This week on Kid Lit Village, we have an interview author, Ana Siqueira, with a feature of her book BELLA’S RECIPE FOR SUCCESS illustrated by Geraldine Rodriguez published by Beaming Books. I’m excited to feature Ana’s book, and admire her as a writer. I’d like to congratulate Ana on the publication of her new book. I hope you’ll take a moment to pre-order the book or at least add it to your Goodreads list.
Bella wants to find out what she’s good at. But she quits everything she (barely) tries because she’s a disaster at it. Her somersaults are like clumsy jirafas rolling downhill, her piano playing like elephant feet. When she decides to learn how to bake with her wise old abuela, her first attempt at dulce de leche frosting looks like scaly cocodrilo skin. She must learn it’s okay to try again or she won’t be good at anything. Peppered with Spanish vocabulary and set in an intergenerational Latinx home, Bella’s Recipe for Success will show all kids the value of practicing to learn a new skill, and that it’s okay to make mistakes along the way.
A recipe for Polvorones con Dulce de Leche is included at the back of the book so kids can have fun making their own.
BELLA’S RECIPE FOR SUCCESS –
Pre-order here: Beaming Books- July 2021
Ana, welcome to the blog! It is a pleasure do the interview with you. By the way, I first connected with Ana when we were matched up in a critique group through #PBChat. Ana was at that time, already in too many groups and so has been an honorary member of our group since the beginning with the invitation to join in whenever she has the time. And I can attest that she gives amazing critiques!
Tell us why you write books for children.
My grandson says “I’m silly.” I am not silly, I just have a kid’s heart.
I love teaching kids, playing with kids, creating with kids. So writing stories and being able to share them with kids, it’s a dream come true.
That’s wonderful. I think if you write for kids, it helps to be a kid at heart.
Tell us about the inspiration for your book.
Most of my books are inspired by my own memories or memories from my kids and grandkids. This one was inspired by my daughter Karina, a gifted girl, who would quit when she was not the best. This story has been marinating in my head for over 20 years.
Your daughter sounds a bit like me when I was a child. I would only do things I was really, really good at, if not, I wouldn’t bother.
Share a piece of advice for children’s writers.
Have fun while writing. Try learning the most you can through books, webinars, conferences. Get into a critique group or two or three. I think I am in 6 critique groups now. Get support from the writing community. Twitter is a great place to connect with writers. That way, you won’t quit, even when things get tough.
Critique groups are so helpful. Six groups is a lot, Ana!
What part of being a writer do you love most?
I love sharing my stories with my Critique groups. I love revising and seeing my terrible first draft getting into shape. And I had the chance to read aloud to some classes and I love being in contact with children and replying to their amazing questions.
I like how you bring the reader into the writing. It really is a two-way experience whether sharing your story with writing partners or children.
Tell us about your path to publication.
A long time ago, I wrote and got published in Brazil. Then, I stopped writing for a long time. Finally, in 2018 I wrote and sold an Easy Spanish Reader – EL PATO QUIERE UVAS – to the educational market – Teacher’s Discovery. I got inspired and in 2019 I decided to restart writing for children. I had to relearn a lot since books now are very different from over 20 years ago. I studied a lot. I got help from professional critiques and my critique partners. I started querying at the end of the year. I got maybe about 6 rejections and then I got a like on #pitmad and in December my offer from Beaming books and my agent.
Oh, that’s interesting to hear that you started with a sale in the educational market. There are so many different ways to break in to publishing.
What do you hope readers will gain from your book?
I hope they have fun and laugh. But mostly, from this book, I want them to know they can do it. They can achieve their goals if they try hard and they are not afraid to fail. Also, as a Spanish teacher, I hope all the kids will learn some words and maybe get inspired to learn even more.
Yes, reading should be fun and inspiring! I love it that there’s a binlingual component to your book with the Spanish words and the recipe in the back is a great bonus. Thank you for being a guest on the blog and good luck with the release of BELLA’S RECIPE FOR SUCCESS!
You can connect with Ana here:
Readers: Thanks for stopping by Kid Lit Village blog; I hope you’ll be back next week to discover another new book release from the amazing Kid Lit Community!
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