Alisa T. Weinstein pours sixteen years of award-winning copywriting know-how into Earn My Keep, LLC, a multimedia initiative that includes the book and EarnMyKeep.com. With a degree in Journalism/Advertising from the University of Maryland, she uses her creative background to squeeze educational and engaging experiences into her active (read: typically crazy busy) life with her husband and two children.
Do you use myspace, facebook, twitter, or other social networking sites? If so, how do we find you on those sites?
What books are you currently reading?
I just finished re-reading all of Harry Potter. Again. Three times. Four times? Lost count. I'm also reading the Magic Fairy series (as per my daughter's request at bedtime) and Cowboy Baby by Sue Heap (as per my son's request at bedtime. He also requests anything that has to do with trucks.)
What are your favorite books?
Ones that make me laugh out loud, eliciting dirty looks from everyone around me.
What books would you recommend to your readers?
How to Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish. Every time I'm about to lose it ("it" being my patience...my cool...my ability to speak calmly and rationally to my two "angels"), that's the book I grab.
Any message to your readers?
Life is short. Follow your gut. Kiss your kids.
What is your book about? Please provide a description.
Earn It, Learn It, and the allowance program it describes, is about helping kids learn how to help themselves, to reach healthier, more fulfilling adult lives. Only the kids don't realize that part. All they see is the opportunity to act like "real" professionals, and earn money for doing something they love to do. The book is a tour guide into 50 fun careers, each filled with tons of kid-friendly tasks. Kids pick a task to do, exert 100% effort achieving said task, and voila! They earn their allowance. And self-respect. And self-confidence. And some pretty useful life skills. All wrapped inside some great parent-kid quality time.
How long have you been at work on this book?
The idea was born in February 2009. The thought to turn it into a book occurred in March. Stephanie Kip Rostan offered representation in May. Sourcebooks acquired the book in August. And I've happily seen the clock strike midnight almost every night since.
How did the idea originate?
Excerpt from Earn It, Learn It: So there we were, in Target. My four-year-old’s resolve growing stronger with every passing second. A waxy, glittery, cotton-candy-pink LipSmackers lip balm was calling her name. How dare I say no? But I did. And in a moment of spontaneous genius also said we’d go home and hunt down every last lip balm hidden in every last purse and pocket she owned. Once we’d done so, of course she’d see she didn’t need that new one. Right? Thirteen lip balms later (I counted twice to be sure), it seemed I was wrong. She still had to have that tube of glittery bliss. So much for genius. But I just couldn’t and wouldn’t budge. She’s four, for Pete’s sake. “Mia, I’m not buying you any more lip balm. You want it? Get a job.” And so she did.
Did the book entail any unusual writing habits or places?
Is it unusual if I don't mind working until at least midnight every night for a year to fit writing a book in between two children in preschool, a husband who works about 20 hours/day, a freelance copywriting career and just-barely-enough childcare? And let's just say the nightstand in my bedroom has never seen so much action. (It's the only quiet place in the house!)