published books or articles? Tell me a bit about these and what publishing route you took.

Yes we have five books published. One through Learning Media into the school reading system called Talking to Nannie. Four other books called The GoodBye Chair, The Chill Out Chair, The Sava Chair and Waata the Weta Can He Find The Perfect Home, all aimed at children 1yr-7yrs depending on reading ability.


Did you use an editor? If so who?

I have a very dear friend who edits our books, Kathy Tanner.


Did you use a book formatter and cover designer?

Our illustrator Simon Barr does the whole job.


Did you self-publish or get traditionally published? How did this go for you?

We self published and had the books printed in China by Asia Pacific who have an agent in Auckland Barbara Nielson.

We had not problems with self publishing, the biggest hurdle is marketing. We have sold close to 13,000 books now so we are pleased with that figure. We have not ventured into the overseas market, selling sell ebooks or print on demand that may come in the future.


How do you market your work and promote your brand?(Include links)

Officially we are Veritas Aotearoa Publishing.

We have our website. www.vapublishing.co.nz

and many other people who sell on our behalf (online stores), physical bookshops. I also have a website on The Hive NZ, and a page on Kiwi Kids Read Kiwi Books. We are also in libraries throughout NZ. We have an Instagram page and a FB Author page. www.instagram.com/vapublishing www.facebook.com/josephinecarsonbarr

www.facebook.com/vapublishing


What social media and writing platforms would you recommend?

NZIndie Authors FB page and there are so many others I belong to but it depends on what genre you are writing in.


Do you use an agent?

We have distributors for schools.


Do you use paid advertising? If so what?

Occassionally on Facebook but very rare.


Do you have a blog or website?

A website.


What inspires you most to write?

Stories I come across in my life.


What do you do to help with writers block?

Just write.


How do you plan your writing and start?

I just write when an idea comes to me


Is writing your full time job? If not what else do you do?

Yes writing, publishing and marketing are virually full time for me.


What are you working on at the moment?

Learning how to market better.

Two other manuscripts waiting with the illustrator.


What is your target audience?

Grandparents, parents and Early Childhood Centres


How long does it take you to write a book?

Can't really answer this, sometimes years.


When did you first discover you enjoyed writing?

Many years ago, I have always written. I write to think.


What is your writing schedule look like?

I don't have one.


What does your family think about you writing?

All very supportive and the illustrator is my son so we are a family business


What do you do when you are not writing?

We travel around in our caravan and enjoy life, I love to read and try to keep fit.


Where do you get information and ideas for your writing?

Real life.


What do you think makes a good story?

An idea that no one else has had yet.





https://www.mynzdreamblog.com/mentoring









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