It is my pleasure to participate in the Author/Illustrator Blog Hop that’s been going around the blogosphere recently. I was tagged by the vibrant Vivian Kirkfield who always has a beautiful smile on her face and kind words on her lips.
I met Vivian first through blogging. And I was so excited to finally meet her during the Asian Festival of Children’s Content (AFCC) this year. The bio found in our AFCC programme booklet this year, has this information about her:
Vivian Kirkfield is a passionate advocate of early childhood education. To spread the message that reading picture books with children is one of the most important tasks of parenthood, Vivian wrote Show Me How! Build Your Child’s Self-Esteem through Reading, Crafting and Cooking, an award-winning parent-teacher resource. She contributes to newspapers, magazines and blogs worldwide, writes picture book stories, and actively serves the community by providing literacy and self-esteem-building programs for parents, teachers, and kids.
As you can see, Vivian lives a full and rich life. Her sessions during the Asian Festival of Children’s Content here in Singapore have also been very well-received, and I am sure that she has made a lot of friends in this part of the world. All the more reason to return!
And here are my answers to the blog hop questions:
What are you working on right now? How does it differ from other works in the genre?
I did tell Vivian that I am neither a picture book author nor illustrator. I do more academic writing which is connected to my work in the university, so my responses might vary quite a bit from the usual.
As of the moment, I am working on developing a new course for graduate students at the National Institute of Education at Nanyang Technological University: Using Multicultural Children’s Literature to promote Socio-emotional Learning. I am having such a fun time reading through so many books about the history of children’s literature, familiarizing myself with the dialectics and polemics about what it means to be ‘multicultural’ and how to do a ‘critical multicultural analysis’ of a text, and discovering even more children’s books through the recommendations provided by the book authors I am reading.
I am also working on another compilation of essays for AFCC, quite similar to our Beyond Folktales publication, and attending to several other research projects that I do in the university, plus my own self-initiated research on the psychology of artists/eminent individuals in various fields/domains.
Why do you write what you do?
I have always thought that life is too short to be involved in something that you are not passionate about. As the poet Rumi said: When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy. That just about sums up why I do what I do.
What is the hardest part about writing?
Writing is like reading to me – akin to breathing. What I find to be the most tedious and grueling process is the editing part, dotting all your i’s and crossing all your t’s. Since most of my writing is academic in nature, I am intimately familiar with the blind-peer-review process whereby one’s writing returns to you all bloodied and mangled to the point of non-recognition so that the narrative becomes even more muscled and toned and would come out significantly improved after having it minutely scrutinized by colleagues and various experts in the field from around the world. It’s fun! Always a humbling but exhilarating experience.
Part of the author/illustrator blog hop is to introduce 3 other authors/illustrators…and here they are:
A. J. Low
This is the pseudonym used by the husband and wife tandem Adan Jimenez and Felicia Low-Jimenez, amazing middle-grade novel authors of the Sherlock Sam series which is taking Singapore by storm. You simply have to know about Singapore’s greatest kid detective.
I had the privilege of knowing this lovely couple when we were all invited to the Little Lit Festival in Manila which happened right after AFCC here in Singapore. I also invited them to be my guest authors for my book club for young readers at the Jurong West Public Library, GatheringReaders, this October.
This is the official bio of the couple:
Born in California to Mexican immigrant parents, Adan became an immigrant himself when he moved to Singapore after graduating from New York University with an English Literature degree. He previously co-wrote a children’s book, Twisted Journeys #22: Hero City. He loves comics, LEGO®, books, movies, games (analog and video), Doctor Who and sandwiches, and one day hopes to own a store that sells all these things. Felicia was born and raised in Singapore. She spent most of her childhood with her head in the clouds and her nose buried in a book, and now daydreams of owning her own bookstore. She has a graduate degree in Literary Theory, and the Sherlock Sam series is Felicia’s debut writing effort, after accumulating years of experience buying, selling and marketing books. You can contact the authors at sherlock (dot) sam (dot) sg (at) gmail (dot) com or by visiting their website and facebook page.
Erik Weibel from This Kid Reviews Books
I knew Erik through his prolific blogging activities. Impressed as I was by his time-management skills and his concise yet meaningful book reviews that appear with amazing regularity on his blog, I invited him to “virtually” join us for the AFCC’s Panel of Young Readers. It was great to “meet” him and hear his voice and learn about his plans of eventually ruling the entire universe. He just published his first book: The Adventures of Tomato and Pea, Book 1: A Bad Idea. Do watch out for my interview with Erik tomorrow.
Here is Erik’s bio in the recent AFCC:
Erik is an eleven-year-old fifth grader that loves to read. He started his blog, This Kid Reviews Books when he was nine. Erik writes a monthly book review column for his local free newspaper. He has a black belt in TaeKwon Do and in his spare time enjoys building things out of LEGOs. He hopes to be an inventor and a published author when he grows up.
I met Catherine during the AFCC here in Singapore. She is a beautiful woman with an easy laughter and a gregarious spirit. This is Catherine’s official website, and you can follow her author journeys in her blog.
I am also glad to be spending more time now with Catherine since we are both members of Saturday Night Out for Book Geeks (otherwise known as SNOB-Geeks). It’s great to finally be with likeminded individuals who also have an ongoing romance with the written word. Catherine’s first book Darcy Moon and the Deep Fried Frogs would be released in 2014 by Fremantle Press.
Here is Catherine’s bio:
Catherine Carvell is an emerging children’s book author with her first book due for release in March 2014. She was born in England, but moved to Australia when she was just a girl. She now lives in Singapore with her husband and two children. Catherine has a Post Graduate Diploma in Journalism, a Diploma in Professional Writing for Children, and a Diploma in Non Fiction Writing and Publishing. She is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators and the Australian Society of Authors and when she is not writing, she enjoys holidays, reading and food. Catherine is currently writing her second book for children and hopes to write many more.