Women in Business – Interview with Jo Carson-Barr

What’s one of the best ways to foster a close relationship, as well as help grow the ‘language’ connections in a child’s developing brain? Read to them! Start from infancy, you don’t need to wait until they’re school age. I can tell you from experience that the times I’ve spent reading with my children are some of the fondest memories I have. We bond over it. When you teach a child to read, you do them one of the greatest services in the world by allowing them to continually learn. Books are rich resource for everyone.

I’ve been given the opportunity to interview Jo Carson-Barr, noted author and founder of Veritas Aotearoa Publishing.

Jo’s children’s picture books are widely distributed throughout New Zealand schools and her book ‘Talking to Nannie’ has been translated into Samoan and also used as a NZSL resource. How cool is that?! As a Kiwi girl that was raised (and still lives) in a household where multiple languages are spoken, this warms my heart.


I got my hands on a copy of ‘The Goodbye Chair’. Wow. This is hands down one of the most fun books I’ve had the chance to read to a child! We’re throwing our hands up counting, giving big sloppy kisses, and hunting through the fun illustrations seeing what we can spot hiding. The interaction between the parent and the child while reading this book is incredible. The story itself is heartwarming and shows the beautiful bond between a young Nicholas and his Nannie.

Check out my recent interview with Author Josephine Carson-Barr below.

Interview with Jo Carson-Barr:

Recently I had the opportunity to read one of your children’s books ‘The Goodbye Chair’ (which my family and I thoroughly enjoyed by the way). Where do you draw inspiration for your stories from?

Glad to hear you and your family enjoyed my book The GoodBye Chair it has been really popular. I have a very fertile imagination, but a lot of my inspiration comes from my grandchildren…exaggerated of course.

How did you realise that becoming an author was the path you wanted to pursue?

I have always loved writing, when my own children were small I would write stories for them.

In 2000 we moved to a small beach town and because there was no work available I began to write… in multiple genres. I had a story published in anthology of short stories for Rural Women and a book published in the school reading system called Talking to Nanny. This book has been translated into many of the Island Languages and was chosen one year to be translated into NZSL for their special week.

Your son is the illustrator to your children’s books. Fantastic! Was this part of the original plan?

No not really, he came to live with us for a short time. While he was there an opportunity arose and so he said he would illustrate the book and it just grew from there. I was delighted as he is an amazing illustrator and we work well together.

Are you currently working on anything else, writing or otherwise?

Yes we have just published the second Nicholas story called The Chill Out Chair and this will be followed later this year by a third in this series.


We have also published Waata the Weta: Can He Find The Perfect Home? This has a comic/animation influence and schools have been showing quite an interest, especially for boys not really wanting to read. This is 48pages full colour and the illustrations are incredible. We have two further books/comics in this series being published out later this year or early next year.

I also run Veritas Aotearoa Publishing and do all our marketing/promoting…so life is very busy these days.

What would be your best advice for someone wanting to go into business to become a writer themselves?

If you have a passion for writing…GO FOR IT…but a word of warning it is very difficult to get published in the traditional way in NZ at the moment, as most of our publishers have gone overseas. BUT there is a wealth of knowledge on how to publish a book yourself and with ebooks etc it most certainly can be accomplished.

Could you share with us one of your biggest life lessons?

Learning to live ‘One Day At A Time’ has been the best lesson I have ever learnt and it is especially relevant in the life I am living now as an author/publisher/marketer.
Biggest lesson you’ve learned in business?

If one door closes…there is always another one…in other words there is always another way…keep on trying…a quote on The We Community the other day sums it up for me, SHE BELIVED SHE COULD, SO SHE DID.

Thoughts on fulfilment as an author:

I guess I just love it…everything to do with writing is exciting…I have always written, I have 100’s of journals…I write everything down…endless lists…yes I just love it.

Any goals for the future?

My major goal for the future is turn this passion of mine into a successful business that can support both myself and my son. We are currently looking at marketing a puzzle that Simon  created to go with The GoodBye Chair book. We have had a teacher make a school resource for Waata the Weta and a much bigger organisation are also about to create a resource for this book as well. We would like to produce other products as well, digital books, apps etc…so watch this space.

Sunday morning, you’ll most likely find me…

Early morning coffee in bed chatting to RD about the week and our dreams…him reading the Sunday paper, me journaling…usually followed by church, lunch and a long walk… preferred place a beach somewhere, but a lovely park with huge trees will do.

Where can we purchase your products?



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