Meet the Author: Emily Sper

Photo: Courtesy of Emily Sper

Please tell us a little bit about yourself and your background.

As an artist, designer, and writer, I attack all aspects of a book at once. I lived in Israel for almost four years, first on a kibbutz and later in Tel Aviv where I worked as a graphic designer and exhibited my fine art photographs. I returned to the US for graduate studies in Media Ecology (Communication and Culture). You can see my books at and my photographs at

What inspired you to become an author?

I’ve wanted to write and illustrate books since I was a little kid. My mom worked for Viking Press in-house and later as a freelancer so the world of publishing was part of my growing up. I spent more time drawing and creating visual art than writing, but did write and illustrate stories that I bound into small books. After studying photography and graphic design, my first job was designing children’s books for E. P. Dutton. After years of working on books written by other authors, I began creating my own books, bringing my education and work experience to each project.

Where and when do you write? Do you have a writing routine?

I don’t have specific times that I work, but when I’m excited about a book, it’s hard for me to stop working. My brain races, especially before I fall asleep.

How long does it take you to finish a book?

My books take about six months once the idea has hatched. I always think I’m finished after a fraction of that time but am just getting started. I tend to have too many ideas for one book and must zero in on what’s of interest and save the rest for another project.

Which authors can we find in your library?

As for children’s books, the Viking classics I grew up with, the books I acquired as a designer and Art Director, and my friends’ books. My adult books are as diverse as my interests (wide) and written in English, Hebrew, Yiddish, and French. Books by Jakob Wassermann were among books I inherited and they’re amazing. Many of the books on my shelves are signed first editions.

What advice would you give an aspiring author?

Write, write, and keep writing. Keep what’s good and throw out the bad.

Where can our readers purchase your books?

Hanukkah: A Counting Book, The Passover Seder, and The Kids’ Fun Book of Jewish Time are out-of-print, but available online if you search. Recent books are available from Amazon, select Judaica shops, or from me directly. My Passover Seder: Coloring & Activity Book and All About Jewish Time are my newest books. Follow the Yarn: A Book of Colors (board book) and What On Earth Can We Do? were published in 2016, as was a revised edition of Hanukkah Coloring & Activity Book.

On which Social Media channels can our readers connect with you?

Instagram: @emily.sper
Twitter: @EmilySper

Photos: Courtesy of Emily Sper

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