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The Impertinent Interview Welcomes: Rosie J. Pova

As founder of The 2021derfuls group, I’m particularly inspired by multi-published children’s authors and illustrators. These creators have established successful careers in the industry and are still going strong, despite the ever-changing market. The Impertinent Interview seeks not only to feature their newest books, but also to ask a few questions about what makes them tick and how they identify as kid lit creators.

Today, I’m “impertinently” interviewing guest author Rosie J. Pova.

Welcome, Rosie!

To date, how many children’s books have you published? And psst: Are there any more in the pipeline that you aren’t allowed to talk about yet?

I have five traditionally published children’s books. The latest one in the pipeline, THE SCHOOL OF FAILURE: A STORY ABOUT SUCCESS, was recently announced. Hopefully, there will be more in the pipeline soon…

Ooh, looking forward to that one! What age groups do you write for and do you have a soft spot for one in particular?
I write for children in all age groups ― from board books to young adult ― but my soft spot is undeniably for picture books! They are such a unique format and pack such genius into them! Picture books offer the full variety of subject matter ― they cover the whole spectrum, from silly and funny to serious issues and inspiring real-life heroes. But whatever subject they tackle, they make it so approachable, the illustrations add to the text in a magical way, and picture books always offer hope. So, to me, picture books are for all ages and many adults can greatly benefit from reading them, too. Sometimes, a serious topic just needs to be broken down to a simple concept in order to be digested, and that’s what picture books do so well.

How do you “identify” as a writer? (As a plotter? A pantser? A plantser? Something else?)
All of the above! With fiction picture books, I’m definitely a pantser. With non-fiction picture books and writing for older audiences — chapter books, middle grade, young adult — I’m mostly a plotter, but could be a plantser too. I like the variety ― I’m never bored! πŸ˜‰

Do you have a preference for fiction or non-fiction and why?

As for my preference, it’s for fiction right now. Up until recently, I was too afraid to attempt writing non-fiction even though I love reading well-written non-fiction picture books. I was too scared of the amount and depth of research they require, plus I was struggling to find the right voice and make the story entertaining. My drafts read like reports, I was trying to stick to and mention each and every fact, and wasn’t sure how to approach it as a story. It was hard for me to relax and let go of the obsession to include everything. I am still learning, but have now completed a few non-fiction drafts that my agent likes so hopefully published non-fiction picture books are in my near future!

Are you more of an introvert or an extrovert? How does this affect your career in general and your PR work out there?
Definitely an introvert! But I’ve learned how to be the so-called “situational
extrovert” whenever the situation calls for it, and I pretty much don’t have a choice if I wanted to reach my goals of connecting with my readers, the kidlit community or marketing my books ― in cases like school visits, conferences, and various author events. It took a lot of work though and stretching outside my comfort zone. And the work is never done!

What about your writing career worries you most/keeps you up at night?
That I won’t have enough sales of my current titles which would create poor track record and affect future projects being acquired by both new houses and the ones I’m already working with (such as sequels I’m hoping to publish or more titles with the same publisher).

I love what I do, I’m eager to share my stories, and I work hard on advancing my career as a children’s author. So, I know that both the creative part and the business part of being an author are equally important in order to succeed. Both must be mastered.

Any writing career regrets?
I wish I’d known about SCBWI earlier and joined a critique group earlier. Those two milestones changed my career dramatically, but I wasted quite a few years struggling to figure it all out on my own.

What is your absolute favorite spread of your newest book and are you at liberty to show it here?
Yes, I can show you one from Sunday Rain, illustrated by Amariah Rauscher and published by Lantana. This one is my favorite because it shows my main character on an imaginative, beautiful island ― the mood is happy and the spread is so sunny and exciting. In my daydream escapes, I imagine a beautiful beach with palm trees and a turquoise ocean every time!

What’s a line of text you’ve had to delete against your will? A darling you’ve had to kill?
Yes, from my other upcoming book, The School of Failure: A Story about Success:

The school of failure was located in the middle of nowhere, but it was the center of everything.
I’m still a little sad about that one… ☺

What widely-accepted industry belief has your work managed to break through?
That quiet books are hard to sell. Sunday Rain is by far the book that sold the easiest.

Who is an author or illustrator you’d love to collaborate with?
Dan Santat.

Shamelessly plug your latest book for us! Why should we buy Sunday Rain?

  1. The story has one of the most universal themes — making friends — and every child can relate to that. In addition, at some point, every child has been in a situation of being “the new” kid and looking for ways to adapt, so I believe Elliott’s experience will resonate with all kids. There’s a story within the story — in the book that Elliott is reading — and it adds more layers and subthemes that I think are important. 
  2. As for the reading experience you’d get from this book, it’s a fun read-aloud with onomatopoeia spread throughout and adorable illustrations by Amariah Raucher, who’s also the illustrator for the Princess Truly series. 
  3. Also, a reviewer recently pointed out is that this would be a good book to read to a class on the first day of school. So, teachers out there, consider adding Sunday Rain to your classroom library.
  4. Parents Magazine featured Sunday Rain in their 5 Parents-Approved Children’s Books to Read Right Now, “The imagination-fueled adventures will restore your faith in the kindness of kids.”
  5. Kirkus Reviews calls it “A quiet, sweet story blending common themes of moving, imagination, and friendship.”

What message do you hope children take away from Sunday Rain?
I hope they’ll never forget to use their imagination, in all kids of situations, to be spontaneous and adventurous, yes, but be themselves first, and trust that they, too, can find their way in to new friendships, just like Elliott. And read lots of books, of course! 

Thanks, Rosie. May your bright and brilliant career continue its course!

Parents and teachers are invited to send Rosie pictures of kids’/students’ Sunday Rain artwork to post in her special online kids’ art gallery. There are lots of craft ideas and a coloring sheet on Rosie’s website, available here: http://www.rosiejpova.com/books

*GIVEAWAY!*

Leave your name in the comments if you’ve ordered Rosie’s new book, Sunday Rain, and you’ll be entered for a chance to win the flower print umbrella + swag below! (US only, winner’s receipt required, ends March 9th). Sunday Rain can be ordered at any of these links:

IndieBound.org

Bookshop.org

BarnesandNoble

Amazon