AN INTERVIEW WITH TANYA MAUDE
For self-published author, Tanya Maude , writing her debut book "Monty Banana and the Roller Skates" (Silverwood Books, UK, 2011) was only the beginning of her challenging path to a market-ready book.
"The story is the easy part, but then you have the full process of illustration, presentation, editing etc, it all takes a long long time. (a year minimum)" Tanya explains. The time element is also what led Tanya to make the decision to self-publish. " The Young Children’s book market is very saturated. I did thorough research and it seemed extremely hard to find an agent or publisher for new writers. I made the decision to self publish as for me it was just about getting my book out there. I didn’t have the patience to wait to see if some day I would manage to find an agent."
Tanya found inspiration in the picture books she read to her twins. The stories and illustrations appealed to her creative mind set. "One of the 1st books I read over and over to my children was “Room on the Broom”, by Julia Donaldson. It is such a great story and so readable. As a parent you want to find a book that you enjoy as well as the children, as you will be the one having to read it over and over again! Axel Scheffler has a great way of illustrating and the fact that it is written in rhyme, gives the story a constant flow. I also love Roald Dahl, Quentin Blake, Enid Blyton, Roger Hargreaves, Lydia Monks the list is endless. They all have such fantastic imagination."
Imagination is certainly evident in the story of Monty Banana who acquires a pair of roller skates that go spinning out of control and teach him the importance of good manners. Tanya wants readers to know that, "The general message is to enjoy the story, whilst underlining the importance of manners."
Writing her book taught Tanya some important lessons and she offers these words of advice for aspiring writers:
- "... you really need to research your audience. Something that you think will appeal is not necessarily the case!
- Keep to the point, no need to explain every detail, when illustrations are involved.
- Check the story length. A child’s attention span is only so long.
- I think everyone probably has moments when no idea comes to mind, I think you need to try and not worry about it and know that it will not last forever and eventually an idea will come.
- It is always important to take time out from your book. Like a fresh pair of eyes, leave it for a day and you will probably notice something which you may have missed before.
- RESEARCH, RESEARCH, RESEARCH!!!"
When asked about her current plans, Tanya announced, "I am currently working on some ideas for a TV series, and will shortly start writing the 2nd book in the Monty Banana series."
For more information on Monty Banana and the Roller Skates click HERE.