Jo Parfitt talks to Christopher O’Shaughnessy, about his book, Arrivals, Departures and the Adventures In-Between
JP: Tell us about Arrivals, Departures, and the Adventures In-Between!. What is it about? Can you describe it in just a few sentences?
COS: It’s a book about the adventure of being a Third Culture or Cross Cultural Kid – it’s an adventure that more and more people are a part of. This book uses stories and experiences to reveal the strengths and challenges of this particular way of growing up so that those who are TCKs and CCKs can make the most of their strengths and tackle their challenges.
JP: Why did you write the book?
COS: I wanted to write something that wasn’t just about TCKs and CCKs, but for them. I wanted there to be something written at a teenager’s level to help provide some language and framework for understanding both their identity and the very important place in an ever-globalizing world.
JP: Why do you think it needed to be written?
COS: The world really is moving closer and closer to the TCK and CCK experience. Because of that, TCKs and CCKs are like previews of coming attractions! They’re uniquely placed to play a very powerful role in shaping society on a global level. I want them to be empowered to do so with the knowledge of what they have to offer, what challenges they (and increasingly much of the world) face, and a solid grasp of their core identity.
JP: Who do you think will read Arrivals, Departures, and the Adventures In-Between!? Who would you like to read the book?
COS: I hope TCKs and CCKs will read this book and see themselves in it – it’s been written with teens in mind. My hope and intention is that parents, teachers, and those who work with international or cross-cultural teens and families will also gain insight from the book.
JP: What steps have you taken (or do you plan to take) to promote Arrivals, Departures, and the Adventures In-Between! Which methods do you think work best and can you give any examples?
COS: I work as an international speaker, so I’ll be bringing my book with me to be available at schools and other events that I speak at. I’ll also be promoting it on my website, Facebook page, and Twitter feed [find the details below]. I’m very grateful to other TCK and CCK authors as well as Among Worlds magazine and TheEdCafe.com for being willing to review my book and hope other publications will do the same. I’m hoping word of mouth will spread as well!
JP: How did you choose your publisher and publishing method? Why did you decide to take this route?
COS: I chose Summertime Publishing because they really have cornered the market when it comes to books aimed specifically at the expat, international, and even cross-cultural community. They’re very well connected in that world and it’s been a great help to make use of that network in the publishing process.
JP: What was your biggest challenge regarding the writing of Arrivals, Departures, and the Adventures In-Between!? How did you overcome that?
COS: I think the biggest challenge was being able to communicate sociological, developmental, and cultural elements, lessons, and truths in a way that is interesting and engaging. I find stories are a great vehicle for accomplishing just that. We’re built to respond to and retain stories, so if you can weave truth and knowledge into an engaging escapade, hopefully it makes the information far easier to retain and digest.
JP: Now you have written this book, what has writing it done for you? (your family, your self-esteem, your business…)
COS: I think having written the book has given me even more energy to try and inspire TCKs and CCKs to make the most of who they are and do great things in the world. My hope is that the book will open the door to even more avenues to be able to share with TCKs, CCKs, their families, schools, etc.
JP: If you were to give advice to someone else who is thinking about writing a book of this nature, what would be your number one tip?
COS: I’d say just get things down on paper (or on a screen) – even if it’s initially a mess; once it’s out of your head it can be tidied up, organized and polished. That initial step of getting what we want to say out of our heads seems to be the biggest hurdle: get that out of the way and the rest flows!
JP: Please can you add links here to your website, blog, Facebook page, Twitter account and any other social media you have in place.
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