Author Interviews, Authors, Book Interviews, Lauren Reyes-Grange

Interview with Lauren Reyes-Grange

 

I’ve been wanting to interview my co-author, Lauren Reyes-Grange.

But how do you do that when she is your daughter, as well as the person who inspired the first Myrtle the Purple Turtle book?

I decided to put on my professional interviewer’s hat — after all, I’d done thousands of interviews in my journalistic work.  Here goes:

When did you first realize you loved to tell stories?
LRG: I can’t remember a time when I didn’t love to read stories, write stories or tell stories. I am fairly certain I was born with a wild imagination. Pair that with two parents who were superstar journalists (and naturally fantastic storytellers), and I think I was bound to catch the bug, too. 

Blog Photo - Lauren headshot

What was it like growing up in a house of storytellers and writers?
LRG: It was wonderful. I loved hearing stories about my parents’ work, about their day. My parents also encouraged my sister and me to read, be curious, stand up to injustice, and look for the humour in everyday things which I believe makes for great storytelling. 

Do you remember any of the stories you first wrote?
LRG: Yes. One of the first stories I wrote was about a bird who, after overcoming some obstacles, learns how to fly. 

Blog Photo - Lauren and Quentin and CR
Cynthia, Lauren at 5, and her beloved doll Quentin

A story your mother wrote for you when you were nearly five, was published many years later and became an immediate bestseller. What was that like for you?
LRG: Pretty emotional in all the best ways possible. Myrtle the Purple Turtle was a lifesaver for me when I was going through a tough time at school. Myrtle’s story made me feel proud, confident and strong. I feel very lucky that 28 years later we were able to share this gift with children who may need a reminder that they should be proud of what makes them different/unique. 

Myrtle - Cover latest at 2MB

You are now the co- author of the Myrtle series, and you are the one who comes up with the new story ideas. Where do your ideas come from?
LRG: After visiting numerous schools and speaking with children of all ages, it’s clear that messages of inclusion, kindness and friendship are still very much needed. This is what’s inspired us to continue writing more books and has made the ideation process relatively simple.  

Myrtle - Cynthia and Lauren and Students

How did you react the first time you saw your name on a book cover?
LRG: Incredibly proud. I still can’t believe I’m an author. I also feel very fortunate that I get to collaborate with my mum on this. It’s made the entire experience even more meaningful for me. 

Book Cover on Amazon - Myrtles Game

Why are the messages in the Myrtle books so special to you – and what do you hope children will get from the books?
LRG: The messages in Myrtle’s books are how I was raised. I hope the Myrtle series inspires children to act with kindness, to make their peers feel included, to be a good friend and to embrace their own differences. 

Myrtle Makes a New Friend - Cover Front 3 Sept 2019

What are your hopes for the series?
LRG: I hope we continue writing books! At least 1-2 books every year for as long as there’s an audience who wants to read them. I would love to speak with even more children and continue to inspire young people to act with kindness and self-esteem.

Your own daughter is due to be born soon. Can we assume you will be reading the Myrtle books to her when she gets old enough?
LRG: Absolutely. I’ve already started reading the books to her, but she likely doesn’t know that yet. I hope she falls in love with Myrtle’s message and is as proud of me as I am of my mum.

Blog Photo - Lauren and Dan

 

50 thoughts on “Interview with Lauren Reyes-Grange”

  1. Such a lovely interview. I was pleased to read these words from Lauren, ‘The messages in Myrtle’s books are how I was raised.’, because I feel very strongly that the Myrtle series come from the heart of a loving family. That comes through in every page, as I read.

  2. What a beautiful and heartwarming interview. Lauren’s love for you and the books shines through. It’s inspiring to know you both get to work, play, write, and read together, inspiring children and future generations. Maybe they will help make the world a kinder, more inclusive world that builds and connects. Thank you Lauren and Cynthia.

  3. A lovely and quite emotional interview. It’s clear that you’ve done a great job instilling the confidence and values Lauren would need as she grew up, and it’s clear that you Lauren have become a creative and powerful force in the world.

  4. Wish there were a “Love” button on this. Congrats on the wonderful books and, of course, congrats on the imminent arrival of the new baby. Such an exciting time for you and your family.

  5. You certainly have not lost the ‘professional interviewer’s’ touch and this one is infused by a mutual love which comes through making it special. Congrats to both of you.

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