The Style Researcher presents this week Kris Hagan with an exclusive interview. We talk about his latest publications and more.
Let’s start off Kris by asking you what the subtitle means? Three books in three weeks.
Well, basically three books that I wrote all came out within a space of three weeks. Total coincidence, but true. The first book Learn with Leo came out the last week of August, the second, The Business English Experience came out a few days later and then the week after Say It Right. I couldn’t keep up and now I feel like I need to publish one a week! LOL
Tell us about each book. Let’s start off with Learn with Leo. What is it about?
Well, many of my students over the years asked me, some even begged me, to write a book for children. At school children only learn lists of vocabulary which is totally useless if someone is trying to learn to communicate. Once I asked a 9-year-old girl what her favourite subject at school was and her reply was, “English, Maths, Science, History, Geography” and so on. Obviously she couldn’t put a sentence together and was just spouting off a list of school subjects.
When I was putting this book together I thought of my little brother Leo. I wanted to dedicate this book to him as he is the bravest and most intelligent child I know. He suffers from Duchenne and a part of me wanted his legacy to be around forever. I don’t care about my legacy, just his. He can be a pain in the bum sometimes, but I love him and so named the first book after him.
What about the name of the next book?
Well, I don’t love any other members of my family enough to name a book after them. Only joking! Who knows?
But this book isn’t just a list of vocabulary then you are telling me?
No, exactly. There are ten pages of sentences. Ten doesn’t sound many but wait. On each page there is a sentence written not only in English but in 12 languages. On the opposite page there is a beautiful illustration to accompany the sentence by one of my best friends on the planet, Befeldo. He also does the illustration on the back of my magazine – Sir K.
12 languages on each page?
Yes, along with the audio. I wanted to do this because children, as we all know, have brains like sponges. I don’t mean wet and falling to bits like an old sponge, I mean bouncy and can absorb everything. If children learn from an early age the sounds of different languages they find it easier to copy. This way helping them speak better when they study in the future.
The one sentence on each page is useful in many ways. You can read it alone, repeat it after your mum or dad, repeat it after the speaker, try to write it down, even substituting words that you know. All ways to teach the construction of phrases, not only lists.
And this is available on Amazon?
Yes, if you type it online you can find it everywhere.
And what about your second and third books?
Well the second is The Business English Experience which is exactly what is says on the tin. A short guide, with audio and exercises of Business English.
And Say It Right is the third one that came out?
Yes, even if I wrote it a year ago now. The publishing house Celid which is based in Turin are great guys and I am very happy to have released this book with them. My book was even at the International Book Fair in Turin. Was a great moment for me. In this period we need as many as we can get.
What can people find in the book then?
Well it is, let’s say, I call it a real pronunciation guide, to teach things that people aren’t taught and things which many people don’t even know, even natives don’t know, exist. Things we do when we speak which is the reason why understanding us isn’t easy sometimes. Not sometimes, 90% of the time. To understand us perfectly you need to speak like us. It’s the only way. Also When people learn English at school they learn to speak like a foreigner speaking English, even if they use the phonetics of the words. It’s not only phonetics that make you sound native. I won’t give away any secrets, you’ll have to get the book. Also on Amazon or direct from Celid.
Do you need to already speak English to use Say It Right?
Not at all. I decided to write it in both English and Italian so there’s no reason why someone who is even at a basic level can’t use Say It Right 😉 And at least now I can die happy knowing that at least three of my books are out there.
What other ideas do you have for books in English?
Many. The problem is between my language institute, podcasts and YouTube and, as you know as well as me social media which takes up our lives these days, I need to find time to sit down, chill, and put pen to paper – well, fingers to keys these days.
Obviously I want to do more, and have already started on the next children’s books as I want it to be a series. Standalone books like Say It Right I have ideas but I would have to shoot you – it’s an expression! If I tell you, I’d have to shoot you 😉 You can keep up with all that’s going on on my social media. Here is the extensive list:
IG: @TherealKrisHagan @KrisHaganMedia @SirKMagazine @KrisHaganLanguageInstitute
Podcasts: English Uncovered
oh and TikTok: @KrisHaganOfficial
I don’t use Grindr, Tinder or whatever else there is. I doubt people there would be interested in my books or learning a language. Except the language of “Lurrrve”!
Anything else you’d like to say before you go?
A little off topic but I’d like to say, thanks for this interview Ray and as I know all your readers will agree with me, I would like to say that I am very disappointed with what happened the other week with the DDL ZAN law. I love this country I chose to live in, Italy, and what happened in the Italian senate thankfully isn’t the idea of the Italian people. When I discovered that the country I live in didn’t already have a law of this kind I was in total shock. Thankfully the community and people are more intelligent than those that were seen in that very bad moment in history. Let’s hope things change soon! Like I said earlier, my younger brother is disabled and to see politicians cheering like at a football stadium when the DDL ZAN law wasn’t passed is something that has stained Italian history. It seems I had a lot extra to say. Again thanks Ray and hope to be in the same room together soon!
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