Hazel Mitchell, illustrator and author, has a new book out, this time on the great state of New Jersey! To celebrate she’s offering a free copy of HIDDEN NEW JERSEY, just leave a comment on this post to have a chance to win!!
As a long time Jersey resident (from age 6-17) I found HIDDEN NEW JERSEY to be fun, informative (yes, I actually learned things I hadn’t known) and very entertaining.
Hazel was kind enough to answer some questions to celebrate the release of her latest book!
PAS: What did you want to be when you grew up? Are you there yet?
HM: What I wanted to be most when I was a kid was a 3 day event rider (that’s horse competition stuff for the uninitiated). I spent all my spare time at the stables, and then went on to work with horses. When it came time to go to college my art teacher threw a fit when he found out I wanted to go to ‘horse college’ and rang my mother up. So I went to art college. I had always drawn. I had always read. I was an early reader and hardly remember picture books. It was my escape from a somewhat turbulent childhood. When I was about 13 I realized that I might have some sort of talent. I didn’t know anyone who was an artist except my teacher, let alone how to make a living at it (and I didn’t want to teach), but I knew plenty of people who worked with horses so they won for a while. I guess my heart wasn’t in art back then. I messed around at college, failed to get into the fine art school I wanted after my foundation course and so did glass blowing for a year which I was AWFUL at. I dropped out and sold windows for a while. Then I joined the Royal Navy, and guess what? They gave me a job in the graphic design department and I finally got to use my art skills! I had never stopped drawing, and I never stopped loving books and stories. I knew that in my heart what I wanted most was to illustrate – and write. It took me a long time to have the courage. Am I there yet? I have started. I am on the journey. Finally.
PAS: If you could talk to the 15-year-old Hazel for five minutes, what would you tell yourself?
HM: There will be time! Have confidence and believe you have every right to your dream. Find your ‘people’.
PAS: Will there be more ‘Hidden’ books to introduce different states to the world? And, for HIDDEN NEW JERSEY which fact did you find most fascinating?
HM: There are two previous books in the series … Ohio and Michigan. I would love to do another state, but we will have to wait and see!
The most surprising fact to me is that The Shore area of NJ has the highest concentration of American Holly with trees over 170 years old! And I thought it was all casinos!
Special thanks to Hazel for her wonderful answers!
For more information on HIDDEN NEW JERSEY visit their Facebook page.
Don’t forget to leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of HIDDEN NEW JERSEY!!!
UPDATE: The book has been won by commenter #5 (Natalie Dias Lorenzi)! Thanks to all who entered.