Author Showcase: Rachel August Discusses the Adventures of Libby Nickel
Rachel August is a New Orleans native who now lives in Washington State. She grew up as a military dependent and is now a military wife herself. Traveling to new places through the many books Rachel read helped her develop a great imagination, and she says “she hopes to let those dreams continue.”
TCBR: When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
Rachel August: When I first realized I wanted to be a writer was in middle school. Of course, I had great dreams before then, but it surprised me that people enjoyed my stories. My English teacher selected my story to share with the class and just about everyone could not believe I had written it. I was overwhelmed by the fact that my teacher picked me, a B student, out of all the other students to spotlight my story. Thanks English teacher.
From where did you draw the inspiration for Adventures of Libby Nickel, What’s Your Mommy’s First Name?
The inspiration for Libby Nickel came from the things I enjoyed as a child. I remember as a child taking a nickel to the corner store and leaving with a whole bag full of goodies. I guess I’m telling my age because in the last two decades a nickel does not get you very much. But, I knew Nickel would be a part of the characters name. The inspiration for Libby came from my favorite canned foods from my childhood (again I’m telling my age). I think, as children, the world is an adventure—one is constantly learning something new everyday. I have a few more continuations of Libby Nickel to share that I hope other children can identify and realize it’s natural to be inquisitive about one’s surroundings. In addition, that it’s OK to make bad choices and learn from them.
What age group is it intended for?
The age group for Libby Nickel can range from an alert 2-year-old up to a 7- or 8-year-old. I have some readers that are 8-years-old and they love Libby Nickel adventures, as it’s an easy read for them.
What is it about Libby that you think children connect with the most?
I think children will connect with Libby Nickel’s determination to be right and her liveliness. Libby is very animated in her expressions and not only her but also her classmates as well, as in the new Libby Nickel adventure, “Why Are There Colors?”
Did you create the illustrations?
No, I did not create the illustrations, but I have been fortunate to work with Bobbi Switzer in each of the Libby Nickel series. I hope I will hold onto Bobbi for the remainder of the Libby illustrations and more.
Do you hear from your readers? What kinds of things do they say?
Yes, I love hearing from the readers and was rather surprised actually. One of my readers just made me feel pretty great when my book was the one they elected to take on a family camping trip. It’s great to hear parents tell me they enjoy the book, or that their kids are going through that stage of thinking their name is Mommy or Daddy.
Which books from your own childhood have most influenced your life?
Gosh, from my childhood the books that have most influenced my life would have to be Dr. Seuss and tales like Hansel and Gretel (Yes, I’m old).
Can you give us any hints as to what you’re working on next?
I’m currently working on one more Libby Nickel continuation; this time Libby learns a valuable lesson. And, I am just about finished with a new book that will not be a series, as far as I can tell—it will include the whole story in one tale. I hope everyone will enjoy each of these books as much as I have enjoyed writing them.
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Only thing I can say to my readers is keep escaping to the daydreams of imaginations in books.
For more information or to contact the author, visit: www.outskirtspress.com/adventuresoflibbynickel.
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