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Monday, November 14, 2016

Interview with award-winning author Barbara Ann Mojica



Little Miss HISTORY Travels to MOUNT VERNON (Volume 7)

Award winning author Barbara Ann Mojica is a historian and retired educator living in New York State. She holds a Bachelor's and Master's Degree in History. Barbara spent more than forty years teaching in NYC and holds New York State teacher certifications in Elementary, Special Education, and Administration. She also spent several years as a Special Education Administrator and principal of a special education preschool for developmentally delayed children. Barbara, although retired from teaching, is staying busy: along with her series of Little Miss HISTORY travel books she writes historical pieces for The Columbia Insider, under the banner "Passages." Marrying her love of history and teaching, Barbara hopes her Little Miss HISTORY character will inspire children to learn about historical people and places, and then be inspired to go out and visit these historical landmarks. http://Littlemisshistory.com


  1. What inspired you to write your book?
I am a retired educator and historian. Seeking to find a way to continue my lifelong passions, I began by writing historical articles for a local news magazine. I missed working with children and desired to find a way to share and inspire young people and their families to develop an interest in their historical heritage. In particular, I wanted to make learning about history fun and educational. I focused on historical sites because my hope is that families will want to go out and experience the history about which I write. All the books in my Little Miss HISTORY Travels to...nonfiction picture book series are narrated by a wannabe park ranger character who invites readers to ask questions and continue discussing the information presented in each book.

  1. What is your series about?
The Little Miss HISTORY series focuses on historical sites that explore famous historical characters, issues, and events that have shaped history and continue to pose important questions today. Topics of the seven books in the series already released include, Mount Rushmore, The Statue of Liberty, Sequoia National Park, Ford's Theater, Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, Ellis Island, and George Washington's home at Mount Vernon. The next release will go way back to the Paleolithic Age by visiting the La Brea Tar Pits. While each book portrays the characters and events, little known tidbits and those previously forgotten are remembered. They bring up issues that children need to be aware of and discuss like Native American rights, slavery, air pollution, justice, and the strengths and weaknesses found in historical personages. These books are richly illustrated. Younger children learn a lot from the pictures. Elementary school readers can read them independently. Older students and adults report learning new things about each topic. The series is intended to be shared across generations. My targeted readers encompass ages five and older. The books are available online and in many schools and libraries. I love talking with readers at school visits, book festivals, museums and public reading events.

  1. What will remain with the reader long after he or she finishes reading your work?
Little Miss HISTORY's motto is “If you don't know your history, you don't know what you're talking about.” We all learn from our experiences. What we did yesterday is already history. It is a part of the knowledge that we will use to make decisions in the future. In ancient times, knowledge was passed down from generation to generation by oral storytelling. I want my readers to learn about the past by using a whimsical character who imparts information to young readers in a way that they will remember. Perhaps more important than that, I want them to get out and experience what they have learned by visiting these sites and/or delving deeper into the questions that have been raised about them.

  1. Any advice for fellow writers?
My advice for fellow writers is this. If you have a true passion for your idea or subject, don't give up pursuing it. Maybe that sounds trite; it is easy to say don't give up. In today's market, almost anyone can write a book and publish it. If you are writing to make a quick buck, readers will rapidly catch on to the fact. Those of us who are writing because we have a deep need to share a part of ourselves are the ones who are richly rewarded. In many cases, that return is communicating our message rather than becoming wealthy.

  1. What trends do you spot in publishing?
The book publishing industry is changing rapidly. Modern readers are a diverse group. We are no longer tied to researching in a library or sitting at home with a print book on our lap. Now we can read on a kindle, an Ipad, a phone or even listen to an audio book in the car. Some readers continue to prefer print, others electronic devices. Who knows what the next generation can look forward to? The switch to online availability of books and on demand printing allows writers the flexibility of publishing without waiting for an agent or large publishing company to commit to a contract. Illustrators are able to use mixed media and combine artistic talent with digital tools. The possibilities seem endless. My honest answer is that I don't know what will happen to the publishing industry in the future.

  1. What challenges did you overcome in writing your books?
I face many challenges in writing my books.  An outsider looking in might think that writing a picture book of 500 to 750 words is a lot easier than writing a novel. That is not necessarily the case. First, I decide on the topic. Because I write nonfiction, the next step is assiduous research. Depending on the topic, I decide how I will present the information. Next I write a rough draft. My first draft will be revised ten or more times. After I settle upon a final draft, I work with my illustrator to decide on how the information is shown visually. Sometimes that involves a reworking of parts of the manuscript in order to make it more effective. Then there are numerous edits of both until they work with final layout of the book. I never approve a book until I am satisfied with a printed proof copy. Finally, the book goes to print and is published.

  1. Why should they buy your book?
Book buyers are faced with so many choices. My books are written primarily for children, but adults including parents, teachers, librarians and grandparents are the ones purchasing my books. Some adults allow their children to pick the most popular book or one based on the child's current favorite fad, but it is my hope that adults choose one of my books because they want to share a part of their heritage with their children. The questions that Little Miss HISTORY raises provide an opportunity not only to extend their factual knowledge, but allow children and adults to explore important questions that need to be answered as we move forward.  I truly hope that many of them will be motivated to explore these sites and imprint that experience onto a child's memory.

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Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at brianfeinblum@gmail.com. He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog 2016 ©.
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