WILL WRITE FOR COOKIES
INSIGHT – INFORMATION – INSPIRATION
One of my favorite things about doing author and illustrator interviews is that I get to connect with lots of awesome people! Today’s featured author/illustrator is no stranger to my blog…her DREIDEL DAY was a Perfect Picture Book Friday selection in December of 2019.
Here’s a bit about Amalia in her own words:
I grew up in Jerusalem, Israel. My first drawing was black crayon
smeared over the entire page. My mom asked me what it was and I said, “that’s a chicken coop.”
“Where are the chickens?” she asked.
I said, “They are all asleep and it’s dark.”
Since then I have been drawing, painting, sculpting and cutting paper constructions. After graduating from Pratt Institute and NYU, I began showing my artwork in galleries and museums
Gene Moore, display director for Tiffany & Co. loved my paper constructions and invited me to create displays for all his windows in New York. I started creating innovative displays for many prominent
store windows and I was thrilled to see kids with their nose stuck to the glass, as they gazed at the scene in the window.
Writing and illustrating children’s books is, again, a window into a child’s fantasy and imagination. It’s also a wonderful way for me to connect with my own childhood and early memories like the chicken coop drawing.
ME: Welcome, Amalia! Thank you so much for stopping by today to chat with us! I know you have a lot to share…we have a trailer for your BRAND-NEW BOOK, MY MONSTERPIECE, that launches from Yeehoo Press on March 2. We have a curriculum guide for teachers to use with the book. And an AMAZING recipe for Hamantaschen! Oh, and a chance to win a copy of this awesome book!
ME Who were your favorite authors/illustrators when you were a child?
AMALIA: I grew up in Israel; my books were all by Israeli authors, written in Hebrew so I’m not sure people here will recognize them. My favorite author was Sholom Aleichem who actually wrote Fiddler on the Roof. I also loved the stories of Haim Nachman Bialik, and Nathan Alterman. I also loved books that were illustrated by Lea Goldberg.
ME: What do you know now that you wish you knew when you first started writing?
AMALIA: To seek the advice and help of other writers and join critique groups.
ME: Where do you like to write – inside, outside, special room, laptop, pen and paper?
AMALIA: When it’s nice outdoors, I walk to the park by the Long Island Sound I sit on a rock and write with a pen on a piece of paper. I don’t really use a laptop. If I’m indoors, I write at my desk in my tiny studio, surrounded by books, art supplies and my artworks.
ME: When do you write – early morning, late in the day, middle of the night, on schedule, as the muse strikes?
AMALIA: I write at different times in the day but middle of the night to 3 AM are best because it’s quiet and I can concentrate without worrying about doing chores, and answering emails or phone calls.
ME: Why do you write for children?
AMALIA: I write for children because that brings back the child in me. I feel younger because I can allow myself to feel like a child, be silly, and be free.
ME: Also, 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, writers, librarians might want to hear.
AMALIA: For writers: Write from the heart and don’t feel that you have to follow any mode or trends.
For parents: Read with your kids as much as you can. Sharing these reading time and bed – time stories is a binding experience.
For educators and librarians: Just keep on doing the important work that you do- enriching kid’s lives.
ME: WOW! Amalia…thank you so much for all of these insights and for sharing such thoughtful advice! And I know the Amalia-awesomeness isn’t over yet because you have a fabulous recipe to share with us and a book trailer and a curriculum guide!
AMALIA: Here is the book trailer for MY MONSTERPIECE:
And here’s my recipe for Hamantaschen from my book, PURIM GOODIES.
And here’s a link for the teacher’s guide: https://yeehoopress.com/wp-content/uploads/My-Monsterpiece-Lesson-Plan.pdf
Thank you so much, Amalia, for visiting with us today and sharing so much of yourself! MY MONSTERPIECE looks like a book that many children will connect with. Dear readers…please buy the book if you can, review it, tell friends about it, and ask your local library to order copies for their collection. That’s the best gift we can give an author. And this author is so generous, she is giving one lucky reader a gift! Just leave a comment on this blog for a chance to win a copy of MY MONSTERPIECE…and share, share, share on social media for extra tickets in the giveaway hat.
I hope you all have a wonderful weekend. Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day and I’m sending love to all of you! And inviting you to check out Ellen Leventhal’s blog tomorrow – I’ll be swinging by there to answer some questions. Then on Tuesday evening, a podcaster in Shanghai will be interviewing me. Next Friday, I’ll be featuring a brand-new book, THERE GOERS PATTI McGEE by debut author Tootie Nienow. I’m extra excited because I saw that manuscript when Tootie was first working on it! It’s such a thrill to see books emerge from WIPs. And on the same day, Jena Benton is hosting me with 7 questions on her Mermaid blog. Oh, and I mustn’t forget to mention that next weekend is the WINTER SCBWI CONFERENCE…it’s all virtual, of course, but attendees were able to submit the first 500 words of a manuscript to the first-ever manuscript gallery where editors and agents will be lurking/looking! I’m trying to follow my own advice: WRITE/REVISE/SUBMIT.
This is a beautiful story. I was excited to learn that Amalia was from Israel. I visited Israel 24 years ago. It was a life-changing experience.
Ohh! I love Monsterpiece! Such a clever, fun creative book. Congrats Amalia. You are certainly a talented artist. Thanks for the giggle about the chicken coop. What an imagination.
Wonderful interview! Thanks, Vivian! Best wishes, Amalia! It’s almost release day! Yay!
What kid won’t want to read about your monsterpiece, or make their own?
Thanks, Vivian, for sharing this talented writer with us!
I’ve seen a few of Amalia Hoffmann’s interviews about this book and each one makes me more eager to read it. The monsters are adorable!
What a cute idea! Looking forward to reading this book. And I loved the chicken coop story!
WOW – a chicken coop in the dark to Monsterpiece! What a journey1 Thanks for sharing.
Great interview. Congratulations and mazel tov to Amalia. MONSTERPIECE sounds incredible!
This is so beautiful! One of my favorite memories from childhood is baking hamentashen with my grandma!
I love the trailer. Looks so creative. Congratulations!!
Chicken coop in the dark! The preview of your book tempts me ! Thank you for this interview sharing your new book and the encouragement to keep learning!
“Bedtime stories are a binding experience” with one’s children. YES!! Congrats on your launch, Amalia (& thx for that recipe!)
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