Throughout our series of interviews with some of Waldorf Publishing’s array of literary talent, we have found that not every book is created the same way. Some are works of pure fiction, taken from the writers imagination and exposed for all to enjoy. Others are based on actual events and/or people, and let us know that even our story could be a great one. Still others are a bit of both…a glimpse into actual events that can help provide insight into the world around you, and still let you use your imagination to fill in the blanks.
Today, we offer you a glimpse into the mind of Cheryl Kolker and Jan Landau, who combined to write ‘Teachers have you ever….’
How did you get your start in the literary world? The fact is, that as of October 15, 2019, with the official “birth” of my book, Teachers, Have You Ever?, I will be a published author for the first time at the exciting and energetic age of 72. My co-author, Jan Landau, is fast approaching that number, as well.
How do you get your inspiration? Teachers, Have You Ever? is a compilation of quips and stories, many of them unbelievably believable, that serves as an outlet for fellow teachers, teacher assistants, administrators, administrative assistants, and virtually anyone who works with or has worked with children in a school setting, to be entertained, to laugh, to commiserate, and to connect and identify with the unique perspective of educators.
Can you tell us a little more about what you do? Throughout our combined 60 plus years as teachers in the primary grades, Jan and I certainly have had the first hand experiences that all teachers endure in their careers when interacting with parents, students, colleagues, and administrators. No educator should feel alone! We’ve lost track of the times we had to silently nod or shake our heads in acknowledgment of what was being discussed at meetings –both formal and informal- as seemingly tangible bubbles of disbelief formed in our brains. We have dealt with parents who are needy, competitive, demanding, disrespectful, enabling and enabled, hovering, and those who only see their children through rose-colored, Lasik-surgery eyes. We always knew that “some day” we wanted to write a book about our unbelievably believable experiences, but as teachers in good standing-and in Jan’s case a principal, as well-we knew that we would not be able to do so until we both retired. Welcome August 2017!
What is your favorite part about being an author? I think that our favorite part of writing Teachers, Have You Ever? is that it was an incredibly fun experience and a much needed catharsis for Jan and me. Sometimes we laughed until we cried!
Not only that, but we realized that this is not only a book for educators, but it will also allow parents, grandparents, and relatives and friends of students who has ever attended school, who presently attend school, or who will attend school in the future, to gain a unique perspective, mostly through humor, of the challenges that teachers experience every day and what they really think during teachers/kids/parents encounters.
Of all the characters you’ve created, which one would you like to see come alive on the silver screen? Wouldn’t the stories in Teachers, Have You Ever? make a great premise for a realistic sitcom? Speaking of recognizing truth in humor!
What is your next big project? Jan and I hope that ______, Have You Ever? will be an ongoing series with many different subjects, and we are already laughing out loud as we write our second book.
Anything else you’d like to add? Jan and I live in San Diego, CA and are very proud moms–I have three grown sons and Jan has three grown sons and a daughter–and very busy grandmothers with a total of 12 grandchildren … that number is ongoing, too.
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