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Author Interview Series (24): Marcela Brué-Lotz

Today's author interview is with an author-illustrator from Canada, Marcela Brué-Lotz. I connected with Marcela on Instagram over a year ago and I'm excited to share her interview with you all after a very long hiatus! It's been months since I last posted or even updated my website. Today is the first day of my holiday, and with Christmas coming, I thought it was the perfect time to get back to sharing some author interviews and books about Christmas! I hope you enjoy it!

 

Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

Thank you so much for this opportunity and for taking the time to interview me. My name is Marcela Brué-Lotz, and I’m a children’s book author and illustrator living in Ontario, Canada. I was born in Argentina and moved to Canada when I was 6 years old, so I’m fluent in both English and Spanish. I’ve been married to a wonderful husband for 26 years, and I’m a mom to two great children and a fur baby named Melody. My dream job has always been to work at Disney in computer animation. I started my career as a systems analyst and worked in the Toronto Financial District for over 10 years. Once I became a mom, my career perspective changed. I knew that I wouldn’t be able to put in all the hours needed at my job and be there for my children as well. I became a stay-at-home mom and worked part-time as a computer studies teacher. I enjoyed teaching computer animation to elementary school children!

Wow! I have always been fascinated by computer animation! That's a shame you couldn't work at Disney but I can imagine how difficult and tough it would be as well. I'm sure the children enjoyed learning computer animation from you too!


What inspired and motivated you to write your first book and how long did it take from the initial idea to publishing?

My children were my inspiration for my first book. I noticed how excited they were every time they learned something new. My love for animation inspired me to do my own illustrations. It took about 10 years to publish my first book. I kept putting it aside until one year I pushed myself to finish the illustrations and begin the publishing process.

I think it's amazing that you do your own illustrations too! It can't be an easy task. I'm glad you finally did it!


So what are some of the challenges you have encountered on your author and self-publishing journey? How did you overcome them?

The biggest challenge I encountered on my self-publishing journey was that I had to learn all the steps on my own. At the time, I didn’t know anyone who had published a book, so I was quite overwhelmed with all the information I was learning. This is part of the reason it took so long to finally publish my first book. I was ready to throw in the towel but my husband was very supportive and encouraged me to push forward.

The first book is definitely the hardest to publish when you don't know anything about the process! I'm glad you were able to push forward with your husband's support and encouragement!


So what is something you wish someone had told you about self-publishing before you started?

I wish someone would have told me that self-publishing is a full-time job. The whole process takes a lot of effort and doesn’t end once the book is published. You need to market your book, and that in itself is a continuous job. Through self-publishing, I’ve learned to stay positive, trust myself and ask for help when I need encouragement. I’ve met many wonderful authors on this journey, and I’m very grateful for my amazing author support group.

I have to agree with you about all of that! I never expected all the other work that came after hitting publish, and it's never-ending! But like you, I'm really glad to have connected with this community of self-published authors. Something that never would have happened otherwise.


What has been the most rewarding experience since publishing your first book?

The most rewarding experience was definitely when I was able to hold a physical copy of my book in my hands. It was an unbelievable feeling! It was worth all the hard work. My children thought it was so cool!

It's the best feeling, isn't it?


Have you had any negative experiences or disappointing moments throughout your publishing journey? How did you handle them?

I’ve had some disappointing moments, negative reviews and some negative people telling me that there is too much competition out there to make a difference. These comments hurt because I put a lot of myself into my books. I try to focus on all the positive reviews and feedback instead. My husband always tells me, “If your book puts a smile on at least one child’s face, you have done well.” I love this advice! I have seen many children smiling when they read my books, so that’s enough reward for me.

Absolutely! That's excellent advice. And happy readers make all the difference!


What advice would you give to other aspiring writers or authors?

I would tell them to follow their dreams. Write for yourself, and try to enjoy the process. Don’t let negative people tell you it’s not worth it. Find yourself a great author support group. Surround yourself with positive people who will encourage you every step of the way.


What are your plans for the next few years?

I have a few things planned for the next couple of years. A new Rosy Ladybug picture book, Learning Numbers in English and Spanish, is in the works, and so is its corresponding activity book. I’m hoping to publish them next year. I’m also writing a bilingual picture book about a little airplane that moves to a new airport. This book is dear to my heart because my dad retired from aviation. He has a talent for drawing, so maybe I can convince him to work with me on the illustrations.

Wow! I love the sound of the little airplane book! It would be so lovely to work with your dad on it! I hope you can convince him!


Let's play a game. Finish the following statements:

If I had never published my book(s), ... I would not have met so many wonderful indie authors from around the world.

If I could only read one book for the rest of my life, it would be … Lord of the Rings. I went to see the stage production in Toronto. It was amazing!


Finally, can you tell us a bit more about your wonderful books and where we can find them?

I’ve published three books so far, two of which are available in English and Spanish. My picture books can be found on Amazon in paperback and eBook format, and are also available on Kindle Unlimited. The activity book can also be found on Amazon in paperback format.


The Christmas Snow Angels

Believe in the magic and wonder of the Christmas season. A heartwarming Christian children’s book celebrating the true meaning of Christmas. The story takes place on a snowy Christmas Eve when siblings, David and Emily discover some Christmas magic. They meet two special angels and share important moments from the night Jesus was born. The perfect book to read while you snuggle with your children, enjoying a warm cup of cocoa and a Snow Angel sugar cookie (recipe included). It will make a beautiful gift for a child’s Christmas stocking or as part of an Advent Book Calendar. It is also available in Spanish as Navidad y Los Angelitos de Nieve.


Learning Colors (Early Learning with Rosy Ladybug)

The series’ mascot Rosy, an adorable and spunky little ladybug, will help children discover their favorite color. Extra bright and colorful illustrations along with an interactive story, featuring questions and discussion points, will keep children engaged as each color is introduced. As a bonus, fun and educational color games found at the end of the book will reinforce learning. Also available in Spanish as