Monday, January 1, 2018

Interview with children's writer Cas Mesterom

Kicking off 2018 is my special guest, Cas Mesterom. He’s chatting with me about his children’s book, Oki and Harlo, fairytale friends.

Cas Mesterom is a Dutch born author, poet, model and actor. Although Dutch is his native language, he feels more at ease writing his ideas to life in English.

He resides in Amsterdam where he currently is working on the sequel to Oki and Harlo, fairytale friends.

Please tell us about your current release.
In bringing Oki and Harlo to print, I worked with illustrators who created some beautiful images, but while we were working on those, the idea I had had of asking children to create their own illustrations kept coming back to me. I didn't want to limit a child's imagination with an illustrated book, I wanted children to be part of Oki & Harlo's world. And what better way is there really, then to invite them to use their own imagination and creativity. We tested it in a fourth grade in Venice, Florida, and the kids loved making their own drawings. This convinced me to turn Oki and Harlo, fairytale friends into the first-ever draw-freely book. One that stimulates a child's creativity and imagination through free-draw pages that have clear instructions on what to draw.

Oki, a little orphaned goat meets Harlo, a shooting star, who falls to earth and ends up in the field where Oki is asleep. They become instant best friends and together they go on a quest to find Oki's momma.

Enter a world where children can safely go and learn about making friends, being honest, and believing in dreams, as well as healthy eating and the real purpose of rainbows!

The book is written for children aged 5 to 10 years, but is suitable for older children and adult kids too! It is a fun fairytale to read to your children and it is equally fun for children who are discovering the world of reading and imagination.

What inspired you to write this book?
The little boy inside this grown-up man. I felt inspired to write a feel-good story, create a an imaginary world where I would go were I still a child.

What exciting story are you working on next?
I am currently working on the next Oki and Harlo adventure!

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I actually don't know how to answer this one. I love to connect with people and I love to learn from other people. And the more I am in connection with people the more that helps me in connecting back to them through story telling. But I don't know if I ever realized that I wanted to be a writer. I actually don't label myself as a writer. I also act, model, write poetry and theater plays and: I -am- being me. It makes -writer- just one of the labels, if that makes any sense.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
Listening with my heart to the characters talking to me. They decide where the story goes and what happens to them. So, yeah, I write with my heart first.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
That changed several times, I wanted to a vet or a lawyer, a pilot or an actor.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
It can be a lonely route to go in order to get your story out into the world, but keep at it!


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