Author Interview: Janet Kassalen, Author of Children’s Stories With A Grown Up Message – Part 2

Author Interview: Janet Kassalen, Author of Children’s Stories With A Grown Up Message – Part 2

Day 142 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project has been busy in the best way. I took care of some personal business that keeps me in a position to keep pursuing my business and received some wonderful feedback on the CD to accompany my book as well as on my professional growth from someone who was kind enough to share it. In addition to that, I got have lunch and with and plan my next workshop with Jenn-Quinn Wilson, the Wonderpreneur. It is tentatively set for all day Saturday, November 4th. Pink Collar Savvy & Chic and Wonder Diva will bring you: The Making Of A Pink Collar Diva: You! More on this head to toe image day soon!

Pink Collar Coach & The Wonderpreneur. Showing off her marketing following our lunch mtg. As a plus size model, she’s gorgeous in her cold shoulder dress and I’m in my Calvin Klein casual olive green jeggins, light green top and plaid shirt with comfy flats. 

And here’s the inspiring conclusion of my interview with Janet Kassalen, author of Flip Flap Try: A Cardinal’s Journey. Her children’s book has messages for any of us who has ever struggled to find our career fit or place in this world.

Rainier had to ask for help from others along his journey. Why do you think women are so afraid to admit when they need helps in their careers? How have other played a part in your journey?

You’re not expected to do everything yourself. It’s OK to ask for others’ input and help. Some ladies out there have done amazing things and written words of wisdom we can learn from. It’s important to encourage each other along the way to reaching our goals. I’m glad I went through the process of publishing. Asking for help was a good decision. Everyone was working with and pulling for me. Kay Fittes told me, “If you want something to happen, you have to make it happen. You have to oversee it.” And my author’s assistant let me make decisions, and it helped me grow. I couldn’t just sit back and let others make the decisions. My husband has also helped me. He says the conversation is never over or ended. If you’ve had problems or misunderstandings, there’s always a chance to straighten things out and move forward.

Rainer finds a job that he enjoys. It is meaningful to him and helps him to serve his purpose. How is becoming an author enabling you to serve yours?

I wanted to encourage people and give them hope in finding their dream job or mission. To let them know there’s always a new day to start over and try again. Just go from there.

The tagline on your beautiful website is: Children’s Stories With A Grown Up Message. What inspired you to use your children’s writing to inspire adults?

At first, it was intended more to help young adults struggling with their careers. My book coach thought it would work better as a children’s story. Adults can still learn from it. Reading didn’t come easy for me, but I could understant a children’s book. It was easier to understand, colorful and full of pictures but just as meaningful. And it doesn’t take half a year to read it!

A few years ago, I worked with you to redesign your office, which you call your “Communication Center”. How has having a work space that is beautiful, comfortable, and functional impacted your writing?

I’ve watched your personal and professional transformation. You’ve gone from “timid duckling” to savvy and chic swan. What encouragement do you have for women struggling to find themselves and their place in this world?

Never give up your hope. It’s OK to ask for help. Take vacations. On vacation I had the experience that started the cardinal story.  I also have a CD player with lots of CDs that I call my “To Do” list. It helps to put in the CDs and review to make sure I’m not missing something. Sometimes, I’m not ready to complete a task – if it’s not the right time. Other times, something just appears and it’s what you were looking for. It’s good to get the whole picture of what’s going on to set your priorities. Keep believing in yourself because everyone has the ability to help someone else.

A few years ago, I worked with Janet & her husband to redesign their shared office. They call the Communication Center. Handy hubby built the sunflower coatrack to go with the room’s theme.










Pink Collar Author Interview: Janet Kassalen, Author of Children’s Stories With A Grown Up Message – Part 1 of 2

Pink Collar Author Interview: Janet Kassalen, Author of Children’s Stories With A Grown Up Message – Part 1 of 2

On  Day 143 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project, I had the honor of conducting my first interview for the blog. Fiction is usually somewhat autobiographical, so my questions for Janet Kassalen, author of Flip Flap Try: A Cardinal’s Journey, relate to how her journey to finding her career fit inspired this children’s story with a powerful grown up message.

Janet Kassalen with Flip Flap Try: A Cardinal’s Journey at our                                                            “Kick Up Your Assertiveness Quotient for Maximum Success” workshop this past weekend.

Rainier, the cardinal and main character in your story, has a personal barrier: a wing that is damaged. This makes doing his first job a challenge. What personal barriers have you faced that impacted you professionally? How have you minimized them?

I was always a little shy and it was hard to make friends. It took me longer to do some jobs than it may have taken others and I worked lots of overtime to get work done. I’ve had some setbacks…I used running to minimize my barriers. I ran a lot! I ended up doing a marathon in 2006 and ran 26.2 miles. It helped me be more confident and to try new things. I also go to COMPEER activities. It’s an agency like Big Brothers and Sisters that matches you with someone you can socialize and do activities with. We do group actives like bowling, putt putt, crafts, and outreach to nursing homes. It helps to have friends with similar problems to communicate with, have fun, and build friendships.

Rainer has to go to his parents and tell them he wants to try a new job, and he is brave enough to do it. Many women can relate to this, having gone to school or gained experience in a certain field, but want to go a different direction. Have you had to communicate that you wanted to try something new and how did you get the courage to do it?

I went into the dietetic field and was a dietician. Again, I had some setbacks. My mom told me it didn’t matter what job I had, just as long as it was something I felt good about. Also, people weren’t disappointed in me, so in 2000, I stopped working as a dietician. I did work as a library tech, a job with lots of detail, and I liked that, but it was a little stressful. I ended up no longer in that position and stayed home. That’s when I started volunteering. Now I play in the orchestra, am involved in ladies’ groups at church, and in Toastmasters where I have been Area Governor, Sargent At Arms and President of some clubs. I’m currently a Distinguished Toastmaster. 

Rainier tries different jobs but they are not a good fit for him, yet he persists in his search. What has motivated you to persist in your search for your fit of being an author?

 I remembered the phrase, “Don’t give up the ship”. Though things got difficult, I just kept trying and moving forward. When I joined Toastmasters, I had to write speeches and struggled to come up with topics. I’d read to get information to write about. Even though I’m not organized, I enjoyed giving a speech on organization because I liked Steven Covey’s book, “First Things First”. So I kept working at it. When I got the storytelling manual, I remembered how my dad would tell stories and I still remember their morals. Flip Flap Try started as a Toastmasters project where I had to write an original story with a moral. After writing it and and giving my speech, I got the idea to publish the story.

Ultimately, Rainier finds a job that allows him to use all of the knowledge and skills he’s acquired in his various jobs. How have you been able to maximize all of yours to become an author?

In my jobs I had to learn computer skills and use them now as an author on my website and Facebook. As a dietician, I learned about food and I make sure to get balanced meals as a part of my self-care. I could eat better but I make sure to have fruits and veggies! Volunteering with music, I’ve learned about different instruments and kinds of music which I’m using to write songs to go along with the story. And giving speeches in Toastmasters definitely helped me learn how to tell a story.

Though Rainier didn’t know exactly what he wanted to do, he knew his strengths (singing, playing, being happy). How important is it for women to know their strengths in finding their career fit?

Looking for things we like to do and working in our strengths areas is very important. I like writing more than speaking, so I lean more toward that. In my story, I wanted to tell people my message: That it’s ok to quit along the road and try something new. Other people may hear other messages than what I intended. Some readers like the persistence piece. Others have said that I’m Rainier. With all of my setbacks and quit jobs, I kept trying different things, now my book is an accomplishment. I’m going to write more. I have a story about a penguin that’s already written. Everyone has the ability to help others. Sometimes, you may not know how, but something you say can encourage them to go forward with their dreams. I feel I’ve influenced some along the way. Writing has helped me find my voice.

As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Chick, Janet’s journey has inspired mine. I hope it has inspired you as well and that you’ll visit tomorrow to read Part 2 of our interview.

For more information on Janet or her book, please visit

Be savvy & chic,

~Pink Collar Coach