Books develop and nourish kids’ imaginations, expanding their worlds. Picture books introduce young children to the world of art and literature. Novels and nonfiction books stimulate kids’ sensory awareness, helping kids to see, hear, taste, feel, and smell on an imagined level. Books inform our imaginations, inspiring creativity.
This Children's Book Author Spotlight Series is going to showcase independent children's book authors and their works. We strive to bring you the best there is to offer and an insight into the world of children's books!
This week we are featuring author Iveta Ongley.
Tell us a little about yourself and how you came to write your first book.
I originally come from the Czech Republic but live in New Zealand with my kiwi husband and children. I started writing when I was at home on maternity leave with my first daughter but it took me several years (until I was on maternity leave with my second daughter) to actually publish my first book. Since then I've published three chapter books and two picture books.
What inspired the idea for your book?
My children inspire all of my books. My latest book, Unicorn Mission, is book 3 in a magical series called The Adventures of Rosie Hart. I wrote this series for my daughter when she asked me to write her a "proper" book about fairies. Most of the magical creatures I write about are her favourites. Book 1 is about fairies, book 2 about mermaids and book 3 about unicorns.
What part of the book was the most fun to write?
Definitely parts with the youngest unicorn, Stardream. She's such a little mischief and gets into a bit of trouble with her dad occasionally.
How long did it take you to write this book?
To write it about a week. However, then editing and illustrating it took another two months or so.
Has writing and publishing a book changed the way you see yourself?
Definitely. A few years ago I wouldn't have thought that I could do this. Publishing a book is a lot of work and it has been a huge learning curve. I'm pretty proud of myself for being able to do this.
Who has been the biggest supporter of your writing?
My family have been great. They love my books and illustrations.
What books did you grow up reading?
I grew up in the Czech Republic in communist era so our access to books was controlled. They had to be approved. We had a lot of Czech authors and Russian ones as well, of course. I loved Astrid Lindgren and her books and my daughter is just starting to read them now too.
Would you share something about yourself that your readers don’t know (yet)?
I never intended to live anywhere but in the Czech Republic. I spent a couple of years in the UK and in the USA but when I arrived to New Zealand and met my husband, I settled here. My mum still reminds me of my assurances that I would stay in the Czech Republic. Now I live in the place that is the furthest away from my home country.
Where can our readers find you? (Website, Social Media, etc)
Facebook: Iveta Ongley - Author
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