Interview with Author Javier Garay
Javier is the author of The Blocks Come Out at Night. A STEM-filled picture book that focuses on exposing children to Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathmatics as early as possible.
Javier started his journey by being successfully funded on Kickstarter by over 500% with 212 backers.
His next project The Blocks Get Lost in India is now live on Kickstarter.
Javier Garay Books for Sale
The Blocks Come Out at Night (Book 1)
Los Bloques Salen de Noche: The Blocks Come Out at Night (Spanish)
Support Javier on Kickstarter: The Blocks Get Lost in India
What Inspired you to write?
The Blocks Come Out at Night is the culmination of a 7-year journey. In 2012, I left a career on Wall Street to pursue my passion for working with children. (Shout out to my family for encouraging me to take the leap!).
I started a business that taught STEM-focused after-school programs and summer camps. I personally witnessed the unbridled enthusiasm and curiosity these children possessed. I wanted to find a way to impact more children than just the ones our organization reached.
I began to investigate and discovered all of the same headlines you’ve probably seen about the importance of STEM. All of the research seemed to echo the same message – early exposure to STEM was the key to driving continued interest. What better way to do that than through a children’s book?
My proverbial light bulb moment happened in 2017 when I was putting my three children to bed. As dads sometimes do, I invented a bedtime story. In it, building blocks came to life and created a magnificent structure. Over time this story evolved and became the foundation for The Blocks Come Out at Night. As time passed, my three children (5, 7 and 9) asked me to make it into a “real” book.
They were incredibly persistent and I’m thankful to finally fulfill the promise I made to them.
How did you get your first book Noticed?
I decided to launch my first book via a Kickstarter campaign.
I had the traditional publishers interested, but even if they agreed to take on the book, the process seemed too long. I tapped into my network (college friends, professional contacts) and shared my new endeavor with anyone and everyone. I am grateful for the generosity and support I received.
After the successful launch, I started an organic marketing campaign by social media presence. I focused on teachers and librarians. I created some exciting Giveaways and partnered with awesome teachers who believed in my book.
What one bit of advice would you want to give yourself when first starting out?
You have to be committed and relentless.
This is something I did in spurts but didn’t commit to wholeheartedly until I approached the completion of my second book. I would also encourage you to share your goals with anyone who will listen and even those you think might not be interested. You never know where you’ll make a connection that could turn into something meaningful.
People want to help if you give them a chance. Many have probably dreamed of writing a book and you’re actually doing it. This is something to be admired and you’ll be surprised at how much support you’ll get.
Do you think of this as a full time career or a Hobby with ambitions?
I am in a very fortunate position. My spouse has a full-time job and has encouraged me to pursue writing. I stay home with our three kids, but when they are at school and when they go to bed, I’m working on my writing, or marketing, or collaborations. Without that support, I wouldn’t be able to support myself . . . yet! But the goal is to get there through hard work and perseverance.
Which Author do you admire the most?
Finally, What one bit of advice will help anyone Lvl-up their work?
The two people who have helped me immensely are my illustrator and my editor. Finding an illustrator you can work with collaboratively is essential. I have great relationship with him and he’s helped me identify and solve problems in my stories.
Additionally, my editor has been instrumental. Every time I think I’m nearing the finish line, she provides crucial feedback that makes my stories more better. Without the two of them, the finished product would be less compelling.
Thank you Javier!
I’m sure you’ll agree, Javier has shared some fantastic insights here. So if you want to follow his journey, you can use the social buttons below to connect with him.