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Meet Dr. Martha Heineman Pieper author of Mommy, Daddy, I Had a Bad Dream!
http://www.bookpleasures.com/websitepublisher/articles/4654/1/Meet-Dr-Martha-Heineman-Pieper-author-of-Mommy-Daddy-I-Had-a-Bad-Dream/Page1.html
Norm Goldman


Reviewer & Author Interviewer, Norm Goldman. Norm is the Publisher & Editor of Bookpleasures.com.

He has been reviewing books for the past fifteen years when he retired from the legal profession.

To read more about Norm Follow Here






 
By Norm Goldman
Published on March 1, 2012
 


Norm Goldman, Publisher & Editor of Bookpleasures.com interviews Dr. Martha Heineman Pieper author of Mommy, Daddy, I Had a Bad Dream!




Today, Norm Goldman Publisher & Editor of Bookpleasures.com is pleased to have as our guest Dr. Martha Heineman Pieper author of Mommy, Daddy, I Had a Bad Dream! Martha received her Ph.D. from the University of Chicago and her undergraduate degree from Radcliffe College. She is an experienced psychotherapist who also provides consultation services to mental health clinics, psychotherapists, schools, and parent coaches. She has devoted her professional life to helping children and families find happiness. Her work is the foundation for the non-profit agency, Smart Love Family Services, which provides a broad spectrum of counseling and educational services to children and families. With her co-author, William J. Pieper, M.D., she also wrote the bestselling parenting book Smart Love: The Comprehensive Guide to Understanding, Regulating, and Enjoying Your Child and the popular adult self-help book, Addicted to Unhappiness.

Good day Martha and thanks for participating in our interview

Norm:

What inspired you to begin writing for children?

Martha:

Thank you, Norm, for inviting me.  To answer your question, my daughter, Johanna, has been saying for years, "You have written for parents, please write a book for children!" I finally listened to her and I'm so happy I did. I loved writing this book! 

Norm:

Did you find it difficult to shift from writing non-fiction to a children's picture book?

Martha:

No, because I always write for a particular reader, and because I have worked so much with children in my practice, the Smart Love Clinic and the Natalie G. Heineman Smart Love Preschool, it was easy to feel I knew children's interests, likes, and dislikes. 

Norm:

What was your creative process like and what happened before you sat down to write Mommy, Daddy, I Had a Bad Dream!?

Martha:

I tried to think about topics that were underrepresented in children's literature and the idea of bad dreams came to me. I searched Amazon and sure enough there are hardly any books on children's bad dreams, and the books there were seemed to make light of bad dreams, i.e. would tell the child they weren't "real." I know from experience that bad dreams are real to children and I wanted to write a book that would take children's dreams seriously and help them with them. 

Because I wanted to reach as many children as possible, I tried to think of everyday losses that can cause children to have bad dreams.  I came up with sibling rivalry, being sick, having to go to bed, and having a spat with a good friend.  Because the Smart Love approach I have developed emphasizes loving parental responses, I wanted to make sure that the parents in the story were caring and helpful.    

Norm:

Please describe the process of working together with your illustrator Jo Gershman.

Martha:

It was a wonderful collaboration.  Jo and I are equally perfectionistic, so neither of us ever got impatient with the other's "nitpicking."  In addition, she is both talented and professional, which means that she could take a vague verbal suggestion from me and embody it in a picture.  She is also incredibly creative and came up with many many little touches that children will love. And she really "got" the warmth of the book and made it come alive.

Norm:

Did you share drafts of Mommy, Daddy, I Had a Bad Dream! with someone whose opinion you trust? If so, how did it influence your writing?

Martha:

My best "product testers" were children, starting with my grandsons.  But many other children helped as well - they all felt very important to be asked their opinions, took the job very seriously, and were extremely helpful.  For example, some children were confused by seeing Joey sniffle with a cold and they thought he was crying - it took quite a bit of work on Jo's part to convey that he was ill and not emotionally upset. Three of my grown daughters were also very helpful.  Thalia is a professor of creative writing at Brown and was a terrific editor. Johanna loves animals and came up with the idea of using all Australian animals - she also has a great ear for what a child (in this case a young kangaroo) would think and say. And Vicky came up with the title.

Norm:

What has been the best part about being published?

Martha:

Getting feedback from readers that my books have been helpful.  I have written parenting books, an adult self-help book, and now a children's book and what I enjoy most is hearing that the books have contributed enjoyment and meaning to readers' lives.  Parents have told me that children who read Mommy, Daddy, I Had a Bad Dream! were very proud when they could make sense of future dreams - that means everything to me.  

Norm:

What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating Mommy, Daddy, I Had a Bad Dream!?

Martha:

That it is as much if not more fun to write for children as it is to write for adults.

Norm:

Does your writing career ever conflict with your career as a psychotherapist? As a follow up, has your career as a psychotherapist influence in any way the writing of

Mommy, Daddy, I Had a Bad Dream!?

Martha:

The two careers are really complimentary.  I couldn't have written this children's book if I hadn't spent many years helping children in treatment with me and being seen in the mental health clinics I consult with understand their dreams.  And writing the book put me more in touch than ever with children's every day inner experiences.

Norm:

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

Martha:

I come from an academic background and I have had to work hard to make my writing fun to read, succinct, and accessible.  But I have a great sense of accomplishment when I achieve those goals!  

Norm:

Where can our readers find out more about you and your books?

Martha:

There is an agency, Smart Love Family Services, based on my work and that WEBSITE  has a lot of information about me and my books. Then there is the WEBSITE SMART LOVE PRESS

And also my author's page on AMAZON


Norm:

What is next for Dr. Martha Heineman Pieper and is there anything else you wish to add that we have not covered?

Martha:

I am hoping that Mommy, Daddy, I Had a Bad Dream! will be a huge success so I can team up with Jo Gershman again and write more children's books. I have a series of "Joey" books in mind and would love to get to do it. I am also working on another book for parents on the topics of: teaching kindness, making parenting decisions on the fly, and raising a good student. So I have lots on my todo list.

Thank you for the interview.  

Norm:

Thanks once again and good luck with all of your future endeavors

Follow Here To Read Norm's Review of Mommy, Daddy, I Had a Bad Dream!

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