Today, Written Words is happy to host a stop on the blog tour for the relaunch of The Funny Adventures of Little Nani by Cinta Garcia de la Rosa.
Yesterday’s stop on the tour was Helle Soe Gade’s photo and writing blog, where Cinta explained how and why she’s relaunching her collection of charming, hilarious and empowering stories for children. Here’s an abbreviated version of the blurb:
Little Nani is a little girl who likes helping people. However, when she helps people the results can be a bit unexpected. Why is that? Little Nani is a witch! Or at least she wants to be a witch. With her magic wand, she will try to cast different spells to help her friends, but she won’t be successful all the time.Cinta provides places in the book for readers to draw their own illustrations of Little Nani’s misadventures. But now, Cinta herself will explain what led to The Funny Adventures of Little Nani.
Funny ostriches, horses that love reading, super-fast turtles, grumpy zombies… Little Nani has lots of friends!
What inspired you to write children's fiction?
That’s a good question. It’s so good that I don’t have a clue about how to answer it! Seriously though, I’m not sure. One day Little Nani popped into my head and I considered that maybe she would be more suitable for kids than for adults. But it seems that adults enjoy her adventures too, so that’s a bonus.
I have been a teacher for 16 years, and I love children. Writing for children was quite a challenge and at the same time something easy to do.
Where are most of your readers? North America? The UK? Europe?
Since I write in English, I don’t have many readers in Europe. So most of my readers are in North America and the UK.
Where did you get the name "Little Nani"?
In 2004 and 2005 I was living in London, working as an au pair. Au pairs live with a host family and help to take care of the children. So I was a nanny. I was living with a Jamaican family, where I had to take care of three girls. The three of them were very surprised to see that their nanny was such a tiny person (yes, I am very short), so they started to call me “Little Nanny.” Since Little Nani is a reflection of myself, I thought it proper to use the nickname my lovely girls from London gave me.
Are any of the characters in Little Nani or the second book based on real people that you know?
Yes, lots of them. I can’t avoid it. I have a funny conversation with a friend, or a friend does something funny, or I live a certain situation, and the character pops into my head immediately. I will talk more about this question in my blog stop tomorrow on My Books & I.
Have you ever had an adventure like one of Little Nani’s? Where you thought you could solve a problem, but where the attempt went wrong and the situation ended up being unpredictably worse?
Actually, yes. While I was in London, I had a Spanish friend there who was constantly in trouble, so the mother of the children I was living with didn’t really like her. I had to come back to Spain in a hurry when my family informed me that my mum was ill, so I thought that maybe if I made my friend help me with the preparations and made her look like a sensible girl, my “host mother” would like her better. I told my friend to come over to the house and offer herself to go with me to the airport and to take some of my bags to her house, which was closer to the bus station, so I didn’t need to walk with those heavy bags and all the luggage myself. She did that and my “host mother” was quite happy to see that my friend was trying to be helpful for a change.
I went to bed and the next morning, when collecting all my things, I discovered that my friend had taken the bag with my passport and money! I panicked, but then I thought that she would bring the bags, so there won’t be any problem. The problem was that she overslept, arrived at the airport too late and I missed my flight. So I tried to help her and it backfired on me.
If you could turn anyone in your life into an animal, who would it be and which animal would you choose?
It would be my sister. Taking into account that she is pretty lazy and her favourite hobby is just to lie down on the sofa, I would turn her into a cat, so she could spend her days doing nothing.
What do you consider your greatest writing challenge?
My biggest challenge is to write something longer than a short story. I am a pantser, so I don’t like planning. Indeed, I am unable to plan. I spent a whole day planning my choose-your-own-adventure Little Nani stories and that caused my worst writer’s block ever. My brain simply shuts down when it has to deal with planning. So my greatest writing challenge is to manage to write a novel or, at least, a novella.
Are there any other children's authors that inspired you or that you admire?
I don’t really read children’s books, so I don’t know many children’s authors. But if I have to name one author for children that I admire, it has to be Beatrix Potter. Her stories and illustrations are charming.
Who are the other writers that you admire and that may have influenced your writing?
My favourite author is Jane Austen, hands down. Some people say that my stories have a certain touch that reminds her style. Yeah, sure, I wish.... But sometimes I tend to write sentences in a way that sounds weird in the 21st century but sounded perfectly fine during the Regency period.
What is next for Cinta Garcia de la Rosa? Will you continue with children's literature, or turn to more work along the lines of A Foreigner in London? It seems to me that that could turn into a novel.
What’s next? Well, I have lots of plans for Little Nani, as I explained yesterday on Helle Soe Gade’s blog, but I don’t want to be just a children’s author. So there will be more stories along the lines of A Foreigner in London. In fact, I am planning several collections of short stories, based on different topics and emotions.
What do you hope to have accomplished as a writer in the next five years?
Well, in the next five years I hope to have many other books under my belt, and maybe I can even be moderately famous. I would love to travel the world signing books and attending to book fairs. That would be a dream come true.
Thank you, Cinta.
Thanks to you, Scott, for hosting me today.
GIVEAWAY!Don’t forget to leave a comment, so you can enter the giveaway for the opportunity to win a signed copy of “The Funny Adventures of Little Nani”. If you leave comments in several blogs during the tour, you will get an entry for each comment. So don’t hesitate to comment!
Judge for yourself—check out Cinta's book:
The Funny Adventures of Little Nani (print) on Createspace: http://www.createspace.com/3914481
E-book: Amazon (US): http://www.amazon.com/Funny-Adventures-Little-Nani-ebook/dp/B009YMBXJW/ref=tag_dpp_lp_edpp_ttl_in
Amazon (UK): http://www.amazon.co.uk/Funny-Adventures-Little-Nani-ebook/dp/B009YMBXJW/ref=cm_cr_pr_pb_t
A Foriegner in London (e-book) at Smashwords: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/298936
Cinta's Corner http://cintascorner.wordpress.com/
Visit Cinta's blogs:
I Can't Stop Reading http://icantstopreadingblog.com/
Indie Authors You Want to Read http://authorsyouwanttoread.wordpress.com/
Visit Cinta's Author page on Independent Authors International: http://independentauthorsinternational.org/iAi/Cinta_Garcia.html
And follow Cinta on Twitter: http://twitter.com/CintaGarciaRosa