Author Interview with AnnaMarie Squailia
AnnaMarie Squailia with goat
Introducing AnnaMarie Squailia
Most people will never be famous. There are too many people in the world for everyone to gain that popularity, but we can still make an impact, no matter how small. Authors are able to leave a legacy with their writing, and books are a place where everyday people can be glorified for being themselves. Authors pick out little traits, experiences, and physical qualities that they see in everyday life to create their characters, whether consciously or subconsciously.
Author AnnaMarie Squailia used her children as the basis of the main characters in her children’s books to create her stories, making them more identifiable and real and allowing their individual identities to be immortalized in this fictional world. Below, Squailia answers my 10 questions about her writing career and process. You can check out links to her books as well.
AnnaMarie Squailia's books
1. How many books have you written and where can you buy them?
I have written three books, two children’s books, (The Hidden Swan and Kayla and the Chocolate Tree) and one adult book (How Blackjack Mirrors Life). You can find all three on Amazon.com. Kayla and the Chocolate Tree is also available to order at any bookstore.
2. What famous books can you compare to your own?
My book, Kayla and the Chocolate Tree, is similar to The Lion and the Mouse or the Tortoise and the Hare because we all used an Aesop fable as the base of our story. I used Aesop’s fable, The Fox and the Grapes as the foundation.
3. Why do you write for this particular age group?
I chose to write for this age group because just like Aesop I love having morals in my stories. He used short simple stories to get his message across, plus with the rise of Character Education in this nation, I thought it would be a good fit.
4. How autobiographical are your books?
Kayla and the Chocolate Tree and How Blackjack Mirrors Life are both based on my life. Kayla and the Chocolate Tree was written when I was a single mom, and I put both of my daughters in it. I took a picture of when they were small and that is what the illustrator used to create the illustrations, and I have to say she did an awesome job too. How Blackjack Mirrors Life is based on my years as a blackjack dealer. It too has a lot of morals to help us live a better life.
5. What’s the best compliment that you’ve ever received about your writing?
The best compliment I received about my books is the praise I have received from my family, who means everything to me.
6. What has been your greatest moment as a writer so far?
The greatest moment has been receiving my books. You pour your life into the creation of the book, and when you finally hold one in your hand it is like, “Wow it is real!” I compare it to childbirth, you can go through months and even years preparing for the birth of a child, my book, and when it finally happens, there is no greater joy. All the trials and pain are easily forgotten.
7. Where do you get your covers?
The covers for Kayla and the Chocolate Tree and The Hidden Swan are both taken from the illustrations in the book. I actually took the picture of my girlfriend’s hand with a blackjack in it, for How Blackjack Mirrors Life. Then I had someone take the picture and create the cover.
8. Who is your biggest fan?
My family is my biggest fans.
9. What is next for you?
Based on how well it does, I have more books planed as sequels to Kayla and the Chocolate Tree. It is scheduled for release on February 2, 2016. I also have another adult book I am working on.
10. End with a quote.
In the back of my children books, I have Character Building a section for parents, under Perseverance in Kayla and the Chocolate Tree, it states:
“If you really want something, don’t give up.”
I wrote Kayla and the Chocolate Tree in 2009, I have had many setbacks over the last seven years, but I never gave up, and now I can hold the finished product in my hands.
Give your child chocolate that will last a lifetime.