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Jonathan Emmett is February’s Leicestershire Author of the month! I really enjoyed our interview, in which we talk about his fun childhood spent using tools, his training as an architect, and how he blended his interests in problem-solving, design, and storytelling during his successful career as a children’s author.
Each month this year I will be featuring authors who are from Leicestershire or who live here, as my way of using the show and its growing audience to support writers in my local community. If this interview is any indicator of things to come, I’m going to have a lot of fun over the coming months speaking with really interesting people!
Jonathan grew up in Enderby, a village just on the southwestern outskirts of Leicester City. The librarian in Enderby fortunately had an eye for American authors like Maurice Sendak, P.D. Eastman, and Dr. Seuss, all of whom were a big influence on Jonathan as a child. His parents encouraged him not just to read, but to play with real tools, building and designing things from a young age. As he trained to become an architect, he learned that Computer Aided Design (CAD) programs were really useful in designing pop-up books, something he still does today.
This interview gives a glimpse into an interesting career, with sound advice for prospective authors and fun reflections on the importance of allowing just the slightest bit of danger into childhood.
You can learn more about Jonathan Emmett and the books he’s written at jonathanemmett.com. Follow him on Twitter at JonathanEmmett, Facebook at JonathanEmmettAuthor, and Instagram at jonathanemmett. He also has a YouTube channel and a Pinterest page.
Activity: Make A Pop-Up!
Jonathan Emmett doesn’t just write books — he designs them! His background as an architect helps him come up with clever designs for books that pop up into three dimensional pictures. Check out his page on how to make your own pop-up pages.