Jane Dean, Editor-in-Chief at Summetime Publishing and Springtime Books, talks to Simone Torres Costa about her latest book, Deconstructing Brazil, Beyond Carnival, Soccer and Girls and Small Binkinis
Q: Tell us about your book. What is it about? Could you describe it in just a few sentences?
A: The book questions the superficial idea of Brazil and tries to fill the gap by providing important historical events, which shaped our culture but are often forgotten – and ignored – even by Brazilians.
Q: What made you decide to write it?
A: After 16 years living abroad (USA, Sweden, Poland and Italy) I was tired of hearing the stereotypes people have about Brazil. I felt there were key historical events, often ignored, which help explain our current reality. By writing this book I also reassessed my own origins and self-image as a Brazilian.
Q: Why do you think your book needed to be written?
A: In order to help my clients understand and adapt to the ‘Brazilian way’ of working and living. In my intercultural training and coaching practice, I needed to explain some common Brazilian cultural behaviors to my clients. I had to read my old history books again. I realized I had to research further; there were crucial pieces of information missing which help to clarify the Brazil of today.
Q: Who do you think will read your book? Who would you like to read it? Did you have a target audience in mind before you wrote it?
A: I hope this book is helpful for all foreigners living or doing business in Brazil, as well as for Brazilians living abroad who face stereotypical comments.
Q: What steps have you taken or are planning to take to promote your book? Which methods do you think will work best to meet your target audience?
A: I am currently advertising on Linkedin through articles, videos and post about the topic. I am also an associate in the TCO International network of professionals. I still have to do a lot of work in the Sietar Organizations, Dialogin, in the Brazilian Chambers of Commerce throughout the world and also in the Brazilian embassies.
Q: How did you choose your publisher and method of publishing? Did you do much research did you do before you made your choice? And what made you chose this route?
A: I have previously published another book with Jo Parfitt at Summertime Publishing. I had an excellent experience from the beginning to the end, so felt confident I was in good hands.
Q: What was your biggest challenge once you decided to write your book and how did you overcome it?
A: As I am not a native English speaker, I knew I needed a lot of assistance throughout the process. This was the first time I had written alone, with all the insecurities one could have. I put the book aside many times thinking it would not be interesting to people, so persisting and moving forward was a big challenge
Q: Now you have written your book how has writing it impacted you, your family, your self-esteem or your business?
A: Writing this book has helped tremendously. Putting it out there and exposing your ideas is not easy but very rewarding. For sure my family – my kids especially – and friends were of great support. From a business perspective I had a lot of response to the book within only a few weeks of it being published. People I don’t know wrote to me and told me ‘I bought it, I’m enjoying reading it’, it feels fantastic. I am looking forward to their feedback.
Q: What were the highlights of the writing and publishing process from starting to write your book to it being sent to print?
A: I took about four years to write the book – from the first draft and research – before finally having the courage to show the publisher. But I was convinced Jo would be honest and not accept it for publication if it wasn’t good enough. Writing a book on such a complex topic made me lose track of what it is I wanted to say. I often asked myself ‘Who am I to write this book?’ but I am glad this doubt did not stop me.
Q: If you were to give advice to someone thinking about writing a book similar to yours, what would be your number one tip?
A: Even if you do not believe in yourself, believe in your idea, just keep going.
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