Q: First tell us something about yourself?
My name is Alyson Maier, I am a Wife, Mother, Naturopath, and Herbalist with a passion for igniting motivation, imagination, inquiry, and deep care for our Earth in all of our Children. Through my Herbal Adventure Series of Books, I hope to raise awareness around wild edible and medicinal plants that are otherwise regarded as “weeds”. I hope that kids will find a natural interest and enthusiasm for finding these plants and learning more about them. The main character, Sammy, a sweet little mouse, undertakes memorable and imaginative adventures with his friends and family to look at these “weeds” through a new appreciative lens.
Q: How and when did your journey start as a writer?
I have always written as a way to express myself. Poetry is a favourite of mine, and a way I can make sense of this beautiful world, I have always, since childhood written poetry. It is a relaxing art form for me, and a way to express complex feelings and emotions. However in 2020 as the pandemic set it, I wanted to give my son more stories and given were living in Germany at the beginning of the Pandemic, with strict lockdowns in place, I couldn’t go out and find new books. So I decided to write my own.
Q: When did you write your first story? Is it published or not?
Sitting in my herbal garden, in early 2020 I recollected all the fabulous adventures my son and I often had in the forest on our wild-crafting adventures, and how excited he was to learn more about each herbal plant I would harvest. These adventures inspired the series that I have now written and share with the world’s children.
From an early age, my son has accompanied me on my foraging and harvesting projects, and has always shown interest in how we incorporate these plants into our lives. We play with them, we eat them and we drink them, so it was only natural that I would write about them too!
I was thrilled when a school friend of mine, and Art Teacher, Morag Aitchison agreed to illustrate these books, and even more thrilled when I was offered my Publishing contracts.
My Publishers, Olympia Publishers and Kingsley Publishers have been instrumental in getting these books shared across the world.
Q: Tell us something more about your books?
It was important to me that these books were made affordable and accessible to all who might be interested in Conservation and/or Stewardship of the Earth. These books are written to educate and inspire Children and their parents to relearn and to remember some of our “old ways”. In my respects these traditions have been lost in today’s world, and this is my small contribution to helping keep these traditions and appreciation of the natural world alive.
I hope that these books will find their way into many homes and schools to help educate, inspire and motivate kids to play outdoors, to have a natural sense of wonder and inquiry for their natural surroundings, and to encourage protection of both traditionally used plants and our ecosystems in general. When kids learn where their foods and medicines came from historically, I hope it invokes a sense of respect and admiration for the wonders of the natural world that they can then pass along to their children and Children’s children.
Q: Why do you choose kids as your reader ? is there any specific reason?
Kids are our future. These bright, engaged, in tune beings hold the future of this planet in their hands. With education, knowledge, and respect for their surroundings, the kids of today will make great leaders of all our tomorrows. Kids are inspiring, imaginative, and connected to nature in a way that many adults have forgotten. By nurturing this connection to nature, we will raise a generation of thoughtful, caring, and generous Earth Keepers.
Q: How did these stories and characters come to your mind?
As previously mentioned, these stories were inspired by the adventures I have often in nature with my son. As an herbalist, forager and wildcrafter, I am always seizing every opportunity to teach and guide my son in his stewardship and understanding of the land, I simply put some of our conversations into paper, and to make the story more captivating I decided to make a fictional character as the lead of the story. This way, imagination is nurtured and fostered and hopefully continues into their outdoor play scenarios.
Q: Do you want to leave any message for your readers?
I hope the readers of my books enjoy them! Learning should be fun and memorable. It is my hope that kids feel inspired and motivated to go looking for these plants when they next visit their local park or play outside, and have fun while learning about them. A bonus would be if they could show and teach their friends!