Today I welcome Maricel Jimenez Peña, an author of children’s books I met through the BooksGoSocial Facebook group of authors. Read all about her and enjoy her stories with your children and students!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
1. Pretend we are all children and tell us 5 things about yourself which you consider the most important!
a. I like to have adventures, real or imagined.
b. I like to bake cookies and pies.
c. I like the truth and I really dislike being lied to.
d. I had an awesome dog named Kaya. Someday I’ll have another one.
e. Call me if you need help with anything crafty. I love crafts!
2. Why do your write books for children? What motivates and inspires you? How do your books come to life?
When I was a kid I would watch a lot of adventure movies. During the credits I always noticed the best movies were based on books. I would then read those books and realize how much better they were to the movies. Those books were mostly Middle Grade Adventures, hence my genre of choice. I’m still trying to have adventures.
3. What were your favourite children’s books and characters when you were a child (and still)? Was there a character you wanted to be, or a book you wanted to step into? Why?
To this day, one of my favorite books is Alice in Wonderland. I’d love to step through the looking glass and find an upside down world.
4. What is your main goal when you write a children’s book? What do you want your readers to think or feel?
Excitement. I want the books to be fun to read. I want the kids excited about the book. It’s about fun most of all.
5. How do comments and reviews affect you? What do your friends, family and colleagues think about you as a writer?
I’m still weighing the reviews out. Since my book is for kids, I value much more a child’s opinion of the book. So far, my family seems impressed, but it’s too soon to tell.
6. What is the most difficult thing about writing a children’s book? What is the most fun aspect of that process?
Keeping the writing in the appropriate reading level. Especially with Middle Grade, their levels are rising quickly and I can include words that are a bit above their level, but I have to be careful not to overreach it.
7. Do you like reading your book in public? Who is the tougher audience – the adults or the children? Share an anecdote if you wish.
I am usually on the shy side when it comes to reading my own book in public. However, I had to do it recently for a chat I gave to a group of home-schooled kids and it actually turned out great. They oooed and gasped at the right moments and one kid said: «That’s illegal!» in a scene where a stranger burst into a home. It was very fulfilling. I felt they were really enjoying it. A parent even suggested I do an audio book.
8. What is the one genre or topic you think you would never write and why?
Romance. I’ve read 1 romance novel in my entire reading career. I liked it, but I’m much more into supernatural things. Someday, I would like to write historical fiction.
9. If you could interview any famous children’s author, who would it be and what would you ask?
Anyone, alive or dead? That would have to be Mr. Roald Dahl. I would simply ask him to tell me about his most recent idea, or if he thought up of stories that he never wrote.
10. Why is reading important for children? Is it more important for them to read by themselves or with an adult?
Reading is important in so many levels. At first reading should be with an adult, otherwise it’s hard for a kid to comprehend an entire story. As they develop their skills they read alone, but I thinks it’s always good to discuss what they’re reading. I always ask: “What is it about?” Which leads to a summary and helps with reading comprehension. Fiction, in particular, helps develop children’s imagination, empathy for others, and obviously their vocabulary.
11. Would you like to add anything about your current work or send a message to the readers?
I am currently working on the sequel to The Adventures of Pixie Piper. I invite readers to share their thoughts on the story and discuss it with their peers. Questions open on my Goodreads author page.
ABOUT A BOOK
Amazon Book Link for The Adventures of Pixie Piper – A Fairy’s Breath
About Pixie Piper:
Pixie Piper loved adventures. She craved them with every pore in her skin. Sadly, the day Pixie was born her parents fell quite heavily under the spell of parental “concern” and poor little Pixie was left with little to do that wouldn’t worry or upset them. A bit of a difficult situation in which to have an adventure; so she consoled herself in books, stories and movies.
Then one day she gets a visit from a strange old man in a fuzzy suit: Her fairy godfather! He promises to take her on a wild adventure, and make her dreams come true. After all, that is what god fairies do.
Pixie discovers she is a fairy herself and travels to the world of fairies, but what starts as a vacation in a magical land soon turns into a quest to save Pixie’s mother, herself, and the entire Isle of Dahna from an evil pair of winter fairies.
I would all be a little easier if she could get her wings &to work. But as Pixie soon learns, being a fairy isn’t all about pixie dust!