Tell us about yourself and what inspired you to start writing.
I am an international educator presently living in my 7th country, Honduras. I began writing about my lifestyle after I returned to the U.S. from spending 10 years overseas with two small children. During that time we lived in four different countries (Singapore, Mexico, Guam, Ghana) and my husband and I worked at four different schools. We worked with teachers from around the world and learned about different cultures, ate unusual foods, and saw incredible worldly sites. However, we also had scary moments that at times, made us miss our sedate lifestyle back in the U.S.
Tell us about your books.
My first book, HERE WE ARE & THERE WE GO, tells about going overseas for the first time with two toddlers in tow. My second travelogue/memoir relays our life in Cairo, Egypt, where my husband and I lived in an Islamic society and worked together in a Muslim school. Living in different cultures had its ups and downs, but we also learned a lot and gained a great deal, which is why we continue the lifestyle today.
How did you go about getting published?
I have gone both ways. My first book was traditionally published, but I self-published the second one. I liked the idea of doing it all myself-from designing the book cover to doing the formatting. I also like keeping track of sales and royalties, which is something that I never saw with a traditional publisher. The royalty check was just mailed to me and I had no idea where my books were sold, etc.
What is your writing process? Do you have a time, day or place you like to write?
For my first book my research basically involved picking the brains of my kids and husband. I also unearthed the journals and diaries that I kept from the early years when we first started teaching overseas and our kids were very young. Together we enjoyed reliving and rehashing the memories. Once I sat down and started writing I couldn’t stop. As a family we did it all and there was so much to include-the travel opportunities, experiencing different cultures, eating the strange foods, and visiting and seeing amazing sites around the world. Writing my memoirs was a labor of love as it was all about my kids, my husband, and the amazing and interesting life we lived as overseas educators.
I like to write in the mornings when my mind is fresh. I write at home and at my school. I use journals that I’ve kept during my travels and I refer to them when I write my books so that I can relive the stories and make them come alive for the reader.
What do you like to do when you’re not writing? Full-time job, pets, hobbies?
At present I work as an elementary administrator in an American school in Honduras. I enjoy traveling during the school holidays and I like to photograph the beautiful people and places of Latin America.
Any advice for authors about book covers?
You really do judge a book by its cover and I know what draws me. I like bright book covers that include personal photos and colorful artwork. Quirky book covers will always get my attention.
Any marketing tips you’d like to share with other authors?
Find websites that feature books of your genre and submit your book. Write online interviews. Take part in book swaps. Enter book contests. Get your book out there as much as possible and anyway you can.
What’s your favorite book?
My favorite books tend to be travel memoirs. I mostly read female authors and especially enjoy reading books about important women from other cultures.
What are you reading now?
I recently finished a new memoir about a woman traveling in Ecuador who was gang raped. It was a shocking read.
What’s your next book project?
My next project will be a travelogue about my year spent working in a school in Gurgaon, India, with my husband. I loved India and enjoy writing about such a unique culture and country and its many contrasts.
Author Websites and Profiles
JILL DOBBE Amazon Profile