Mayra Calvani, author and animal lover, has a fun blog featuring authors and their pets. I know my pets have been major inspirations for my writings. In fact, they were interviewed by Mayra a while back. If you missed it, here’s the link on April 5, 2009.
Okay, have you been doing it?
By Mayra Calvani
I used to think writing children’s books was boring. Writing for those demanding, whining creatures? Are you kidding? Not for me. No thanks.
That was a few years ago.
Now, nothing fills me with more joy and excitement than writing a picture book or a novel for tweens. Writing for children is like stepping into a fresh, magical, innocent, marvelous world of color and words. Writing for children is, in fact, like walking on a rainbow.
So how did the change happen?
Easy. I had children.
I recently read an interesting post by another children’s author about how in order to write good children’s stories, one must know children. Of course, as always, there are exceptions to the rule, but in general, I find this observation to be true. This doesn’t necessarily mean that one must have children in order to write great children’s stories, but it does mean that one must interact with them, know their fears, fantasies, dreams. In sum, one must have a clear idea of what goes on inside their little heads and hearts.
In my case, having children brought out a tender, gentler part of me to the surface, a part I didn’t know I had. Suddenly, as I read to my little daughter every night, picture books, with their beautiful and evocative illustrations, began to appear very appealing to me. I don’t remember when the exact moment happened, the moment when I thought, ‘I want to write a children’s book.’ But I do know I went from extreme to extreme: from chilling horror to sweet picture books. Two very different worlds, but I’m able to switch from one to the other without much problem. On the contrary, each one serves as a refreshing break from the other. So I may work on a lovable children’s story in the morning, and dive into a disturbing werewolf scene in the afternoon. It’s fun, like having split personalities, without the crazy element (or at least, I hope so!).
So far, I’ve written four picture books. Two have already been published: The Magic Violin (http://www.guardianangelpublishing.com/magic-violin.htm) and CRASH! (http://crashthepuppy.blogspot.com/) The other two are in the illustrating stages and will be released next year. I also have a finished tween novel in the editing stages and another one in progress.
The world of children’s book publishing is extremely competitive, to say the least. It takes hard work, dedication, perseverance and commitment to become a published author. I know the stakes, but once you step into that magical rainbow, there’s no turning back.
Mayra Calvani (http://www.mayrassecretbookcase.blogspot.com/) is a multi-genre author, reviewer, dog lover, and animal advocate. A regular contributor to Blogcritics Magazine and American Chronicle, she is also the author of CRASH!, a children’s picture book about a little boy and how he learns to care and find the perfect name for his new golden retriever puppy. Check out her ‘Crash the Puppy’ blog at http://www.crashthepuppy.blogspot.com/.
Many thanks go out to Mayra Calvani–writer and reviewer in Brussels, Belguim–for her lovely reviews of GIFTS FROM GOD and KITTY KERPLUNKING. Read what she has to say:
Beautiful and spiritually inspiring, Gifts from God is a tribute to God and all the things that are pure in our lives–the innocence and laughter of our children, the tenderness of a newborn, the magnificence of a sunset, the ‘laughter’ of a waterfall. With a few simple lines, some taken from the Bible, some from her imagination, author Cynthia Reeg has created a lovely book for the entire family, one to be read not only at bedtime, but at any hour of the day. The photographs and imagery are, in one word, captivating. This is a must children’s book for your Christian fiction bookshelf.
In Kitty Kerplunking: Preposition Fun, Reeg teaches children, in a light and fun way, the uses of prepositions. How does she do this? With the help of one very cute Kitty and his antics about the house. Each page features an engaging, colorful illustration and a sentence showing a preposition. For instance…
“Preppy the kitty … pitter-pattered ON the piano keys.”
Each time the preposition in the sentence is capitalized. At the end of the book there’s a useful study guide as well as six pages of activities, including a criss-cross puzzle, word search, seek & find, and fill-in-the-blanks. This is the perfect book to introduce young children to prepositions.
To read more of Mayra’s reviews, visit her at Mayra’s Secret Bookcase http://mayrassecretbookcase.blogspot.com/2008/02/reviews-of-gifts-frm-god-and-kitty.html
There, you can also find out about her children’s picture book, THE MAGIC VIOLIN, and her soon-to-be-published book, THE SLIPPERY ART OF BOOK REVIEWING.
And if you’d like to find out even more about Mayra, journey to her other blog, THE FOUNTAIN PEN NEWLETTER at http://thefountainpennewsletter.blogspot.com/