Haley’s Friendship Challenge: Interview with Author Louie Lawent

Topaz Publishing has just released a new  children’s book. “Haley’s Friendship Challenge” is a beautifully illustrated story about a girl who moves to a new town. Unfortunately, she isn’t fitting in and she misses her old friends. For her birthday, Haley receives a much-coveted surprise that she shares with no one. However, her feelings change when she feels empathy for a neighborhood dog that has also lost her pals. After weeks of loneliness, Haley realizes that things are not getting better for either of them; it’s time to make new friends.

Interestingly, a few weeks ago before I found out about this book, I had contacted Dr. Marcie to ask her questions about how to help me six-year-old boy make friends. You can find that interview here

Coming back to the book, I had the opportunity to interview the author of this book,  Louie Lawent which I wanted to share with you below.

 Tell us more about why you picked this subject? Was it a real-life influence?
Ideas frequently pop into my head as I take long walks.  I talk to myself when walking because the walk would be too boring if I didn’t.  I get ideas from songs, films, observations and talking to myself because thoughts lead to other thoughts. When I was in elementary school I made friends easily.  One night my parents had a party. One of my classmate’s mom thanked me in a private conversation for inviting her son to my birthday party. He was very shy and I don’t think he had many friends so this showed me the importance of inclusion. How a simple thing like being invited to a party can mean so much.
 What was the hardest part about writing this book? 
I say this in a dark humor way, but getting it published was the hardest.  Now, that’s not answering the question but writing the story was a smooth flow.
 What kind of research did you do while writing this book?
The challenge of the new kid in town making new friends is easily understood by just being a person who observes so I didn’t need to do research for this particular book.  I used my imagination by injecting a neighborhood dog into the story so the girl in the story who has been reluctant to make friends can see how a dog she adores reacts when the dog also has lost friends. Will the dog and Haley make new friends?  That’s what the reader will find out.
What influenced you to become a children’s book author?
I wanted to write children’s stories ever since a friend and I wrote funny stories in 3rd grade. In 4th grade I created a story about “Gerty the Pig” which years later became an illustrated children’s book which is in schools across the U.S. in the National Accelerated Readers Program.  I would like it to become a series. I’ve written 5 more Gerty stories.  They’re hilarious.  I need a publisher for those.
What is most rewarding about for being an author?
The most rewarding moments are when children tell me how much they like it.
Haley's Friendship Challenge
What are your top 3 favorite books of all times? What are your top 3 favorite children’s books of all times?
My favorites are  1. Case Closed   by Gerald Posner
2.  How To Read The Bible by James Kugel. 3. Abuse of Power: The New Nixon Tapes by Stanley Kutler
When I was in elementary school I enjoyed reading books about Ben Franklin and Martin Luther King Jr.  I also enjoyed the Nancy Drew Mysteries.  I liked  “Benny’s Flag” by Phyllis Krasilovsky so much that I printed out the whole book in long hand.  A more recent favorite is “Henry The Blowfish” bu Howard Morlan.
 Do you have any words of wisdom for young parents of the children of the world?
  Let your children follow their passions.  A person will never be fulfilled if they settle.
 Please tell us more about some of your upcoming projects. 

I am also a lyricist so I’ll keep writing and be collaborating with composers.  But right now my prime objective is trying to make “Haley’s Friendship Challenge” a success. Hopefully, your readers will order a copy, enjoy it with the young people in their lives and let others know so they will want it to be in their homes too!

About the Author of Haley’s Friendship Challenge

Louie Lawent is the author of the children’s picture book “Gerty the Pig” which is in school systems across the U.S. The book is in the National Accelerated Readers program. His co-written song “Strangely Beautiful” was featured in the TV show “Famous In Love” and my co-write  “Angels Of The New Millennium” was licensed to the TV show “Full Circle.” Ten of his co-writers were on Steve Goodie’s kid’s album “Refrigerator Art” CD. His co-write “One More Father’s Son” which is about a homeless veteran is on Grammy winner DL Byron’s “Satori” CD. “Slippery Forces” is on Boz Boorer’s CD “Some Of The Parts.” There’s a really cool video of “Slippery Forces” on youtube.  He has numerous other song co-writes. He is an excellent ping-pong player and love to play beach volleyball. He is also a big time fan of the Green Bay Packers.

Sneha J is a mom of two boys and a true multi-passionate at heart. She is a Certified Neuro-Transformational Results Coach, a Master Reiki Practitioner, Tarot Enthusiast and a Mom Blogger. She has a Masters Degree in Manufacturing Systems Engineering from North Carolina State University. She is also a Mindfulness Enthusiast. Being brought up in an Indian culture, spirituality and meditations were part of growing up. After working in a very masculine manufacturing environment for 10+ years, she decided to change paths and explore her true passion. She is deeply inspired to use public platforms to spread the message of conscious connections and less stress in the world. To learn more about her visit stresslesswithsnehaj.com


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