By Chana Stiefel
November is National Alzheimer’s Awareness Month. To help spread awareness, the Fisher Center for Alzheimer’s Research Foundation commissioned me to write a book called WHY CAN’T GRANDMA REMEMBER MY NAME? For this post, I interviewed my co-author, Kent L. Karosen, President and CEO of the Fisher Center to explain how this meaningful project came about. Check out pics from our November 2nd book signing at Bloomingdale's in NYC below.
PLUS Enter our giveaway for a chance to win a free signed copy of the book, or go to Alzinfo.org to order your own copy today. (Guess which presidential candidate has one! See below!) All proceeds benefit the Foundation in the quest to find a cure.
CS: What is the mission of the Fisher Center for Alzheimer’s Research Foundation?
KK: The Fisher Center for Alzheimer’s Research Foundation funds critical breakthrough research into the cause and cure of Alzheimer’s disease, an epidemic that is expected to affect 16 million people by 2050 if we don’t find a cure. With the Alzheimer’s epidemic at an all time high, it’s never been as important to increase the amount of research being conducted in an effort to find a cure.
CS: How did this book idea come about?
KK: I had an idea about using artwork created by children juxtaposed with art created by Alzheimer’s patients as a way to explain Alzheimer’s disease to a broader audience. I also wanted to demonstrate the power of art therapy for all ages and a way for parents and family to share with a younger audience what is happening to Grandma or other loved ones. It’s also important to make raising awareness of the disease a priority and to educate the public about it.
CS: What was the process in choosing an author (and how did you find me)?
KK: I wanted to write the book and work with a children’s book author who understands what children will comprehend in terms of the intricacies of the disease. The Fisher Center found you [Chana Stiefel] through your online website*. We are thrilled to have worked with you on this educational book.
CS: It was an honor and a pleasure to work with you and your team. Describe the artwork in the book and how you got in touch with both the Alzheimer's art program and children's art program.
I have personal connections to Little Kinder Artists as well as Opening Minds through Art, an intergenerational art program for people with Alzheimer’s disease. Through these relationships, we partnered with them to obtain the beautiful art contained in the book (above).
What are your goals for the book?
Through Why Can’t Grandma Remember My Name?, my hope is that a younger audience will have a better understanding of the disease that affects their loved ones.
Which book publisher did you use and why?
We chose to use BookBaby.com, an online self publisher. As a Foundation that directs 85% of its donations to program expenses (such as research) to find a cure for the disease, we chose a cost-efficient method for publishing our book. Through this approach, we have been successful in promoting Why Can’t Grandma Remember My Name?, which hopefully will help us sell our book and inform people about the disease. All royalties from the book go directly to the Foundation in the quest to find a cure.
Visit ALZinfo.org to purchase a book, donate for the cure, and to find resources including current research studies, treatments, and disease management approaches.
Enter to win a signed copy of WHY CAN’T GRANDMA REMEMBER MY NAME? (U.S. only) below the slideshow.
*Note to authors: Here’s a great link about building an author website. http://www.writersdigest.com/online-editor/step-step-guide-build-author-website
Donna Cangelosi and Chana Stiefel are picture book critique partners & friends who are passionate about kids' books & are eager to share tidbits from their writing journey with other aspiring writers.