Ask The Author

Jessica Love

Julian is a Mermaid

Why did you choose to put the black smudge under the dinner table in 'Town is by the sea'. Is it to represent fear?
Rahmin, 11

At first, i didn't think that the black smudge under the dinner table would be anything but a shadow. But after finishing the drawing, i realized it looked more like there is a darkness hiding. Maybe a part of the mine? I liked that and decided to keep it. I also like that it people are curious about it.

What is your favourite page in Town is by the Sea?
Alexa, 8

I think my favourite page in Town is by the Sea is two wordless pages of waiting for the father to come home. It was a last minute decision to include these pages. But once we decided to put it in the book felt complete.

Have you ever lived by the sea?

I have lived by the sea. I was born and raised in Nova Scotia, where this book is set. My mother lives a stones throw from the sea and every time I go home to visit her there are fishing boats floating on the ocean and seagulls drifting in the salty breeze.

What gave you the idea to create this book?
Anahita, 9

I didn't create this book on my own. I was asked to draw the pictures by the author and the editor. Joanne Schwartz wrote this book. She is from the same area as in the book, Cape Breton. I'm from the same province. When Joanne and Sheila, the editor, asked me to paint the pictures I said YES right away because its about my home and i love my home. I don't in Nova Scotia live right now so when i would paint the pictures for this book, it was almost like i was there. It was like a little vacation every time i sat down to draw.