Friday, December 13, 2019
Author Spotlight - Adam Leitman Bailey on his award-winning book
HOW DID YOU GET THE IDEA FOR YOUR AWARD WINNING BOOK?
Home came from the combination of the birth of my sons and the memories of my childhood, moving cross-country on the journey to find a new home.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE LINE FROM YOUR AWARD WINNING BOOK AND WHY?
I cannot write it here as it will give away the ending. But here is part of it: “So the boy ran into his apartment and hugged his parents, knowing that in the entire world...”
Although the book is active, lively, and full of items to discuss with your kids about the journey the boy takes, it is also a heart-warming story. On my reading tour, I have learned from the children many lessons from the book that I never conceived, especially from those readers who have been forced to move or have reasons to really want to move or simply love their current homes. Sometimes the book also reminds readers of their different homes or friends’ homes. No matter how rich or poor, all of the children appreciate the love a caregiver provides. Ergo the explanation for my favorite line.
WHICH OF YOUR CHARACTERS FROM YOUR AWARD WINNING TITLE DO YOU BELIEVE IS MOST LIKE YOU?
When I read Home to my 4-year-old, Benjamin, and I say “the boy,” he immediately looks at me and says “Benjamin.” So if it fits your child’s demeanor, substitute his or her name. Or if reading to a female say “the girl” instead of “the boy.” The book is for your children and is no longer my baby.
On a much deeper, maybe Freudian level, the boy in the book is a happier version of myself. Home mirrors my childhood in a fun, exciting, adventurous way. At the age of 5, I may have been on a journey searching for a home, but for my unemployed teacher parents moving from New York City to California, these were not good times.
WHAT MESSAGE DO YOU HOPE READERS WILL GLEAN FROM YOUR AWARD-WINNING BOOK?
I am so flattered and amazed at each school where I read the book by the excitement in the children’s voices and movements and hand waving. And I highly recommend that parents be active readers – I included so many things to discuss on each page so parents can ask questions or point out details like the billy goat on top of the small barn house on the farm. But the story is about the love of family over all else, no matter how small one’s home is or how few toys there are to play with.
WHO INSPIRED YOU TO BECOME A WRITER?
I am not sure I was a very good writer at a very young age but I had the biggest fan, my mother. She kept telling me how good a writer I was, and I believed her and developed a love for writing. She believed in me and I developed the confidence to believe in myself, and I never looked back.
WHO HAS HAD THE GREATEST INFLUENCE ON YOUR WRITING STYLE?
I am a student and my writing style is the product of literature of the greatest American authors pre-1960. Yet both my award-winning books followed the formats of a variety of books – Finding the Uncommon Deal was based more off self-help books like Dale Carnegie’s How To Win Friends and Influence People and Home was based on children’s books from the 60s and 70s, like Where the Wild Things Are and The Very Hungry Caterpillar. The first allowed it to be an easy-to-use book with a lot of information and the latter provided beautiful landscapes with interesting stories.
IF YOU COULD BE COMPARED TO A WELL-KNOWN AUTHOR WHO WOULD YOU MOST WANT THIS TO BE?
I cherish the writings of so many greats who have written classics that may live on for centuries—from Homer, to Shakespeare, to Dickens, to Fitzgerald to Faulkner, to Clemens to Hemingway, to Truman Capote to Harper Lee. At this point, I do not even have the courage to reach their heights but I do believe that somewhere inside me is that book that may take years to write and be crushingly painful to finish but completely satisfying to publish. At this time, I can only dream and think of the plot.
WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR GREATEST LITERARY ACCOMPLISHMENT?
I have been blessed to have the means to have donated Home to a few thousand (and counting) underserved communities and children, and have seen the impact pictures and words can have on these communities. My first book, Finding the Uncommon Deal, has taught thousands of first-time homebuyers how to be better educated on buying homes and has provided a vehicle for television appearances and giving speeches on the subject.
WHAT ARE YOUR GREATEST LITERARY ASPIRATIONS?
Someone needs to write our generation’s Great American Novel and right now I can only dream about being able to put together the story and then writing it.
DO YOU HAVE ANY NEW BOOKS IN THE WORKS?
I am acting as the editor of and co-writing a definitive real estate primer that I hope will be a must-read for every real estate lawyer in New York.
LITERARY CLASSICS Book Awards & Reviews International Book Awards • Top Honors Youth Book Awards • Seal of Approval http://www.clcawards.org