Welcome the beautiful and talented author in the spotlight this week, Author Erika M. Szabo! Hooray! If you haven’t heard the name then you are missing out on this wonderful author! Erika thanks for interviewing here. Let’s get to the knitty-gritty lol.
Thank you for having me on your blog. I had fun answering your questions, I hope your readers will enjoy reading your interview.
What genre’s do you write or delve into?
I write children’s book, magical realism, fantasy novels and educational books related to Alternative Medicine.
Tell us about your children’s book and if how it’s available. (Kindle, Amazon, Barnes and Nobles, paperback etc.)
You can find the links on my website page: http://www.authorerikamszabo.com/childrens-books.html
How important is it to read books when you want to be an author and then become an author?
Nothing makes a better writer than reading
What made you want to write stories for kids?
Readers kept telling me that I have a talent of “showing” and not “telling” when they read my fantasy series. Telling a story and especially preaching the moral of the story is a huge turnoff for kids. They like to learn the morals and they get the message through the character they like and they can relate to.
What impact are you hoping the children will have by reading your book?
The main message in my children’s book is acceptance and respect, and that bullying smaller, weaker people is unacceptable.
Which part of the publishing process do you detest most?
Writing the synopsis for my books. I find it close to impossible to put a 300 page story into 300 words.
Tell us how the atmosphere needs to be for you to be able to write. Example, music on or quiet etc.
Nothing special, I can tune out any noise or distraction easily, and I can write anywhere.
Do you need special treats or goodies to help you write?
Chocolate. Definitely chocolate. A bowl of chocolate ice cream gives my brain a better boost than any other food.
Which do you prefer the most, traditional or self-publishing and why?
I prefer self-publishing because I like to be in full control of my books. I tried a traditional publisher with my first book and I broke the contract because I felt like I was kept in the dark and I had no control over how the book was edited, formatted, and how it looked. For example, they gave me only two book cover choices. Needless to say, I didn’t like either, but they refused to change it. When I do the publishing from start to finish, it gives me a lot of freedom.
What inspired you to write this children’s book in Spanish and English?
Although I don’t speak Spanish, I have many Spanish speaking friends. I always loved their dynamic, expressive, and melodious language, and I wanted to show the beauty of the Spanish language to English speaking children. My goal was to put together a fun story and write one page in English and the opposite page in Spanish, so kids could compare the words and sentences. When I was working on the books with Carmen, I learned a lot of Spanish words and phrases, too. I’m not even close to understanding or speaking Spanish, but now, instead of understanding every hundredth words when I hear Spanish, I can understand every fiftieth word.
Who translated the book for you?
Carmen G. Monterde
Who is the first person who reads your finished manuscripts?
What sorts of things do you enjoy when Erika isn’t writing?
Reading and hiking.
Tell your readers what your favorite food and color is. I know this may seem silly but allow your readers to know more about you.
My favorite food is stuffed cabbage Hungarian style, and my favorite color is teal blue.
What was your favorite children’s book growing up?
Spiffy Goose Gedeon by a Hungarian author, Magda Szabo (no relation)
Now a fun game I’ll ask what your preference. Let your readers know what you enjoy.
Peas or pea soup?
Peas to hunt down with a fork one by one (the child in me still likes to pay with her food)
Chocolate milk or strawberry milk?
Chocolate, definitely chocolate!
Crayons or markers?
Cats or dogs?
I love them both. I love cats for their independent, stubborn nature, and I love dogs for their loyalty and ability
to love unconditionally.
Nap time or play time?
Very hard to choose. Can I have a little of both?
Lunchable or a sandwich?
Freeze tag or swings?
Preschool-1st grade OR 2nd grade- 4th grade?
4th grade. I like to have conversations with children, I don’t do baby talk
What are some mistakes you see children’s book author’s make?
They preach instead of show and engage
Were there any mistakes you made with your first book?
Oh, yes. Many, but my friend’s ten-year-old straightened me out. She read a few sentences and asked, “What were you thinking? Kids don’t say that, only old people do.” What she meant was, old people like sixteen-year-old people talk like the way I wrote it.
What kind of advice can you give to other either aspiring authors or published authors?
When in doubt, who helps you out?
I stopped asking advice a long time ago because I always get 50-50 answers, it never seem to fail. When I’m in doubt, I put the project aside for a few days and let it develop in my mind before I go back and continue.
When is the release of your next novel? Name genre or if it’s part of a series. If your book is part of a series tell the readers about the others that are out for sale.
My next children’s book will be the second book of the BFF adventures series, coming in August.
I’m also working on a mystery/suspense story, it is about half way done.
Where can we find your author page of your work to follow you and purchase your awesome book?
I’m so thankful you could stop in this week and share with us. I can say I’ve certainly learned a lot and giggled a few times through this interview. We have to do this again! Everyone, follow along for next week’s author in the spotlight AND follow Erika and check out her wonderful novels and children’s books. Get one of her books with away! Learn more about Pico the silly parrot! Any child would love it!