How did you decide to become a children’s writer?
In addition to the love for writing that I developed as a young child, I was strongly influenced by the illustrations and drawings that my brother created with paper and colored pencils.
I’ve always felt that writing for children is special. I feel like I’m on a mission to spread messages of acceptance and friendship through my books.
When did you start writing children’s books?
In 2008 while I was still living in Portugal.
Where do you get your inspiration for your books?
The inspiration for my books comes from many aspects of my life including nature, beauty, friendships, fears, dreams and memories I remember having as a child.
How long does it take on average to write a book?
Each book brings about new feelings and emotions. These feelings definitely are reflected in the time I spend developing each book.
Often, I find myself writing more than one book at the same time. It might take two or more years before I have my final copy complete.
What was your favorite children’s book while growing up and why?
When I was around nine years old, there was a book that I loved to get from the school library. It was titled, “The Yellow Bag” by Lygia Bojunga. It tells the story of a girl who comes into conflict with herself and her family by suppressing three great wills (which she hides in a yellow bag) – the desire to grow, to be a boy and to become a writer. I would read that book over and over!
In some way, at that time I really connected with that narrative. Today, this book is part of my private library at home.
Who’s your favorite children author and why?
My favorite children’s book author is Brazilian writer, Lygia Bojunga. She is one of four people to win the two major international awards: for “lasting contribution to children’s literature”, she received the Hans Christian Andersen Medal in 1982.
Has writing always been your passion?
My passion for writing has been around since I was little and started in writing classes during elementary school.
I was always a very quiet and shy child. Writing gave me a sense of freedom; a unique and happy opportunity to speak to others through my words.
Our house had a large yard with lots of fruit trees and that was our magical place to daydream. I remember envisioning the day I was old enough to help my mother, drive a car and become a writer!
What advice would you give kids struggling with writing?
I believe that reading is very important for all young children. The more a child reads, the more comfortable and passionate a child will feel when writing.
What are the steps you take in creating a book?
The first step I take is to put together all my drafts that I wrote from the moment I had the idea of the story.
These drafts contain information such as character names, imagined or dreamed situations, etc. The next step is to head to my computer and start writing my new adventure!
Out of all the books you created, which book is your favorite one & why?
That is a very difficult question to answer! Each of my books brings me a feeling of accomplishment. Each one is special in its own way. I love them all and am grateful to each one of them.