Former elementary Plainview teacher Joel Rauch recently released his second children’s book, What Do You Get?, which can be found on Amazon.
When asked how publishing the first book changed his writing process for the second book, Rauch stated, “I wanted to try and do something different. The second book is geared towards older children and is interactive.”
It is important to Rauch to give back to his community, especially to Mid Island Y JCC. The proceeds he makes from his books go to the community center.
“I owe the Mid Island Y JCC a lot for allowing me to befriend the amazing people there through their pickleball program. I am a pickleball coordinator there now,” said Rauch.
His time as a teacher for fourth and fifth grade also left a lasting impression in one of his former student’s lives. “I received the most flattering call two days ago from a boy who was in my class when he was 11 years old. He is now 25 and his comment was ‘Thank you for believing in me. You changed my life’.” That moment was a very humbling experience for Rauch.
Rauch is inspired by Dr. Seuss, and believes in strongly projecting emotions into his writing. “In order to project a feeling that will translate to readers, it has to be heartfelt or it will not resonate. Write what’s in your heart. Don’t let others dissuade you from following your own path.”
There is a favorite moment and illustration in his new book that is dedicated to his four grandchildren, and to the illustrator Bridget Bick who is legally blind. “She is amazing and it’s quite a story in itself.”
He learned at an early age that language has power, and “that the pen is mightier than the sword. Using your wit and sense of humor is far better than using your fists to avoid trouble. You have to outthink any adversarial situations in your life.”
There are moments Rauch experiences writer’s block, but there are ways he keeps his creativity flowing. “I also write song lyrics with my longtime friend and they are on Youtube, Spotify, Pandora, Deezer, etc. I also have written essays that have appeared in Newsday and The United States Pickleball Association website. Diversity keeps me sharper than just one avenue of creativity.”
He has written five other children’s books, “each with a lesson or a moral such as good sportsmanship, sharing, recycling, and not judging others on how they look.”
The second book took more than a month to finish developing, compared to about a month for the first book. This is because Rauch “had to come up with all the Krazee Kreations.” His readers can even send him their own Krazee Kreations to MyKrazeeKreations@gmail.com, and they will be placed on their website, www.WhatDoYouGet.net.