Today we’re talking to author and illustrator, Céline Eimann about her two new books with IP Kidz and her first foray into writing.
How did you become a writer?
I’ve always considered myself as a visual artist, so it almost came as a surpise to become an author. I just had this story in mind and added text to the illustrations. Since I completed this first one many more came to my mind.
What do you enjoy most about being a writer?
I have a lot of fun creating characters and the world they live in.
What is the hardest thing about being a writer?
I think the hardest part is the rejection of your manuscript as it’s always such a personnal project.
What were you in a past life (if anything) before you became a writer?
I’ve been many things (waitress,receptionist,nanny), but mostly a graphic designer.
What is your greatest writing achievement?
So far ‘Lyli meets the Stone-Muncher’ is my greatest achievement. It first started by winning the first prize at the CYA conference in 2009 to now having it published by IP Kidz. It’s a dream coming true.
What are you working on at the moment?
I’m working on two other picture books. The first one is about a little fairy, the other one about a little girl in trouble. The text part is done, but I’m still working on the illustrations. I’m exploring different visual effects to express the emotions throughout the books.
Do you have any tips for new writers?
I think the best tip in any creative endeavor would always be to believe in yourself and your work. Creating a book might be an overwhelming task but with perseverance, once step at a time you can make it happen.
Do your books have any consistent themes/symbols/locations. If so, what are they?
One strong theme in all my stories is friendship even though they all have very different universes.
How many books have you had published?
‘Lyli meets the Stone-Muncher’ is my first book published as an author.
I also had the honor to illustrate the ‘The Sky Dreamer’ written by Anne Morgan both published by IP Kidz and coming out in February 2011. In Switzerland I’m working as an Illustrator for ‘les Editions Notari” which is publishing two books for adults that I illustrated this year as well.
Anything else of interest you might like to tell our blog readers?
We are working on a bilingual version of ‘Lyli meets the Stone-Muncher’ in French and English. I’m very excited about this part of the project as I learned English by reading books myself. I think they’ll become great learning tools.
LYLI MEETS THE STONE-MONSTER
What inspired you to write this book?
When I was a child my father used to tell me many little stories.
I grew up in Switzerland and there we have a saying that If you dig a hole through the planet and throw a stone in it will arrive in China!
My father added that the Stone will actually never get to the other side as there is a green beast called the Stone-Muncher who lives in the centre of the earth that will eat it first.
When I moved down under, this became a running joke between us. Anytime we’d message each other we would add a post scriptum saying I hope the message gets to you before the Stone-Muncher eats it. At first I wrote and illustrated the story just for him.
What’s it about?
It’s a story about friendship, adventure and extending your horizons.
What age groups is it for?
6 to 10 years old
Why will kids like it?
I think they’d like that Lyli is so adventurous and a little stubborn.
Can you tell me about the main character and what you like/dislike about him/her?
I like that she’s curious of the world she lives in and ready to go further than anyone before her.
Are there any teacher’s notes, associated activities with the book?
Not at the moment.
Is there something that sets this book apart from others?
The characters evolve in a universe that is very unique visually. I also like to think that the story is quit lively and inspiring.
What did you enjoy most about writing this book?
Creating the characters, their personality and relationships was the best part. This was the first time I wrote a story. I loved the whole process of adding words to the images in my head even though it was challenging at times.
What was the hardest thing about writing this book?
As this is my first experience as a writer, the whole process was challenging and completely out of my comfort zone. On top of the lack of experience, another difficulty was the fact that English isn’t my first language. I felt a little bit uneasy with getting the right words sometimes. The process of writing is simpler now, I must be learning with practice.
Tomorrow at Kids’ Book Capers, we’re reviewing Lyli Meets the Stone-Muncher.