I'm so glad to have author Tania Guarino on my blog today. I love her adorable debut picture book, MEET THE QUACKERS. Let's get quacking with this interview!
STORIES – Discuss what inspires your ideas and stories, and share the process about your
I have a love for farms, farm animals, woodland animals, and nature as well. Fortunately, I grew up and still live in New York’s Hudson Valley where an abundance of all of the above have proven to be the most inspirational places and things that influence my writing for children. Of course my kids keep my ideas flowing too! In fact, the inspiration for MEET THE QUACKERS came from a photo my daughter sent me while she was away at college in Delhi, NY. A roommate of hers had bought twelve ducklings to bring back home with him when on college break. In the meantime, he had put them in their bathtub with a little water so they could splash and play, and when I saw the photo I said “meet the Quackers!” and the story was born. My latest project is a companion book to MEET THE QUACKERS. I have really gotten to know my characters a bit more in depth this time around. Seeing them visually has given them, and me, new light. They have become an incredible part of my life, and having the opportunity to collaborate with my super talented illustrator, Shane Crampton, has made everything all the more special.
My second picture book, GARDEN PARTY A COUNTING ADVENTURE BOOK, will be published in Summer 2018! This story won an award placing fifth out of 450 entries in the Institute of Children’s Literature PreK Animal Story Contest, back in December 2015. I’m thrilled it has found a home at Clear Fork Publishing! I love having a garden, and the inspiration for this story came from all the little critters that have passed through and inhabited it. I can hardly wait for it to be in the hands of readers!
CREATIVITY – How do you showcase your creative side through writing/illustrating and other pursuits?
I have notebooks stationed in various particular places around my house, and a few in my car too! So…pencil to paper! Ideas sometimes come to me through sleep. I’ll wake during the night and have to write them down immediately so I don’t forget a single thing, all the while, trying to stay in that dreamy state of mind. Other times, I’m wide awake and out of the blue it just happens! I am always prepared with pencil and paper for those amazing moments! I then take those ideas, make them into stories, show them and read them to friends, family, and critique partners for opinions, and also bring them to writer’s conferences for professional critiques so I can then revise them and make them stronger.
CONNECTION – How do you connect to your young readers through your writing/illustrating, and how do you stay connected to the KidLit community?
EVENTS! EVENTS! EVENTS! As many as I can find and attend! To be able to read aloud and sign my books for kids is the ultimate joy. I love seeing a child smile or laugh while reading something I’ve written. It makes me happy! I can only hope my FUN picture books will have lasting qualities that help keep kids encouraged for a lifetime of reading!
I am a member of SCBWI and CWHV (Children’s Writers of the Hudson Valley). Both of these organizations help me stay connected with other writers and illustrators, as well as editors and agents. I have Instagram and Facebook for Social Media outlets. I feel Social Media is a must for today’s writers and illustrators. Aside from my friends and family, I follow and friend publishers, bookstores, authors and illustrators, parents, librarians and educators. This keeps me up to date on new kids book releases, and what is currently happening in the KidLit community.
It’s been FUN to talk with you and be featured on your blog today, Melissa! Thanks so much for having me!
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I loved learning more about you, Tania! Thanks for being here to talk about stories . . . creativity . . . and connection!
Tania Guarino is an award-winning author. She lives in New York’s Hudson Valley with her family, which includes a cat and a dog, and sometimes, two more dogs, two bunnies and a pig named Binky! Tania is a contributor to Highlights High Five Magazine. When not creating fun stories for kids, she can be found riding her bike, gardening, or on the family boat soaking up the sun and catching fish! She enjoys a good cup-of-joe to get the wheels turnin’ and is always on the lookout for that next inspiration! A nature loving summer girl at heart, she loves to be outdoors, but doesn’t like the bugs, at all! MEET THE QUACKERS is her debut picture book.
Connect with Tania:
Website - http://taniaguarino.com/
Instagram - @TMarieGuarino13
Author Facebook Page - https://www.facebook.com/taniaguarinochildrensauthor/