3 Question Interview - MICHELLE NOTT
I'm so happy to feature my #WordBird friend, author Michelle Nott. I'm excited about her beautiful debut picture book, TEDDY LET'S GO! (illustrated by Nahid Kazemi, Enchanted Lion Press), coming soon. Michelle chats about her inspiration and memories, and about stories . . . creativity . . . and connection. Welcome, Michelle!
1) STORIES – Discuss the inspiration for your ideas and stories, and share the process about your latest projects.
Many of my ideas come from my children, from experiences they had growing up. I also reach deep into my own memory to remember what it was like to be a child. These situations then inspire me to create all types of characters and stories.
My upcoming picture book, TEDDY LET'S GO!, is inspired by the teddy bear that my grandmother made me when I was born (and that I still have!). Although the story is not auto-biographical, I wanted to capture the experiences of a young child growing from dependence to independence who feels confident to do so with her trusted teddy. I also wanted to explore the feelings of family and the love that can be passed from generation to generation.
I’m equally a fan of non-fiction, particularly biographies. I love learning about current and historical figures whose lives could inspire children today. I’ve always been interested in art (although I can’t draw very well) and enjoy exploring artists’ lives and what inspired them.
Finally, I have traveled to many countries around the world and lived in Europe for quite a while. These experiences also influence my ideas. The world is literally full of stories worth sharing.
2) CREATIVITY -- How do you showcase your creative side through writing/illustrating and other pursuits?
I’m a very visual person and appreciate art in all its forms. But since I’m not very skilled in this media, I feel like writing helps me “paint a picture” with my words. Art isn’t only about what someone sees, but also about the emotions that are evoked – similar to poetry. With certain stories, writing in verse helps me capture a scene or a character at its essence.
3) CONNECTION -- How do you connect to your young readers through your writing/illustrating, and how do you stay connected to the KidLit community?
I try to stay connected to my readers by always staying very young at heart. I don’t ever want to forget what it was like to be a child – the joys, challenges and victories – so that I can put those feelings into my characters and stories. As I used to be a teacher, I have a wonderful time doing school visits (in-person or virtual).
Likewise, I don’t ever want to forget what it was like to be a mother of young children. There are so many amazing books out now that I wish I had had when my daughters were young. I hope that my books can add to that precious time of sharing a story together.
Because my audience is currently too young to go buy their own books, I try to connect with parents and educators through my website, blog, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Through those same channels, I connect with other creators in the Kid Lit community who have become some of my very best friends. I’m also an active member of SCBWI.
Michelle Nott is a freelance editor, published poet, and children’s book author. She writes fiction and nonfiction, in prose and in verse. She has authored two early readers, Freddy, Hoppie and the Eyeglasses and Dragon Amy’s Flames. Her debut picture book, Teddy Let’s Go!, is forthcoming from Enchanted Lion Press (Fall 2022). Michelle grew up in the U.S. and has lived in Europe for extended periods of time. She holds American and French citizenship and is bilingual, English and French. Her extensive travel around the U.S., Europe and Africa fuels her imagination and appreciation for story and world cultures.
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