Author Interview Series (3): Meet Author Alexandra Antipa
Here's the third blog in our Author Interview series!
1. Can you introduce yourself?
I'm an indie author. My journey into the world of writing resembles the one of my daughter, with both of us discovering how exciting life can be. When she was born, I was born too, not only as a mother, but also as a writer.
2. What inspired and motivated you to write your first book and how long did it take from the initial idea to publishing?
I remember watching my daughter play one day, thinking how fast time flew. She loved a knitted toy cat she received as a gift, but I realized there would come a day when she will be too old for it. In writing my first children’s book, I wanted to create a permanent memory she will have to cherish in older age. The story of Lorelai, and her best friend, the cat she calls Niami. The project took six months to be brought to life, and I had a wonderful illustrator by my side, Svetlana Klakina.
3. What are some of the challenges you have encountered on your author and self-publishing journey? How did you overcome them?
The self-publishing journey was not like anything I had imagined, and there were many challenges along the way. First and foremost, I was new and inexperienced, and it took me some time to figure out the basics. There were countless hours spent reading and researching, jotting down solutions, and talking to people who had more experience. A main challenge, I believe, is proving that your work is just as valuable as the one of a traditionally-published author. Having confidence in yourself and in your writing is the number one thing that will get you through tough times.
4. What has been the most rewarding experience since publishing your first book?
There was one person who read my book, and his words touched my heart. He was one of the first people to realize that I wrote a children’s book through the eyes of a mother. He saw beyond the actual story, he saw me, as the mother who watches her child grow up, wanting perhaps to stop time and enjoy her little one for another minute. It was, without doubt, the most rewarding experience since publishing the book. In the end, this is something all authors desire, to connect with their readers.
5. What is something you wish someone had told you about self-publishing before you started?
I wish someone had told me how much research is required. Look me in the eyes and warn me how difficult it would be to stand out from the crowd. I learned a valuable lesson though: I am never alone. In my writing journey, I have met and connected with incredible people, from all over the world.
6. Have you had any negative experiences or disappointing moments throughout your publishing journey? How did you handle them?
Plenty of moments that bordered on disappointing. There were negative reviews, harmful comments, and I’ve had friends telling me that I should give up, as no one buys books anymore. I am not the kind to be put down so easily, so I looked at each difficult moment as a learning opportunity. It’s not easy, but writing makes me happy and I want to continue down this path. I accept criticism but it must have a valid point, and I try to be patient, as good things come to those who wait.
7. What advice would you give to other aspiring writers or authors?
If you want to write, write. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Put your thoughts on paper and work on them. We need more creative people, the world is already too serious as it is.
8. Finish the following statements: If I had never published my book(s)...I would not have realized how alive writing makes me feel. If I could only read one book for the rest of my life, it would be... Inkheart by Cornelia Funke. Reading characters out of a book? It doesn’t get better than that! And I would love it if Cornelia Funke could read my book. But I would also be terrified of hearing her feedback, I have to be honest. If I could only write one more book, it would be about... my nephew, and his sunny attitude about life (he has Down’s syndrome).
9. What does ‘a day in the life of an author’ look like? Describe your typical day.
My day is a mix of mom and author life. When my daughter is at home, I write with her in my arms – she likes to be near me, and I enjoy her never-ending affection. If she is at kindergarten, I write in solitude, and count the hours until I will see her again.
10. What is a good book you have read recently which you would recommend to others?
I would recommend young readers to give “A Pinch of Magic” by Michelle Harrison a try. A magical story that will enchant you, and you will definitely fall in love with the brave heroines.
11. What are you working on now? What’s your next book about?
I am working on a book about a little boy. He is different from other children, special if you want to look at him this way. Life will bring him closer to another person, and, together, they will discover a new approach to sadness.
12. Can you tell us more about your book?
My book is called “The LittleBig Detectives”, and it was inspired by my daughter and her toy cat. In the book, Lorelai is a little girl who adores mysteries. Together with her best friend, the cat she calls Niami, she organizes a detective agency. They are awesome detectives, reading to catch misbehaving toys and teach them a lesson.
If you like mysteries and detective stories, you will definitely want to check out this book. The two detectives get involved in all sorts of funny adventures, and you will find yourself wanting to solve each mystery ahead of them.
To find out more about Alexandra, you can check out the links below!