Author interview with Lisa Jander
Lisa Jander is the author of “Dater’s Ed: The Instruction Manual for Parents” a Certified Life Coach, public speaker, and former director of a dating service in California. As the mother of two teens and surrogate to hundreds more, ‘Mama J’ shares her unique relationship insights with her readers in this, her first book, “Dater’s Ed.” She and her husband Owen live in Lake Orion, Michigan. Oops, with their children.
Lisa is 14-years old trapped in and old person’s body. She plays a cello named Sophia, wields a mean sledgehammer, and has more friends than dirty dishes. After a profound midlife awakening, Lisa decided to wrestle her dream to the floor and make it behave.
Lisa doesn’t know anything about cars, including her own.
1. Tell us about your latest book.
Teens pass Driver’s Ed, why not Dater’s Ed?
I was sitting at the kitchen table filling out my son’s Driver’s Ed log and he leaned over my shoulder and said, “I can’t wait until I have my license and I can date!” After my wheels stopped spinning I realized I was completely unprepared for my two teens to travel down that road. They were both accelerating toward the dating highway without a permit and headed for a concrete wall of a dating disaster.
I interviewed parents and teens and the findings were grim. Pregnancies, drugs, alcohol, betrayal, depression, failing grades….all wrapped up in a truckload of broken hearts. I had to do something radically different.
For the next few days, I skimmed through the Driver’s Ed manual and changed the word “driver” to the word “dater” and this great analogy popped off the pages. I thought about how different my dating years would have been if I had had a manual for dating – something that could steer me away from all the dating collisions I had as a teen.
So, I went to work and wrote my own manual to use for helping my kids date defensively, navigate safely and steer clear of unhealthy relationships. The book is called “Dater’s Ed” and all the analogies are of cars and driving. “Dater’s Ed” is to dating what Driver’s Ed is to driving. Together we define Boundary Lines, talk about Dating Under the Influence and even determine who is just a Salesman and who is part of their Pit Crew.
Now, I use 25 years of public speaking experience, my life coach certification and four years as the director of a dating service in California to help other parents prepare for and navigate through the teen dating years. I speak at libraries, schools, churches and youth coalitions to help change the direction and the speed at which these students travel down the road to relationships.
Now that my own kids are on their way, I am dedicated to bringing a fresh perspective to parents and students of all ages.
Buckle up…It’s the Law of Attraction!
2. How did you get started as a writer?
My book was born out of necessity. I had 59,632 words to say to my teens about dating and they wouldn’t sit still long enough to listen – so I wrote a book.
3. What does a typical day look like for you?
Scary! I am a “creative random” which means I can’t follow a straight line and I like to “decorate” what ever path I do chose for the day with my own personal color. I tackle whatever comes up in that moment because at my age – I won’t remember it otherwise. Whether a crisis or opportunity – everything gets top priority. Life is always an adventure!
4. Describe your desk/workspace.
Controlled chaos – piles of creative collections, hundreds of index cards that I use to jot ideas on and use like puzzle pieces on my dining room table to see how my thoughts are developing. All my ideas need to remain in a fluid state or the y become stagnant.
5. Favorite books (especially for writers)
Oswald Chambers – My Utmost for His Highest, Anne of Green Gables, Secret Life of Bees. I found I acted defeated when I read books on publishing or writing – they make me feel inept. (Except, of course, Wendy Burt-Thomas’s “The Writer’s Digest Guide to Query Letters”)
6. Tell us 3 interesting/crazy things about you.
I learned to play cello at 47 with no musical background whatsoever. After college, I was a ski-bum in Vail Colorado. Last weekend, I rode in a kayak on a frozen lake going 40 miles per hour in the dark behind a snowmobile.
7. Favorite quote.
”It’s more important to make a life than a living.”
8. Best and worst part of being a writer.
Writing is easy, even publishing is quick and inexpensive with all the options now in technology. Marking is where it gets tough. You have to be consistent and persistent and never let you foot off the gas. Don’t discount any effort; you never know what will work.
9. Advice for other writers.
Write a little every day. Blog, Twitter, Facebook… continue to market yourself because no one else will. Hire people to do what you aren’t good at doing – don’t try to be everything.
10. Tell us a story about your writing experience.
I was writing a response to an inquiry on Facebook but I didn’t realize I was actually logged in on my teenage daughter’s page and I was responding as her.
Where can people buy your book?
“Dater’s Ed: The Instruction Manual for Parents” can be purchased online at www.DatersEd.com ($16.95 paperback, 272 pages) “Weekly Tune-up” can be found for parents at www.DatersEd.blogspot.com or for teens at www.mamajander.blogspot.com