When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
As the world descended into a pandemic at the start of 2020, Blooming Buds Nursery, a private preschool that I had founded and managed was
unfortunately shut down, but my commitment to children’s education did not concede. I found myself able to pursue a career as a children’s book author, something I had been considering for decades prior.
How long does it take you to write a book?
Anywhere between 3 to 5 months.
What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
How much children can learn and retain facts through reading picture books.
Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?
I love the sense of wonder and the giggles of children when I read my books. They always have interesting questions.
The reviews speak for themselves. Readers love the personification of the characters, as well as the colourful illustrations. They find them relatable, engaging, and accessible to young children.
Does writing energize or exhaust you?
I love to write, however, I find that some days I am more productive than others. However, the story is constantly churning in my mind, even when I am not writing.
What is your writing Kryptonite?
Before I start writing, I thoroughly research the topic. Next, I aim to simplify the facts in a fun and accessible way for young children to grasp the abstract concepts.
The, I visualize the story in my mind, like a mini-movie. From there, the words then flow and the sequence of events are then easier for me to write.
Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?
I think it's important to have a good balance between originality and what my readers want. But, ultimately, the main objective is for young readers to enjoy and learn from my books.
What authors did you dislike at first but grew into?
At what point do you think someone should call themselves a writer?
Everyone has a writer within them. We are all storytellers and if we enjoy writing, then we are certainly a writer.
What do the words “writer’s block” mean to you?
Are there therapeutic benefits to modeling a character after someone you know?
What comes first for you — the plot or the characters — and why?
The characters first and then the plot. However, afterwards, there is a lot of tweaking and perfecting while going back and forth between the characters and the plot.
How would you describe your book’s ideal reader?
If you are a child between the ages of 3-8, then my book is for you. They are also meant for teachers, librarians, and parents who want to instil and consolidate scientific knowledge beyond the classroom.
How much research did you need to do for your book?
I spend weeks researching for my book. It is important to get the facts right before choosing the plot of the story.
Tell us more about your book/s?
Did you know that not all wildfires are bad? In fact, they are essential to some trees and plants.
Join, Spencer, a feisty little spark who travels with the wind to the pine forest and becomes a mighty wildfire, burning the trees of the forest one by one. But it’s not all bad! The heat from the wildfire was what Polly the Pinecone needed to be able to open up her scales and disperse her seeds so that more trees can grow. The wildfire was able to make way for a new generation of trees and wild flowers when the seeds and the nutrients from the dead trees allowed for new growth because the sun could reach the ground. Nature is full of surprises!
The underlying messages found in Spencer the Spark are:
1. We need one another to survive.
2. Not to be influenced by stereotypes of what is good or bad.
3. There is a reason for everything.
Spencer The Spark is Book 4 of the Nature Speaks Series. These books serve as an extension of the curriculum and a supplement to what is taught in the classroom.
The goal of the series is to simplify abstract concepts such as natural disasters and events to improve children's learning outcomes and reinforce their knowledge of topics taught in the younger grades.
The books are appropriate for children ages 3 to 8 and are intended to be an important resource for preschool, KG, and elementary school teachers, librarians, and parents who want to use picture books to teach their children about interesting topics.