Interview With The Author Jessica DelVirginia

Jessica DelVirginia is a children’s book author and her book Rocky’s Road to the Big City: A Holiday Adventure is out now.

Hello author Jessica, welcome to Brand Education! What’s the last book you read?

I’m currently reading The Surrender Theory,  a book of poems by Caitlin Conlon. It’s heartfelt and really beautiful. 

What’s the book that changed your life?

The Four Agreements is a book that I have gone back to read over and over again. The perspective it offers is unique, and makes you think about our day to day interactions with everyone we come across. 

What is your favorite thing about being an author?

I love hearing that people are buying the book for the little kids in their lives. I’m at the age where a lot of my friends don’t have kids of their own yet, but they do have nieces and nephews. So seeing them get excited about sharing Rocky’s story with the little ones in their lives makes me really happy. 

What makes you laugh the most?

So Courtney, the illustrator of this book, is my best friend of over a decade. Our friends and families joke that we speak to each other in code because it’s inside jokes on top of inside jokes, built up over the years. We can always find something to laugh about, no matter the situation. 

If you could tell your younger self anything what would it be?

“Try to read at least one book for fun a month. I know that school has you reading piles and piles of papers and books, but you can always go back to the love you have always had for reading by picking up something lighthearted.”

What inspired you to start writing?

I have been a bookworm since I was a little girl. I always knew deep down that I would end up writing a book, and when the opportunity came to tell Rocky’s story, I knew that this was the chance to make that happen. 

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

I always wanted to be a broadcast journalist. However, after taking a few classes on it, I decided to go the route of public relations instead. Interestingly enough, all three (broadcaster, publicist and children’s book author) are very similar in that you need to tell a story in a brief, interesting way that captures the audience’s attention. 

What are your guilty pleasures?

I will very rarely turn down a dessert, especially if it’s homemade. TikTok is another guilty pleasure but I have been replacing that screen time with Duolingo lately, and I feel so much better. 

What motivates you?

Seeing progress! One of the best ways to get things done is to just begin, whether you think it’s going to be perfect or not. Once you see the progress, it’s easy to course correct, and fine tune to get things where they need to be. 

Anything you would say to those just starting out in the craft?

Read often! You can learn so many new things by reading a few pages a day. And you get a feel for different styles of writing as you develop your own. 

What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

I love to travel. I don’t like sitting still, and I get the most joy from learning about different cultures and seeing new things. This goes hand in hand with my other hobby of cooking. When I travel, I take cooking classes in each country, so that I can bring those recipes home and share them with my friends and family.

Who are your cheerleaders?

I think I speak for myself and Courtney when I say that our families are our biggest cheerleaders. Our parents have been telling their friends (and anyone they meet) about Rocky for nearly two years now. It’s so nice to have that kind of support. 

What is the most important reason for your success?

I think we were successful in bringing this book to life, not once, but twice, because we were very good at communicating our needs to one another, and respecting each other’s time and expertise. 

What is the key lesson you want everyone to take away from your work?

If you have the urge to do something that seems a bit “out there,” just do it. Did we know that a tiny book self published on Amazon two years ago would be picked up by Sky Pony Press and distributed by Simon & Schuster? Definitely not, but we took that chance and made it a reality. 

Find out more: @insitestrategy

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