With “Nathan in the Land of Pirates”, her first book for children and their parents, Anik Jean wants to allow young people to enter the world she created thanks to her son Nathan, but also to develop their imaginations.
Anik, how and when did you get the idea to write this book?
“The idea came to me about two years ago. Nathan will be 9 in December, and Patrick [Huard] and me, we separate all the time to go to bed. We have a large library of books; we were reading fairy tales, stories … Patrick started doing superhero stories and I said to Nathan: “do we make a make-believe world and walk into it every night?” He said, “ah mom, that’s so cool! It’s going to be called the Land of Dreams. ” In his room, Nathan has a large wooden cabin, with a ladder. When you put Nathan down, you have to go up the ladder, like in the book. “
– Why did you choose the pirates?
“I am a pirate! On my left arm I have a big pirate tattoo. I have always had a passion for pirates. Nathan is crazy about pirates. Who doesn’t love pirates? When Jack Sparrow arrived he was the idol of many people. Even moms fall for Jack Sparrow. Pirates, I think it’s a beautiful world for a first book, it’s a world that all children want to go to. I also thought it was important that we have a quest. The two main characters must overcome a fear to become a pirate. ”
– You thus create a parent-child bond …
“It was wanted because at first I thought I could do a book where only Nathan was the hero. At the same time, I think to myself that there is something cool about the parent becoming a hero. My son is afraid of certain things that I am not afraid of and vice versa. I found it interesting that the parent participated in this epic with the child … “
– Besides you and Nathan, who did illustrator François Thisdale take inspiration from?
“Captain Rolland Fou-de-Bassan, this is my father. I wanted to wink at my dad, who wasn’t dead at the time. He was able to see the book and since he was in Gaspésie, it was Captain Rolland Fou-de-Bassan. I thought it was really “cute” and Nathan wanted to have his grandfather in the book. My father was like a pirate … In each story, you put people you know. Maybe I’ll integrate Nathan’s friends and Patrick will be one of them. The next one is the seabed. Nathan and I are getting somewhere and Patrick is going to be there, but in a character. “
– What will your other books be about?
“Nicholas Aumais, who coaches me, […] came to me with an idea. I lost my dad a month ago and he said to me, “we should do one about death, but cool for the kids”. Example: Nathan goes to a cemetery, comes into contact with ghosts and learns a lot about ghosts like Beethoven … This is one of the next books. I want to play down things for children, whether it is fear, anxiety … Imagination helped me a lot when I was little because I had a little rock and roll childhood. . My parents separated when I was 4 and the imagination came to take care of me. “
- “Nathan in the land of pirates” is available in bookstores.