Interview With Howard Shapiro, A Children Book Author
I nterviewed Howard Shapiro on October 24 2006 Q: What are you working on now? At the moment I am marketing my Hanukkah book for the 2nd year and trying to get my anti-bullying book into schools, foundations etc. After the first of the year, I am planning to start work on my third book "Hockey Day's" which I hope to have out in October, 2007. Q: Tell us about your two books? My first book was published in October, 2005. It is called "Hanukkah Counts Too!" and the premise is that there are a brother (Tom) and a sister (Tupelo) who are each eight years old and they live in a predominately non-Jewish area and they are bombarded by Christmas images, shows, movies etc. And Tupelo, questions why they have to be different and why Santa can't bring her a tree or presents. She runs upstairs on the first night of Hanukkah but has a heart-to-heart talk with her older cousin and after the talk she comes to realize that Hanukkah is an important holiday and that it matters (and counts) too. My new book which was released on September 12th, is called "Destructo Boy & Spillerella.We Are Who We Are!" and it is an anti-bullying story. It again involves Tom and Tupelo, who are being bullied by a big fourth grader. First the bully starts picking on Tom and then Tupelo and Tom has a chat with his Dad who reminds him that he has strength and courage that he doesn't even know he has. When the bully starts picking on Tupelo, and Tom sees the hurt in her eyes and face, he puts his foot down and tells the bully that his words and actions don't matter and will not hurt he or Tupelo any more. Q: Top five tips for raising kids:
1. Parents have to work as a team: I believe that this is the absolute number one tip for raising kids. The Parents must be in sync with each other and cover each other on household tasks. Especially when the child or children are one to three years old. The household tasks like doing the laundry, the dishes, emptying the trash, balancing the checkbook and paying the bills can be overwhelming so those tasks must be divided up and the parents have to WORK at being good teammates.
2. Make time for yourself. Whether it's going to a movie by yourself or just walking around the mall or going to a athletic event, couples need to do some stuff to get them out of the house for a short amount of time.
3. Schedule at least one date night a month. While it helps to recharge one's batteries doing something solo, couple's should make time once a month to get out and see a movie or have dinner or simply get out of the house and be together at least once a month.
4. Be cost and money concious. Everyone wants to make their kids happy but the $50 or $75 that is spent on a holiday gift or outfit that will be thrown in the closet never to see the light of day could be better used by being put in the bank or towards a college education fund. When I say money concious I mean that the husband and wife should put off luxury purchases and similar purchases like new furniture, drapes a better car etc. in lieu of saving money for the childs education.
5. Keep things "even" between the husband and wife's families. What I mean is that if you have to make two Thanksgiving stops, do it. If the wife's mother is watching the kids one night, ask the husband's mother to watch them the next time. Keeping both families on an even keel will do wonders for the husband and wife in their relationship and won't cause any friction with their families. If one side is being too agressive or bossy, it is the husband or wife's obligation to tell them to back off, it's for the greater good of THEIR marriage/relationship and in the children's interst to keep things as even as possible between the families. Q: Where can we find out about your books and website? I have a website, http://www.howardshapiro.net and my books are both available on Amazon.com. Also, copies can be ordered directly from me and I will autograph each copy. Both books cost $8.95. For more information, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or go to http://www.howardshapiro.net Q: Something people must know about you. Just that I work really hard at the whole "business" or writing and marketing my books and that I love feedback from people who have read them. As Louis Ferdinand Celine said "when you write, you should put your skin on the table" and I truly believe this and want my books to make a difference to someone or help them in some way, even if it's just for a moment. That, and I also believe that we are all capable of greatness in all that we do and we should strive for that.
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