Noticing Neighbors Olivia Jones Book Release


Just in time for summer, Olivia Jones has released her first published book with the story of a camping trip that went terribly wrong! Coming from this third time author, ‘Kara and Emma Meet Camping Disaster’ is Olivia’s first book that is not handmade for readers. Through Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing platform, Olivia has found a way to reach new audiences and “be able to hold a real book that was mine.” This spring, Olivia held a book release event by collaborating with Sweet Tee’s Coffee. When I reached out to Karen Morris, the owner of the shop, she had high praise to share about working with the young author: “Olivia is an amazing young lady, she is so much more mature than her age. She was very confident when speaking to all of us in the shop and was extremely outgoing. I could tell from the small amount of interaction that she will go far in her pursuits in the future. I can’t wait to see what she does next!”

After a successful book release, Olivia sat down to share the stories behind her book.



Hayley: So for readers that may not know, can you say the title of your book? And what is the book about?


Olivia:

So it's called ‘Kara and Emma Meet Camping Disaster.’ It's about these two twins, Kara and Emma, when their parents test their responsibility and they leave them out in the woods on a long camping trip on their own, like, with nobody. They're 13 years old, so they're pretty young, and it goes really bad at first. They don't know what to do. They try to find food, and it doesn't go very well. Then they run into some people, like Jocelyn. She's a teacher, and has a little brother named Austin. So they start becoming friends with Austin. Then finally at the end, the parents come back and they find the kids. They're like: sorry!


Hayley:

Oh my gosh. This sounds like a whole adventure. Like, you don't know what's going to happen the whole time! I've got so many questions, but here’s the first one: What made you want to write about camping?


Olivia:

I honestly don't know. Like, for me, I've written books before, but I've never gotten them published. This is my first one published. I get random ideas. Like, you know how sometimes you think about one thing and then it turns into something else and then you just keep thinking about something else so you can start thinking about a pet you have and it can go and do a whole different thing? That's kind of like what happens with me. I think about things around me, and then it can go to a whole different situation.


Hayley:

So you are able to jump from idea to idea, and then use those to write?


Olivia:

Yeah.


Hayley:

Oh, that's so cool. You said you've written stories before, so this is a huge treat that people get to read this one. You know what I mean? Olivia: Yeah, because it's published!


Hayley: When did you know that you wanted to publish this one?


Olivia:

The books I’ve written before I started in second grade and then fourth grade. I would write on my laptop, and then I would print it off on some paper and staple it or tape it together. But then I got a little bit older, and I know I still like my paper books. They're cool. But it would be a lot cooler if it's like a book book. So I did do that.


Hayley:

How did you start making it a book after writing it? Did you go to someone for help, or what did that look like?


Olivia:

Yeah, kind of. So when I first started writing the book, I didn't really think about getting it published. Then after I started writing the book, I thought it was really good, and I started selling it to my friends and family and stuff. Then they told me that it's a really cool book, so I thought it'd be really cool to make it real. So, yeah, by the time I found out I wanted to be published, I was still halfway through the book. So I finished writing it, and then somebody that works at my school has a friend who also has written books before. Hayley: Did she introduce you two?


Olivia:

Yes, and she helped me. Then we had to edit it like three times!


Hayley:

Are there pictures in the book?


Olivia:

No, I only have a picture of the book cover, but I did have to draw the cover. My art teacher helped me draw it a little bit. I also had to write the About The Author blurb on the back of my book.


Hayley:

Once you had it all ready, how did you get it published?

Olivia:

There's this thing on Amazon called KDP. It helps you publish. That's what I use. So we set up a KDP account on Amazon. They publish it, you pay for it when you buy it. What they can do is they turn it into a book and they can sell it on Amazon. You can literally go on Amazon and you can buy my book, and other books, too! Hayley: Wow! Olivia: So that's what we did. My mom set up the KDP account. Then roughly about like two, or three weeks later, we got the books. Then we had my book release party book signing at Sweet Tee’s Coffee. Hayley: I saw that!

I am wondering, was this a hard project to finish? Olivia: Everything was hard after writing it, but I think the writing process is really the hardest part. It's hard to think of what to write and have ideas.


Mom:

She would even wake up in the middle of the night or come to me at the beginning of the day and be like, “Okay, Mom, I got to jot this down before I forget!” She would be dreaming of ideas for her book.


Hayley:

That's amazing. It takes a lot of work ethic to stick to it, and it takes a lot of perseverance because it doesn't sound like it just happened super fast. You've put a lot of time into this. That is very cool.


Olivia:

So I even have this milestone page. I was trying to finish the whole thing in September, but it didn't really work out. It ended up being like, five months.


Mom:

She made this calendar on her own, and figured out how to do that. Then she put herself motivational sayings: “You got this,” “Come on, one more day,” “Take a breath,” “We've got this, keep going.”

She made herself this little motivational calendar, which I just love.


Hayley:

Oh, I am amazed at you. That is incredible! I want to make one now. That's so smart. Olivia: Yeah. Hayley: Did that help you?


Olivia:

It helped me for September. At one point, like, I was writing it so much it probably would have taken me three months. But it took me five months because for a long period of time, I just stopped. I had a blank. I could not think of anything.

Some of it was because I didn't have the time to write, some of it was because I kind of didn't want to write. But when I got back into it, I was writing three chapters a day, and finally I finished it!


Hayley:

I like how honest you are about that, because sometimes people think, oh, it must have been really easy, you know what I mean? But it isn't. It takes a lot of time. If there are any writers that are reading this and they're inspired by you, do you have any tips for writing that you could share?


Olivia:

I might have to think on that.


Hayley:

Yeah. It's a big question.


Olivia:

Yeah.


Hayley:

Like, was there anything that helped you get excited to write again?


Olivia:

Probably the end result.


Hayley:

That's a great answer. Just wanting to get to the end of it. Olivia: Right. I just wanted to have a book in my hands because I love to read, and I wanted to be able to hold a real book that was mine.

Hayley: You did it. I am curious, how did your book release at Sweet Tee’s go? Was that a fun day?