Author interview with Paul Van Lierop of ‘Journey to Men: 25 Awesome Missions to Teach Boys Resourcefulness’
Give your children permission to succeed or fail on their own merit with the missions in ‘Journey to Men: 25 Awesome Missions to Teach Boys Resourcefulness’. They’ll have fun doing it and feel a real sense of pride and accomplishment at the conclusion.
Want to turn your boys into men? Then stick around while Paul Van Lierop and I chat about the steps you can take to encourage your boys to flourish in ‘Journey to Men: 25 Awesome Missions to Teach Boys Resourcefulness’. Paul, first things first, what’s this book all about?
Journey to Men teaches children aged 5 to 15 resourcefulness, responsibility, and independence in a unique fun way. We focus the activities on a particular skill such as service, entrepreneurship, outdoor survival, vehicle maintenance, woodworking, saving money or creative thinking. For instance, In Operation Timbuktu your cadet (child) will provide complete navigation instructions for their driver to and from a destination of their choosing. In the MacGyver challenge, their neighboring town is being overrun by a rare colony of Egyptian Gas Ants. Will you be able to build a mechanism to deliver the antidote from the lab surviving a 6-foot drop?
That sounds like loads of fun for any child. Is this book only for boys?
Absolutely not. The language and tone of the missions is written specifically to boys but by no means should that prevent girls from taking part. Most of the missions would be relevant and interesting for boys and girls alike.
Awesome. What got you thinking about building exciting challenges like these into a book?
This book began on a long commute home listening to a popular podcast. The interviewee had just learned he had 6 weeks to live.
I can see how that would get you thinking about the important things in life. What was the important message you were trying to share with readers here?
I wrote the book entirely for my two boys as a way to encourage them to be responsible, thoughtful, resourceful and disciplined.
I love that you want to encourage those skills in your boys. Do you feel that experiences in your own life have helped you prioritise these behaviours, or helped you write about these behaviours into ways that your kids could understand?
Yes, I drew on my own life experiences as a kid growing up in a rural area essentially as an only child. I was always learning and experimenting and I wanted to inspire that in my own children.
Learning and experimenting is a great way to grow up, and it’s even better if you can keep doing it in adulthood! What kind of responses have you received from adults and kids alike who have read this book?
I wrote the missions first before I crafted the full book and a lot of my friends ran the tasks with their own children and loved it. It was encouragement from those early participants that led to the book.
I’m glad that early encouragement turned into the book we see today. And on the topic of seeing, what steps did you take to make sure the cover suited the book and complimented what you wanted to say to readers?
I used Damonza to design the cover and couldn’t be happier with how it turned out. As everyone will tell you, this is not an area to skimp.
You’re right, books are judged by their covers so you really can’t afford to have one that doesn’t match your content if you want to share your message with readers. And with important messages like encouraging boys to be responsible, thoughtful and resourceful it’s great to see a great cover that will encourage readers to dive in. Paul, thanks for sharing a taste of your journey as an author with us today. I hope to see more adventures for boys soon!
Excited to read the book we discussed today? Find it here on Amazon: ‘Journey to Men: 25 Awesome Missions to Teach Boys Resourcefulness ( ASIN: B07RWVX167 )‘.
Want to find out more about Paul Van Lierop? Connect here!Paul Van Lierop