Good morning, kidlit friends! Welcome to another edition of KidLit Coffee Talk. I’m thrilled to feature PB and MG author Rosie Pova on my blog today. Rosie and I met through our publisher, Clear Fork/Spork. Not only is she an active member of the kidlit community, she also runs writing contests for children, including KWEST and Haiku Hype. Her latest book, Sarah’s Song (Spork 2017), was illustrated by Emma Allen.
First off, what kind of coffee (or tea) do you like to drink?
Tell me a little bit about yourself and your writing journey.
I immigrated to Canada from Bulgaria in 1998 as an adult, and a few years after that my family and I came to the United States. I am a mom to three wonderful children and currently a full time writer.
My journey as a writer was long and filled with failures…uh, I mean opportunities to learn. And so I did learn a lot over many years and kept trying and trying to break through. I persisted because I was really passionate about writing for children and committed to realizing my dream.
At times, when the rejections piled up and things looked very discouraging, I thought about quitting, but that didn’t work out. So I learned how to enjoy the process, nourish my creativity and continue the pursuit, no matter what.
Those are truly some words of wisdom. Persistence is key if you want to succeed in children’s publishing. Speaking of which, 2017 was a busy year for you, with 3 books published! Tell me about your newest picture book, Sarah’s Song.
Sarah’s Song is a very special book to me. I dedicated it to my grandparents, who are no longer here, but they were a big part of my childhood and I loved them dearly.
I’m happy to see that the book is doing well. Just last month it was featured in Kirkus Reviews as the Indie Editors’ pick so that was a great surprise. The book and the book trailer were also included on a list of the 100 Must-have Books for the Elementary Classroom, created by Kate Narita who is a teacher, writer and a blogger.
I hope more young readers will discover Sarah’s Song and share it with their grandparents. I know kids have a very special bond with their grandparents and the story will help them celebrate that bond, even when things change with the aging of Grandma and Grandpa.
I’m a big fan of Sarah’s Song. It is certainly a special book. What was the most exciting part of the publication process? What was the hardest?
The most exciting part was that my book was becoming real. I loved seeing my characters in the illustrations and how that transformation took place, bringing them to life.
The hardest part was letting go of revisions and tweaking over and over before I called it a final version. This was new to me and a bit scary―it seemed like there could always be room for improvement when I woke up the next day.
That’s so true – as writers, it can be hard to let go of the manuscript and trust that it’s the best it can be. What else are you working on?
As usual, I am juggling multiple projects at once. It’s my new normal now and I enjoy it. It’s never boring in my world!
I am super excited about a few stories in particular. Two of them are currently on submission and I can’t wait for the other two to go out next. They are my newest polished manuscripts that I wrote in 12 x12 and when I sent them to my agent, she said “they are both kind of brilliant :)” which was wonderful to hear. I hope these stories find a publishing home soon and I look forward to sharing them with readers, but I can’t tell you more at this time.
I can’t wait to see what comes next for you. How has life changed since becoming a published author?
Life as a published author has changed a lot. I am busier now because besides writing and revising at home, I need to actively promote my new book babies in any way I can and make sure they adjust well in the world. This includes leaving the house once in a while ;).
I try to go places where I meet my readers like school visits and book fairs which requires planning, preparation and time. I love inspiring kids and having my books in their home and school libraries is such an honor.
Interacting with young readers is certainly one of the best parts of being an author. What’s one picture book you loved when you were little and a more recent one you love now?
We didn’t have many choices when I was growing up in Bulgaria―mainly fairy tales and my favorite was Cinderella.
A recent book that I love . . . There are many, do I have to pick just one? I love 7 Ate 9 by Tara Lazar, illustrated by Ross MacDonald. It’s so clever and funny!
I love that one, too. Tara Lazar is hilarious. What are you currently reading?
I’m reading a lot of picture books for research. There are a few new releases that I want to check out, too. I also read some middle grade and young adult books, occasionally, and I always have a self-development book on my nightstand.
What is one thing most people don’t know about you?
I get that question a lot for interviews and I’m running out of shareable things people don’t know about me haha. But I’d like to share something new that I have in the works and I’d like more people to know about. It’s my poetry contest for kids called Haiku Hype. It’s a nationwide competition in April intended to inspire kids to write and get in touch with their creativity. I am giving away a Kindle for kids e-reader plus other amazing prizes and it will be great to get many students to participate.
The contest will run from April 9th-27th for poetry month and more information can be found on my blog at www.rosiejpova.com/blog
Thank you, Jenna, for having me. It was a pleasure to talk with you.
Thank you so much for taking time out of your busy schedule to chat with me. I’m looking forward to checking out the wonderful poetry the students are sure to create!
To learn more about Rosie, visit her website at https://www.rosiejpova.com
Connect with her on social media!
Twitter – @RosiePOV
Facebook – @RosieWrites
Now it’s giveaway time!
Rosie has generously offered a fiction, non-rhyming picture book manuscript critique (up to 700 words) for one lucky KidLit Coffee Talk reader! To be eligible, all you have to do is a leave a comment on this post. I will choose a winner at random next Friday, May 4th. Good luck, and thanks for stopping by!