Tell us a bit about it.
The characters in Swimming Along are named after my niece and nephew, who were just learning to swim when I started writing it. Emilie and Jack are a young brother and sister off to their first day of swimming lessons. They’re excited and nervous to be finally learning how to swim. Jack sings a little song to give him courage: “I’m Swimming Along, singing a song.” By the end of this colourful children’s book, everyone has had a great day at the pool, and even their mom is singing Jack’s song!
Tell us something about yourself.
I’m from Sydney, Australia and living so close to the beach, I could swim before I could walk. I’m a journalism graduate and worked on community papers for close to five years. I’ve worked at Olympic, Paralympic, Commonwealth and Youth Olympic Games as a journalist covering sports.
What inspired you to write this book?
I wrote this book to encourage children to overcome their fears and to let them know that swimming is a fun and healthy activity. I had a part time job as a swimming teacher, and was surprised at how many children were afraid of swimming lessons. Swimming is such a crucial skill to have, and often parents aren’t quite sure how to encourage their kids.
How did you choose the title?
The young boy Jack sings this the whole way through the book, and I thought it just had a good ring to it.
How did you know you wanted to be a writer? How did you get started?
I remember having a notebook and writing poems in it when I was a young child. Later I did well at English at school and when I studied journalism at university, things just went from there
Do you have any writing rituals?
I always write a plan first, and then just come back and fill in the gaps. Also, lots of chocolate and Coke Zero.
Did you learn anything from writing and publishing this book? What?
I learned that I want to pursue my writing career further.
What types of books do you like to read? Who are your favorite authors? Why?
My favourite author is Bryce Courtenay- The Power of One. I also love Marianne Keyes, and some other Irish authors.
Are you working on your next book? What can you tell us about it?
I am, but I can’t tell you – it’s top secret!!!
What is the best advice you could give other writers about writing or publishing?
Follow your dreams. If you want it bad enough, then you’ll make it happen.
Who is the perfect reader for your book?
Young kids and their parents
Where can readers learn more about you and your book?
My website: www.lisaherbertson.com and my blog: www.lisaherbertson.bookblogworld.com