Indies Supporting Indies Featuring
CREATOR OF PAGANKIDS.ORG
AUTHOR OF “OLD MOTHER FROST” AND “WHO IS THAT IN THE SKY?”
Indie author Jennifer Hartman started writing children’s books when she could not find any family-friendly resources that reflected the lore and stories she was told as a child. She has endeavored to provide both education and entertainment through her books and her brand, Pagan Kids.
Pagan Kids is a family-friendly, online resource to introduce children to Norse history, lifestyle, folklore and mythology.
Hartman is Canadian by birth with Swedish heritage and had a childhood filled with the lore and stories from her mother’s country.
Enter Pagan Kids, the brand.
I myself utilized some of the wonderful printables and crossword puzzles available on the website. There are also coloring pages, so something for everyone in the family!
I caught up with Hartman a few months back and asked her a few questions about her first book, “Old Mother Frost” and her upcoming release “Who is That in the Sky?”
What projects you are currently working on?
I’m currently working on two books: “Who is That in the Sky?” and “Midsommar Sól”.
“Who’s That in the Sky?” is a book for toddlers based on the Norse gods who bring the different phases of the day to our skies. It should be released late this summer or early autumn.
“Midsommar Sól” is the second book of my celebration series for kids ages 4-12 (The first is “Old Mother Frost” published in October 2020).
“Midsommar Sól” tells a tale of a Norse goddess who comes to the ground on the longest day of the year to dance and play. It’s based on the sun goddess and the Midsummer Festival that’s popular throughout Scandinavia. It will be released in spring 2022.
At the end of each book in the celebration series, I include a fun fact page that clarifies historical points, and other cultural lessons I sneak into the pages.
How do you research for your books?
The celebration series starts with researching the origins of big Swedish celebrations (like Yule and Midsummer), and then I look for folklore that stem from pre-Christian times.
Usually I find a few characters with ties to one similar character. (Old Mother Frost had several connections including Santa Claus, Santa Lucia, Lady Diana and others).
From here I begin reading studies on Academia that include the people of my search and the holidays. I also ask specific Facebook groups for educational reads on the subject. For example, Heathen Women United is an excellent foundation for educational resources, and they’re very active on Facebook.
Once I find the studies that align to my purpose, I summarize every paragraph, rearrange timelines so they’re in order, and create my own mini-study that breaks down the who, what, where, when, whys and hows. This makes revising all the information simple, easy-to-understand and remember.
Finally, I begin weaving the bones of this information into stories for kids; and then I have it fact-checked my university professors in my family.
The toddler books are a lot easier. I find inspiration for them when casually reading my textbooks. ‘Who’s That in the Sky?’ was inspired by the prose poems in The Poetic Edda. From there I double-check descriptors online that cite medeivel documents.
What are other things you like to do besides write?
When I’m not writing my books, reading educational material and blogging about the information I’m finding, I typically enjoy gardening, going for regular hikes with my family, and most recently daily yoga! [I love to] watch sitcoms to try and get some comical relief into my over-worked brain.
To find out more about Jennifer Hartman visit her website pagankids.org and check out our interview on my IGTV series Authors After Dark.