Thursday, December 21, 2023

Interview With Author Hafdis Hafsteins


1. What inspired you to write this book? Growing up I was bullied quite a bit and I always felt like I didn’t fit in. The animals on the farm I grew up on were always there for me. They never judged me or made fun of me, so I’ve always felt more comfortable around animals than people. I wanted to write a book that had the message of teasing or bullying not being a nice thing to do and of course I had to include animals. So that’s where the inspiration came for The Chameleon Which Lost Its Colour.  

2. What exactly is it about and who is it written for? The book is about Blaze, a colourful chameleon whose loves to tease the other animals. One day when he wakes up, his colours have disappeared. He then needs to learn not to bully others and ask for forgiveness and be kind to get his colours back. I wrote this book with children’ who are starting to learn how to read. So ages 4-6 or so. The vocabulary is simple and the illustrations vibrant and I think it’s a fun book for children to read with their parents.  

3. What do you hope readers will get out of reading your book? I hope readers learn that teasing and bullying is not a nice thing to do. I also hope readers will gain more knowledge and love for animals, all animals.  

4. How did you decide on your books title and cover design? The title was quite easy to decide on. It highlights what the plot is, a chameleon which loses its colour. I did all the illustrations, including the cover and I wanted the cover design to reflect the title. That’s why I illustrated Blaze, the chameleon, in black and white looking at his colourful reflection in the water.  

5. What advice or words of wisdom do you have for fellow writers - other than run!? Believe in yourself! I think that’s one of the most important things to do as a writer. You have to believe in your talent, your story and that will help you to not give up. The next thing is not giving up, no matter what. Even if you get lots of No’s, you just need one Yes.  

6. What trends in the book world do you see — and where do you think the book publishing industry is heading? I’ve noticed self-publishing becoming a larger part of the industry. Also Ebooks and Audiobooks are getting more and more popular than printed books. Some people find this a negative thing, but I think it’s a positive in a way that many people who wouldn’t read at all of they only had access to print books are reading books through these mediums. I think in the future there will be more self-publishing and hybrid publishing rather than traditional publishing. Whether that’s a positive or negative I’m not sure of yet. AI is also something to consider. I feel like I’m always reading about more and more people using AI to write whole books for them to make “easy” money on Amazon. This I’m afraid might make it harder for self-published authors to market themselves and stand out from the bad AI books out there.  

7. Were the experiences in your personal life or career that came in handy when writing this book? Definitely. My experience with bullying came in handy when writing about it. I wanted the message to come across, but in a way that was relatable to children. I think the fact that I used to work at a Kindergarten helped as well.  

8. How would you describe your writing style? Which writers or books is your writing similar to? I would describe my writing style as descriptive narration. My English teachers used to criticise me for over describe things and that’s something I’ve had to work on. Back in my school years, I would write long and vivid descriptions and my teachers would tell me to rain in my Tolkien side. I thought it was a compliment, but I’ve learned that Tolkien’s style doesn’t really fit in with contemporary writing and readers today would like the books to be more on-point. I think that’s one of the reasons my first book is a children’s book, because it’s hard to get too descriptive when writing picture books.  

9. What challenges did you overcome in the writing of this book? The writing and illustrating of the book were the easy part. The challenge was to find a publisher. I had thought of self-publishing, but it’s hard to do that in Iceland. We don’t have access to Ingram Spark and other self-publishing sites. I started with publishers back home, and got 5 rejections. They all loved the plot and illustrations, but said the competition in the children’s book market in Iceland was too stiff, and they only looked at known authors. So, I decided to look for publishers in the UK and I was lucky enough to get a Yes from them.  

10. If people can buy or read a book this week or month, why should it be yours? I think everyone could benefit from reading a book that is about forgiveness and kindness. The message of being kind to your neighbour and that kindness will be repaid. The world is full of negative things right now and reading a colourful book with animals and an inspiring message wouldn’t be such a bad thing.  

About The Author: Hafdis Hafsteins is born in Iceland, where she grew up on a farm, which made her fascinated with animals. This love for animals led her to become a veterinary assistant. In her first book, The Chameleon Which Lost Its Colour, Hafdis combines her passion for children’s literature and love for animals. For more information, see:

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Brian Feinblum should be followed on LinkedIn. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog ©2023. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he now resides in Westchester with his wife, two kids, and Ferris, a black lab rescue dog, and El Chapo, a pug rescue dog. His writings are often featured in The Writer and IBPA’s The Independent.  This award-winning blog has generated over 3.4 million pageviews. With 4,600+ posts over the past dozen years, it was named one of the best book marketing blogs by BookBaby  and recognized by Feedspot in 2021 and 2018 as one of the top book marketing blogs. It was also named by as a "best resource.” For the past three decades, including 21 years as the head of marketing for the nation’s largest book publicity firm, and two jobs at two independent presses, Brian has worked with many first-time, self-published, authors of all genres, right along with best-selling authors and celebrities such as: Dr. Ruth, Mark Victor Hansen, Joseph Finder, Katherine Spurway, Neil Rackham, Harvey Mackay, Ken Blanchard, Stephen Covey, Warren Adler, Cindy Adams, Todd Duncan, Susan RoAne, John C. Maxwell, Jeff Foxworthy, Seth Godin, and Henry Winkler. He recently hosted a panel on book publicity for Book Expo America, and has spoken at ASJA, Independent Book Publishers Association Sarah Lawrence College, Nonfiction Writers Association, Cape Cod Writers Association, Willamette (Portland) Writers Association, APEX, and Connecticut Authors and Publishers Association. His letters-to-the-editor have been published in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, New York Post, NY Daily News, Newsday, The Journal News (Westchester) and The Washington Post. He has been featured in The Sun Sentinel and Miami Herald. For more information, please consult:  

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