Interview with author Marta Obiols Llistar

Book: 18: An Unschooling Experience

Q1. Hello Ma’am, can you please introduce yourself? Readers would love to know more about you.

Hi, my name is Marta. I was born and raised in Barcelona, Spain. When I was 22 years old, I left my country, with a college degree under my belt and very little money in my pocket, to go live in the USA. The USA adventure turned into an immigration fiasco, a husband, three kids, and lots of pets. I love cats, the ocean, summertime at the pool, the color pink, and reading romance novels.

Q2. What were the key challenges you faced while writing ‘18: An Unschooling Experience’ book?

I didn’t have challenges while writing the book. The challenge came once I was done. The biggest difficulty I faced was finding a literary agent and a publisher that would be interested in my manuscript and give the book a chance.

Q3. What books or authors have most influenced your own writing?

Jen hatmaker’s books (my favorite 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess), Rage Against the Minivan by Kristen Howerton, and Untamed by Glennon Doyle. In fact, Untamed is the very last book I read before writing my own.
I didn’t know how to write, a lot of times over the years I wanted to write articles about parenting and education but I would block not knowing how to transfer my thoughts into paper. This time, the book in my head was bothering me and I need it to take it out. I asked myself “How do Jen and Glennon write? They don’t! They talk to you”. I decided to do the same. I pretended to talk to a friend using my phone voice text. The very first thing I wrote on my manuscript was through voice text, but that got annoying with my accent and the machine not understanding me. I had to do so much editing that finally I transferred to typing on my computer.

Q4. What’s your favorite spot to visit in your own country? And what makes it so special to you?

The Mediterranean sea. It calms me down, takes all my problems away, and it gives me energy and peace.
When I submerge my whole body in the sea I feel like I belong.

Q5. Is there lots to do before you drive in and start writing a book?

My book came to my head all of sudden, there was nothing to do before that but to let it out on paper (computer). However, it did take 18 years of life to build up to that moment. To write a book you need to live life and gain experiences.

Q6. How long did it take you to write ‘18: An Unschooling Experience’ book?

It took me 2 months to write 18. I wrote every day, all day long. I did not recognize myself! I was a completely different person.

Q7. On what all platforms readers can find ‘18: An Unschooling Experience’ book to buy?

Barnes and Noble, Amazon, Kobo, Scribd, Booktopia, Target, Book Depository.

Q8. Tell us about the process of coming up with the book cover and the title ‘18: An Unschooling Experience’ ?

I designed the cover one night laying down in my bed. Tired of writing, I wanted a break but I didn’t want a break from the book. I started playing around with my phone. I knew I wanted a big 18 on the cover with a blue background. I searched on the internet for three pictures that could represent my kids. I found a soccer player, an aerialist, and a writer. I put them around the number 18, wrote the subtitle, and wrote my name in pink. After this first design was made on my cheap phone, I created many more covers using my computer. No one liked any of my covers except the very first one I made one night on my phone. I gave my publisher the design everybody seemed to agree on and he made it better.

The title of the book had three stages. First I named it Unschooling in America. Then, the emotions of my son turning 18 years old, this number is so important and meaningful to me, I wanted to name the book just 18. I like numbers better than letters and words, but I learned that readers need a subtitle to understand what the book is about. I came up with the subtitle Stories of an Unschooling Family. I didn’t like the length of the sentence, I like short and simple, that’s why I finally named it 18 (an unschooling experience).

Q9. When writing a book how do you keep things fresh, for both your readers and also yourself?

I used dialogue or some kind of action at the beginning of the chapters to engage the reader.

I also gave some information without details, more like a teaser, so the reader would be shocked and interested to keep reading.

Author’s Profile

Book Is Available On Amazon

18: An Unschooling Experience

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