#AuthorInterview : Janet LoSole, Author of Adventure by Chicken Bus #AdventurebyChickenBus #memoir @JanetLoSole

Hello Readers! I’m pleased to welcome Janet LoSole, Author of Adventure by Chicken Bus for an interview on Books Teacup and Review. Check out this interesting travel adventure memoir and author in this post.

Adventure by Chicken Bus: An Unschooling Odyssey through Central America by Janet LoSole
Publication Date: December 11th 2019
Publisher: Resource Publications (CA)
Genre: Memoir / Travel Adventure

Sunopsis:

Embarking on a homeschooling field trip to Central America is stressful enough, but add in perilous bridge crossings, trips to the hospital, and a lack of women’s underwear, and you have the makings of an Adventure by Chicken Bus…a tale of one family, buckling under a mountain of debt, who sells all worldly possessions and hits the road.

Adventure by Chicken Bus demonstrates how to travel sustainably, but more importantly, how to nurture the next generation of environmentalists and social justice activists by exposing them to the conditions faced by those in the developing world.

From a remote monkey sanctuary tucked into an enclave on the Panama-Costa Rica frontier to the overdeveloped beaches of the Mayan Riviera, we endure chaotic border crossings, infections and injuries, learn about the history of the civil war in Nicaragua, visit UNESCO heritage sites, and hike the ancient Mayan temples of Tikal in Guatemala.

For the sake of safety, we plan our route down to the kilometer, navigating the region by chicken bus, an eye-opening mode of public transportation ubiquitous in the developing world. Along the way we re-connect with each other, re-kindle our commitment to the environment, recognize the privilege into which we were born, and become compassionate global citizens.

Janet LoSole is the author of Adventure by Chicken Bus: An Unschooling Odyssey through Central America. She holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in French Linguistics from York University in Toronto and a Bachelor of Education Degree from Nipissing University. She is a certified TESOL instructor and has taught ESL internationally since 1994. She began homeschooling her daughters in 1997. She writes about traveling with children and homeschooling. Her work has been published in: Canada’s Education Magazine, Natural Parent Magazine, The Alliance for Self-Directed Education, Outdoor Families Online, Unravel, and elsewhere.

Can you tell readers a little about your book, Adventure by Chicken Bus? What they can expect from it?

Adventure by Chicken Bus demonstrates how to travel sustainably, but more importantly, how to nurture the next generation of environmentalists and social justice activists by exposing them to the conditions faced by those in the developing world.

From a remote monkey sanctuary tucked into an enclave on the Panama-Costa Rica frontier to the overdeveloped beaches of the Mayan Riviera, we endure chaotic border crossings, infections and injuries, learn about the history of the civil war in Nicaragua, visit UNESCO heritage sites, and hike the ancient Mayan temples of Tikal in Guatemala.

For the sake of safety, we plan our route down to the kilometer, navigating the region by chicken bus, an eye-opening mode of public transportation ubiquitous in the developing world. Along the way we re-connect with each other, re-kindle our commitment to the environment, recognize the privilege into which we were born, and become compassionate global citizens.

How did you come up with the idea for your book? 

I first decided to write a book so my daughters would have a record of our adventure. I’d written a blog while we were on the road and once we returned home, I compiled all the blog entries into chapters. Then, I researched the market and found that although there are scads of blogs about traveling with kids, there are not that many memoirs about that.

The book is unique because most families homeschool temporarily because they are taking their kids on a trip. We were traveling because our kids were homeschooled. So the homeschoolers and worldschoolers out there needed a story by someone from their community. The book is also for people longing to travel with their kids, people who like adventure memoirs, and also expats who can relate to settling into a foreign community.

At the end of the day however, I wrote the book to answer the incessant questions from people who were curious about what we had done.

So you mentioned this is about a homeschooling field trip in this memoir. What are your thoughts on homeschooling?

The growing homeschooling movement points to large scale disillusionment in institutionalized education. Homeschooling has some drawbacks; a lack of resources for example (parents don’t have full science labs in their home or a regulation size soccer pitch).  However, it offers children a wide scope of opportunities to learn what they are interested in. This was the single driving force behind our decision to homeschool.

What were the key challenges you faced when writing Adventure by Chicken Bus?

I knew nothing about writing a long-form piece of prose. I’d only written short articles as a freelance writer. I spent a great deal of time learning how to write paragraphs that lead to chapters. I also learned about how to structure a memoir and how to pare down superfluous prose. In a nutshell, self-editing was the biggest challenge.

How long does it take you to write a book?

This is my first book. It took me years because I was homeschooling full-time while I was writing it. Full-time homeschooling, for those who are unaware, is 24/7. It’s a totally different system that traditional schooling.

Did you outline your book beforehand? Why or why not?

I did outline it in the sense that I wrote a blog on the trip and I used the blog entries as the skeleton for the book. I could not have done it otherwise; I would not have remembered as much if I had just written it without any outline to rely on.

What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned through writing Adventure by Chicken Bus?

I’ve learned that anyone can write a book if they take the time to learn how to write. I attended workshops, I asked fellow authors lots of questions, I read tons of books on how to write, as well as books in my genre. Most importantly, I learned to never give up the dream of becoming published.

Tell us about your journey to publication. 

I took a mathematical approach to getting published. I created color-coded charts and developed lists. I discovered that a fellow travel memoirist had queried 150 publishers before getting her book accepted so I relied on that number to set my goals. I had a spread sheet that compartmentalized publishers by region, then by genre, then by response time. I queried the publishers whose response time was many months out, and then I went down the list, first to Canadian publishers who were interested in my genre (travel, memoir), then branding out to the US, the UK, etc. On the spreadsheet I noted who was looking for a full proposal and who just wanted a query letter. I forced myself to learn how to write synopses, pitches, and proposals. On the 67th query, my book was accepted.

What are your most favorite and least favorite things about being an author?

There is a deep sense of accomplishment when you are a published author. For me personally, I feel that this has had a positive impact on my daughters who have their own dreams. I hope that my determination to get published will set an example of how to set goals and to never give up.

The least favorite thing about being an author is the pressure to write the next book.

Do you have any writing rituals?

As much as I chastise myself for going on social media, I learned to allow myself a bit of time during my morning tea to wake up and engage with others before settling in to write. I also have to take breaks. Often I just get in some laundry or start dinner on these breaks but in the nice weather I get out and walk or ride my bike to allow my brain a break.

What is your favorite childhood book?

Dr. Dolittle

What is the next project you’re working on?

I am currently working with my oldest daughter on a short film screenplay (she is an actor). 

When not writing, what do you like to do to relax?

I love to read, but I also love to watch Netflix, primarily k-dramas.

Can you describe Adventure by Chicken Bus in five words?

Kids, monkeys, spiders, bananas, turtles

And the last one, top 3 tips for aspiring authors.

  1. Learn (the library has dozens of books on how to write)
  2. Patience (it takes a long time to get published)
  3. Never. Give. Up. Never.

How can readers discover more about you and you work?

Website | Twitter | Instagram | Book Links: (Amazon)

Let’s discuss!

What do you think about the book and interview?
Have you read this book?
Are you going to add it to TBR?

HAPPY READING!!

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Hi, I'm Yesha, an Indian book blogger. Avid and eclectic reader who loves to read with a cup of tea. Not born reader but I don't think I’m going to stop reading books in this life. “You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.”

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