Happy Book Birthday to IF I WEREN’T WITH YOU
IT’S A BOOK BIRTHDAY!
I caught up with author Rosie Pova to see if she would be willing to share her amazing writing journey…and she said YES! And even though it is the birthday of her brand-new picture book, IF I WEREN’T WITH YOU, Rosie is giving the presents! She’s put together a wonderful SWAG bag AND a sweet TEDDY BEAR. One lucky person will win this. To be entered, please leave a comment below and connect with Rosie on Twitter (@RosiePOV).
Here’s a little background on Rosie. She is a children’s author, poet, wife and a mama bear of three. Ever since childhood, Rosie has been fascinated with the power of words. Her passion for writing took her on a long journey of discovery, learning, and growth, through many ups and downs, but she is grateful for all her experiences.
With her books, Rosie dreams of inviting many readers into her make-believe worlds, hoping to touch them with her words.
Welcome to Picture Books Help Kids Soar, Rosie!
ME: Who were your favorite authors/illustrators when you were a child?
I grew up in Bulgaria during the communist regime and as far as I remember, children’s literature was somewhat limited. We mostly read folktales. I did have one of those old-fashioned records of Cinderella, translated in Bulgarian, and I was obsessed with that tale. I listened to it over and over.
Other favorites, also translated in Bulgarian, were One Thousand and One Nights as well as the Brothers Grimm collection.
But, I am now slowly trying to catch up and read older picture books and classics–that people who grew up here are familiar with–while keeping up with the new releases.
ME: What do you know now that you wish you had known when you first started writing for children?
That I needed to read a lot more, learn about the market, and invest in my craft. I wish I knew about SCBWI sooner, what a critique group was, and how to find and join a good one. Those are some of the things that took me years to figure out the hard way!
ME: Where do you like to write/draw – inside, outside, a special area in your home, on the computer, in a notebook? And when do you find time to write?
I like to write both in a notebook with a pen or pencil and in bed on my laptop. I almost always carry a small notebook in my purse as well and have drafted stories in my car while waiting to pick up kids from school or activities. But I’d write any place, any way!
ME: When during the day (or night) are you most productive? Do you set a schedule for working or do you write/draw when the muse speaks?
I am definitely not a morning person but in the past, I’ve forced myself to write very early in the day if that was the only quiet, uninterrupted time I could find. Having three kids and a day job. I would set my alarm for 5 a.m. and work on a project for a couple of hours.
Nowadays, I get on my laptop as soon as I send the kids out to school and work until it’s time to pick them up, then in the evening, continue late into the night. As I write this, it’s 11:10 p.m.
ME: Why do you write for children?
First and foremost, I really enjoy it. And if I made a child laugh or feel something while reading my words miles and miles away, that’s awesome! But also, there’s something humbling and magical in the possibility of being able to–even for a brief moment–influence and help shape a person’s outlook through their early experience with books.
ME: Rosie, if you have any thoughts or advice for aspiring writers, please share. As well as anything else you want to talk about that parents, educators, and librarians might want to hear.
For writers, my advice is to work hard but don’t be stubborn. Flexibility is important–learning how to let go, readjust and strategize are crucial in this business. But also, be open-minded, educate yourself enough to know when and how to apply the above. And the way to do that is by seeking help from peers and industry professionals, joining the community (SCBWI, 12 x 12, StoryStorm, ReFoReMo, Kidlit411 etc.), interacting and making connections. Read, attend conferences and workshops, write, write, write.
I used to think, oh, I’ll surely figure it all out on my own. Don’t make that mistake and waste years going in circles and learning the hard way. Today, do something new for your writing that you haven’t done yet.
I encourage parents to read to their kids and favor getting books in their hands over video game remotes.
Educators and librarians, the work you do is of such tremendous importance, it blows my mind! I applaud you and wish that great appreciation gets to you in every shape and form!
Rosie…I know everyone thanks you for your insights. And especially for the beautiful picture book that will become a favorite with young children.
Each time I do a Q&A with an author or an illustrator, I gain a valuable takeaway. Do you want to know what that is today?
“TODAY, DO SOMETHING NEW FOR YOUR WRITING THAT YOU HAVEN’T DONE YET.”
To find out more about Rosie, please visit her at www.rosiejpova.com
IF I WEREN’T WITH YOU is available on Amazon or request a copy at your favorite Indie bookstore.
Dear readers, don’t forget to leave a comment to be entered into the drawing for the wonderful prize package!
And guess what? There is another book birthday tomorrow! I hope you’ll all be back to meet author/illustrator Patricia Keeler and her new picture book, LIZZIE AND LOU SEAL.
Thank you for spending your precious time with us!