Today I'm welcoming author, illustrator, blogger, and freelance writer, Nata Romeo. Nata is talking about her début picture book, Alphabet Wildlife A to Z which she has written, illustrated and published herself.
Nata is originally from Toronto, Canada, has lived in Italy for a while then graduated school from the Art Institute and ended up in Philadelphia, PA. She's the proud mother of three children whose ages range, 28, 25 and 8. She works full time as a special needs classroom assistant for the School District of Philadelphia.
She says that creativity and inspiration derive from her kids, and also being among hundreds of elementary students on a daily basis.
Talking about the inspiration behind creating this book, Nata says that she has always wanted to be a writer and illustrator for as long as she could remember. “I love the power of creativity," she says. "The Sketchbook Project 2014, part of the Brooklyn Art Library inspired me to write and illustrate this book. This is my third year participating with them. The original drawings are in that sketchbook, which is housed in their library. I always wanted to write an alphabet book!”
Amazingly, when she fractured her dominant hand earlier this year, she became aware that she was ambidextrous and never knew it! She says, “Now I can alternate between the two and have two unique styles of drawings. Actually, the Lion book art was illustrated with lefty, while the animals in the book were illustrated with righty. So yeah, no matter what life throws your way, pick yourself up and find a way to continue what you love to do!”
Asked why she decided to self-publish her first book with CreateSpace, she explained, “The beauty of self-publishing with CreateSpace is that you can easily edit your book. I wanted to have the freedom to make all the decisions on how the book looks. I have to admit that it was very stressing along the way. The formatting was always off! Fortunately, my son the computer genius always comes to my rescue and saves me from self-destruction! Ha Ha!”
Nata is currently revising another children’s book about Moon Trees, and illustrating it as well. She says her favourite illustration medium is combining watercolour, and pen and ink. “I love having the freedom of colours blending into other colours, creating unique effects. Detailed pen and ink is a form of de-stressing!”
She has this advice for writers /illustrators. “Read, read, read, what you want to write. Learn to storyboard/dummies to see if your story flows. Join SCBWI, go to workshops, and join critique groups. Not only will your writing improve, but you will meet other talented writers and illustrators that also share your passion.
“Also, if you decide to self-publish, please avoid making the mistake I did! After my book was approved by CreateSpace and up for sale, someone I look up to and admire messaged me and pointed out that there was a typo! I thanked her soooooooo much! I immediately fixed the BOO BOO!”
Blurb - Alphabet Wildlife A to Z invites young readers into an enchanting world of animals.
Paperback: 32 pages
The book is available in print and kindle format.
Find out more at her website: www.nataromeo.com
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And please visit my website at: www.annevansbooks.co.uk