1. Dear Maran Jackal, with your two children’s books about Traveling Cat Mimi you have created an ever-growing fan club. What is behind this new series of children’s books that inspired you to write these stories?
It all started with my first trip to New York. I have had this wish for years, but did not dare to go on my own journey and my English was limited to just a few words.
But then one day came in 2016 when I thought: “Now or Never!”, Sat in front of my laptop and booked a ticket. I had absolutely no plans, just my suitcase, a piece of paper with a few words and my goal to finally fulfill my dream. The idea to convert my journey into a children’s book came later – With Illustrator Rollo Ledesma. With whom I have a good friendship
Enthusiastic about the city and new friends who couldn’t be more different, the idea grew to record my journey in a children’s book. The main characters Mimi and Comic Cat emerged from earlier sketches: “Mimi’s friends” were born.
Baltic Sea Holiday on Euthome
My books tell stories about friendship, where origins and language are irrelevant, and bring the English language closer with simple words.
2. What would you like to tell your readers about yourself?
I was born and raised in Lusitz. Professionally, I work as a business economist in a dental laboratory.
I have three grown children. My passion has always been to write stories and poems for myself. With Mimi’s thrill, I dared to publish a book for the first time. I also like to create and create my own little background for reading aloud.
3. You use the words “Maran Jaqel and friend” in the author line of your books. Meanwhile, you have told me that you are an international trio of writers. Who are your colleagues and where do they live?
Yes, I wanted to appear as a team. The illustrator of my books is Rollo Ledesma, who lives in New York, where he was born and raised. Through Rolo I came to know about Edwin Domingo, who, so to speak, showcases life with colors. Edwin lives in the Philippines and has worked with Rollo in several comic book projects.
4. How did you get to know each other? And how did you organize cooperation across the three continents?
At first it was not so easy to work together: Edwin and Rollo spoke English, and my English… don’t ask, it was a disaster! Sometimes I painted what I tried to portray. It was such a crazy story that tied us so much.
Due to the time difference, we never really woke up at the same time. We communicated over the Internet. Due to these difficulties, the first book took a little longer to be published. Maybe something more fun: When we designed Mikki Rekken for “Mimi’s Friends in Canada”, Edwin painted it like a beaver with two big teeth. There were communication problems every now and then, but today it works without any problems.
5. I came to know from you that one of your companions stood as a model for one of the main characters in Mimi’s story – although he takes a different shape in the story ..?
Yes, my first book in New York has represented all my friends in Mimi, whom I was able to meet on this journey through Rolla. For example, Rollo is in the book Comic Cat. Rollo worked in an advertising studio, writing scripts for music videos and commercials, but his major passion is comics, hence his name in the book.
6. Do two of your books have other very lively role models for the main and secondary characters?
Rollo also brought me to Linda, who showed me something about life in the New York fashion world. Linda is a photographer, with her I was able to see the catwalk scenes. That poodle in the book is Lady Sally Wong. I could tell that much, but I think I would go beyond Claudia’s interview structure.
In fact, my Canada book features living role models. I wrote about two people at the Tower Race in Toronto who actually did this run and the Bear family is also real, they live in Muskoka and are part of my family.
7. Question to Rola Ledesma: Dear Rollo, you have given a “face” to the characters and locations in Maren’s enchanting cat story with your cool illustration and brought the story to life in a picturesque way. Can you tell us a little about yourself and your part in the story?
I have been a comic and storyboard painter in New York City for many years. And one reason I particularly like Mimi’s drawing for children’s books is the friendship between Mimi and Comic Cat, based on a real, genuine friendship between me and the author Maren. We are both very creative and share our ideas, it’s just fun to draw for books. I am glad that we are working together and that the project around Mimi’s friends can move forward.4
(Original: I’ve been from New York City for many years “Ma Comic Book and Storyboard Illustrator. And the one thing I enjoy drawing for Mimi Book is the friendship between Mimi and the comic cat that same friendship in me and real life Maran, the author, we are both very creative and trade ideas with each other and make it even more fun to draw the book I’m glad we continue to make more and we’ll be friends with Mimi Will keep expanding the universe 4)
8. Question from Edwin: Hello Edwin, can you tell us a little about your part in the big project “Mimi’s friend”?
I work as a freelance artist. I draw and design comic book pages with colored ink.As a colorist for Maran’s book series “Mimi’s Friends”, I give the correct color scheme to Rollo’s portrait.
(OrigText: I work as a freelance comic artist. I also write pencils, ink color, and sometimes letter comic pages. I am a colorist for Marns’ books “Mimi’s friend”. I already add colored art and pencils to Rollo’s vibrant art.)
9. A cat lady known as Mimi, who is extremely fond of traveling, has been making new plans for a long time. Where is the next trip going and what else is new in Mimi’s life? We are waiting for a short chat from the sewing box!
The English version will also feature “Friends of Mimi in Canada” in early March. Another Mimi children’s book also works, but this time we will let our imaginations run wild. Recently we also had our own website www.mimisfreunde.com: There is also a children’s website with a few simple words to learn English and download pictures. Thank you, Claudia, that we can introduce ourselves here.
Dear Maran Jaquel, Dear Rolla Ledesma and Dear Edwin Domingo: Thank you very much for this international interview!
Here is the link to the book presentation for the second part of this children’s book series “Mimi Friends in Canada”: