I started listening to the morning radio show “Jeff & Jer Showgram” in 2003. Their banter and stories always started my day out right! In addition to being a successful radio host, Jerry “Jer” Cesak is a produced playwright, has authored dozens of short stories and written screenplays. Last week, I had the pleasure of interviewing him to learn about his new children’s book My Personal Panther.
RLM: What inspired you to write a children’s book?
Jerry: A little over a year ago we were taking a few of our cats into our vet for a checkup when she said “You know, there is no physiological, biological difference between a house cat and a lion. Then with Aja that we have in our home was little she really did look like a panther and Pam and I started calling her a miniature a jungle panther. She’s really kind of is a diva. I just put those two things together I thought gosh what if a small house cat made as a big jungle cat what would happen if a little girl and her cat both thought that the cat was a miniature jungle panther. So that is how that idea came about.
RLM: How did you connect with Terry, the illustrator, for My Personal Panther? He is quite an accomplished animator with Walt Disney Studios.
Jerry: Well, about a year ago, I guess, I was thinking about writing this book, and I can’t draw. I was on the air one day and just once I mentioned “I am thinking about this children’s book but I can’t draw do you draw or do you know anybody who even knows how draw?” I thought I would get two or three responses, well I probably got 60! It very closely did not happen. I didn’t know Terry, but he listens to our show. That morning he was not listening, but a friend of his was and she called Terry and said “Hey, Jerry writing a kid’s book and wants an illustrator you should send him some stuff.” So he went “Oh, I didn’t hear that, ok.” I got like 50 or 60 emails and just sent everyone a reply of “Thank you very much I will get back to you soon.” Two weeks later I was going through these email and I got down to Terry. He sent me several samples of his work. The first one I saw I almost fell off my chair at my desk. I knew this was it. It was a baby announcement he’d done for some friends. Then I got into the other stuff and was like “Oh my god!” The first thing I thought was that I’ll never be able to afford this guy, you know he’s been at it for 17 years. Then I called him at home on the phone and he was really nice and he said “Why don’t we get together.” So he and I met at a Starbucks and we liked each other right away. And I talked to his agent and they made it affordable. We got together like that. You know how important pictures are in a kids book. It was kismet, and karma, and a blessing, and everything else.
RLM: Do plan on writing any more children’s books together?
Jerry: The next book we are going start with more of a moral. A story of these two because I am very much about the protection of animals. And the next book is the prequel to this one. And it tells how Lucy and Aja found its other. And Lucy didn’t even know anything, and neither did her mom, very much about animal shelters and rescues. Lucy decides wants a cat, so they go to pet shops, the look in the paper, they go to breeders, and eventually they get Aja from an animal shelter.
Princess D loves the book My Personal Panther. Like the diva she is, Princess D pretends to be Aja the cat purring “I’m a panther!” To help spread the word about this adorable book I am giving away two (2) My Personal Panther gift bags which includes a copy of the book and a t-shirt!
For this contest, there is one official entry and one bonus entry available (NOTE: The bonus entry will only count if you leave another comment below letting me know you did them). The deadline to enter is Thursday, June 21, 2012 at 11:59pm PT. Two (2) winners will be selected at random using Random.org List Randomizer. The results will be posted and I will notify the winners via email (so I MUST have a way to get in touch with you). If the notified winners have not responded within 48 hours a new winner will be chosen. No purchase or payment necessary. Must be 18 or older and a legal resident of the 50 United States and DC to enter.
You must leave a comment below.
Click here to tweet about this giveaway. This bonus entry will only count if you leave another comment below with a link to the tweet.
Special thanks to Jerry Cesak for chatting with me and the i.d.e.a. brand for arranging this giveaway. All statements are my opinion and my opinion only. I did not receive any other form of compensation.