Friday, August 7, 2020

Q&A with Sol Regwan

Sol Regwan is the author of the new children's picture book Geraldine and the Most Spectacular Science Project, the first in a series that also includes Geraldine and the Space Bees. An optometrist, he lives in Los Angeles.

Q: How did you come up with the idea for Geraldine and the Most Spectacular Science Project?

A: I never thought in my wildest dreams that I would be writing children's books. I started writing roughly four years ago when I would read my children bedtime stories every night. After reading two-to-three books every night to my kids, I started coming up with many stories that were not like the cookie cutter books that I read.

After a while I decided that I could do this. I started writing and came up with the idea of Geraldine. I was very lucky to have my amazing publisher, Schiffer Publishing,  believe in Geraldine and have that vision to go forth with it.  

As a dad to a 5-year-old daughter, I was asked, "Could girls go to Mars one day?" "How come all the presidents of the U.S. are boys?" So I decided to write about a girl who was a bit misunderstood and a bit of a troublemaker yet loved science and inventing things using her gadgets and gizmos. A daydreamer who believed that she could do anything she set her mind to. 

Q: What do you think Denise Muzzio's illustrations add to the story?

A: Denise Muzzio's illustrations adds tons to the book. Her eye-catching style and beautiful colors bring the book to life. I can't imagine the book being what it is without her talent. Most parents, teachers and children are attracted to the illustrations and cover before they read the book, so Denise's illustrations help bring that to life.

I am eternally grateful to her and am lucky to have her illustrate the entire Geraldine Gizmo Girl series. 

Q: What do you hope kids take away from the book?

A: I would hope to convey the message to children to pursue their passions and dreams and not let anyone or anything stand in their way. I would love for young girls to feel empowered and be the scientists and astronauts that can one day change the world. 

Q: As an optometrist and a writer, how do the two coexist for you?

A: Having a science background and being a practicing optometrist, it helps me connect the stories with a STEM theme. Every book of the series has a scientific invention using Geraldine's gadgets and gizmos.

In the first book of the series, Geraldine and the Most Spectacular Science Project, Geraldine creates a binocular telescope that could see Mars. I tried to use my knowledge of optics and lens making in the creation of the telescope in the story. 

Q: What are you working on now?

A: I am working on the fourth book of the Geraldine series. The first two books, Geraldine and the Most Spectacular Science Project and Geraldine and the Space Bees, just came out. The third book will be released early next year. I am also working on a chapter book, actually a cross between a chapter book and graphic novel. I am hoping for that to be a series as well. 

Q: Anything else we should know?

A: Aside from doing my part to help inspire children to think outside the box and believe in themselves and follow their passions, I would love for the Geraldine series to be part of the elementary school curriculum. We need more girl scientists and inventors now more than ever. I am hoping that young girls can have someone they could relate to and be inspired to one day change the world!

--Interview with Deborah Kalb

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