Site icon Joanna Campbell Slan

A Day with Nathan

(An Interview with Nathan Arnold, 7th Grade at Westminster School, St. Louis )

Nathan came to my office to “shadow” me for professional development day. He asked me some questions about my work and I asked him questions about his desire to become a writer.

Question for Joanna: What activities are enjoyable as a writer?
Answer: I enjoy writing, reading and marketing. I love what I do.

Question for Nathan: What activities seem enjoyable, even exciting about the job of an author?
Answer: Reading a lot, writing, meeting fans.

Question for Joanna: How many hours do you work a day?
Answer: Eight to ten.

Question for Nathan: What activities appear unpleasant or excessively boring?
Answer: Reading over your book so many times.

Question for Joanna: Does the position require homework after hours?
Answer: There’s some after-hours work, like working on marketing at night or when I go to conferences and meet with readers and other authors.

Question for Nathan: In what specific ways does school now prepare you for the world of work later?
Answer: It teaches you the basic skills in every subject. And the encore classes teach you about different things and unique skills you might need later on.

Question for Joanna: What other responsibilities do you have outside of work?
Answer: Well, I’m a mom. I make meals and do laundry. I take care of my dogs.

Question for Nathan: What do you like to write?
Answer: I like to write historical fiction and just plain fiction. Maybe some science fiction. I’m into fiction.

Question for Joanna: How did you decide to pursue this career path?
Answer: I always wrote. I can’t say that I actually decided to be an author, I just always read and wrote a lot. That’s how I think. How I process the world.

Question for Nathan: What surprised you about what you observed on the job?
Answer: The amount of work needed to make the book and get it finished. The amount of perseverance.

Question for Joanna: What are the top five most needed skills and characteristics for the job?
Answer: 1.) Perseverance 2.) Continuous learning 3.) Marketing 4.) Writing skills and 5.) The ability to handle rejection and criticism.

Question for Nathan: Is this a job that you might be interested in doing someday?
Answer: Yes, because I love to read and write, and I like what I can learn from reading and writing books.

Question for Joanna: What do you do to market your books?
Answer: I write for three blogs, contribute to newsletters and other publications, make appearances, create excerpt booklets and bookmarks, approach the media about publicity, create partnerships with organizations who might sponsor coupons or special events, work with other writers, set up book signings, work to create online communities, and appear on panels.

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