Welcome to our #WinterRead2022 "Read for a Better World" Author Spotlight Series! We’re thrilled to be featuring 6 incredibly talented authors from our 2022 sponsor Lerner Publishing Group as a part of our 5th Annual Winter Reading Challenge.
This week, we’ve interviewed Jeff Fleischer, author of A Hot Mess: How the Climate Crisis is Changing Our World. Check out our interview with him below, and learn more about his work here. Follow him on social media on Twitter.
What are you currently reading?
Just finished Boys Enter the House by my friend David Nelson, which I highly recommend. Currently reading The Plague of Doves by Louise Erdrich and Neil Gaiman's Norse Mythology; two works I hadn't read before by authors I enjoy.
Where is your favorite place to read?
In a comfortable armchair with a cup of coffee or, on a nice day, outside at a cafe.
What is your favorite thing you've written? Book or otherwise!
Probably my short story Animal Husbandry (about a farmer whose cow gives birth to a minotaur). It was the first fiction story I'd written since school, and getting it published right away as my first-ever fiction submission convinced me to keep writing fiction as well as nonfiction.
What’s your favorite book by someone other than yourself?
That's really hard to answer. Watership Down by Richard Adams is probably the one I reread most often, but there are a couple dozen possibilities here.
What is your favorite word and why?
“Inevitable.” Probably because it was one of the first "big words" I remember learning when I was little, and it perfectly encapsulates an idea. Plus, it can be positive, negative, or neutral depending on context, so it's versatile.
How does reading help us create a better world?
It allows people to experience places, ideas, and perspectives they wouldn't have access to otherwise. Hopefully that makes them curious to keep learning more and trying new things.
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer? And/or how did you become a writer?
I've been writing since I was very small, and by high school I'd decided to go into journalism as a career. Writing has come in many forms over the years: newspapers, magazines, books, fiction stories, plus editing for other writers.
If you could give one piece of advice to an aspiring writer, what would it be?
Write often, and write whatever you want to work on. You'll get better with practice and by trying different things.
How does your work encourage conversations around diversity, inclusion, or other social and emotional concepts with parents, educators, and young readers?
The newest book is about the climate crisis. It's a problem that affects everyone, and solutions are going to involve people all over the world working together. The crisis also affects different places differently, and the book uses a variety of examples to help readers think about what's happening beyond how it affects them.
Stay tuned for future Lerner author spotlights throughout #WinterRead2022, and encourage your community to keep reading!