Sunday, March 15, 2015

Author Interview: @AdrienneBody Adrienne Body: A Sheep Named Breakfast

Adrienne was born and raised in the beautiful Bay of Plenty, New Zealand, and is now based in Perth, Western Australia. She loves to create colourful, fun and humorous books for families to share and learn with.

Your real name and pen name?
Adrienne Body, also known as Adz (though it’s not really a pen name as much as an alternate option)

Please share some of the best memories of your childhood
I have fond memories of fishing and camping near Whakatane (that’s in the Eastern Bay of Plenty, in NZ) and of listening to music with mum and “helping” dad build things and fix cars. Also playing cricket with my two older brothers…. although it wasn’t so much playing as standing in the road and “fielding.” ;)

About your education
I did a double major in Art History and Classical Studies at Victoria University in Wellington, NZ.
I then studied Early Childhood Education, Language and Literacy, Learning Development, and Human Development through Massey University, NZ.

What career did you plan during your education days
I never really knew what I wanted to do. Questions like “what are you really good at that you like doing,” never really helped. I was good at a lot of things, I liked some of them, but none that I could picture myself doing for a job. I only recently realised that I had forgotten about drawing and writing rhymes and poems, and that they go together pretty well to make children’s stories. Once I found an affordable channel actually make the books, things fell into place and I haven’t stopped since. It’s not a job as far as making money to live on goes, but I’m able to do something that I enjoy doing in between my day job, so that’s good enough for me.

What is your biggest source of inspiration in life
Inspiration can come from anywhere, you just have to keep your eyes (and ears) open.

When did you start writing? What is the purpose of your writing?
I released my first book, A Sheep Named Breakfast, in 2009. The purpose of my writing is partly selfish, in that I just enjoy doing it, but I also write and illustrate with the intention of creating appealing resources which encourage literacy learning and create positive learning (and life) experiences for children and families, helping kids to feel positive about books and reading, and to encourage their own creativity. On the other hand, some of my books are just to give my friends a laugh.

What are your forthcoming writings?
There are plenty of ideas and characters rattling around in my brain, you never know what’s going to come out of it in the future.

What genres you write in and why?
I write and illustrate children’s picture books. I enjoy combining poetry and painting. It allows me to create and share with colour and humour. I loved reading as a child and know how sharing a book can be an important and beautiful way to nurture and enjoy the bond between parent, grandparent or any other loving person, and a child. I feel honoured to make something that can bring family together and maybe even create some happy memories.

What keeps you motivated to write?
It stops me from becoming bored, and when an idea starts to develop in is pretty satisfying to bring it to life, even if it is just for me or for a gift for my friends. Sales are not a priority.

How do you plan, schedule and monitor your writing commitments?
I find it helps to give myself a deadline, even if it’s fairly arbitrary, otherwise I procrastinate too much. Other than that, I find there is no point in trying to work on any project if I am not in the right mood for it. Things just get frustrating.

What is generally your preference in reading – a paper book or ebook? And why?
As a reader I love paper books, to hold them and have them to pull out and experience or to share. But I use mostly ebooks because I don’t have the room to keep many books.

How much real life goes into a fiction writing?
Usually the seed for a story or ideas comes from a childhood memory or stories my brothers have told me about their childhoods, or even something as simple of something someone says in conversation that sticks in my head and festers away until I do something with it.

Is high level of imagination important to have for an Author?
I think it is extremely important.  It’s essential for forming character and its journey or story in your mind, then shaping them and their personality, and then (in my case) bringing them to life through illustrations. Without imagination you cannot create.              

Your dream destination on Earth?
Would love to visit Machu Piccu in Peru. It would also be nice to see Italy and Greece to check out some of the things I studied in person.

Your origin of birth and other countries you have visited/ stayed. What best things you liked in these countries around the globe?
Tauranga, North Island, New Zealand – Tauranga is in a region called The Bay of Plenty (so is Whakatane where I have also lived). The B.O.P. has it’s name for a reason… beautiful beaches, bushlands, wetlands, urban areas, and weather. Great for outdoor activities like fishing, surfing, hiking etc etc etc. Beautiful scenery, wildlife, marine life, volcanos, fruit trees everywhere… the Bay is definitely a great place to grow up.

Perth, Western Australia – Perth is a lovely city. It’s fairly clean (for a city) with lots of nice little green spots, parks and gardens and the like. There’s a pretty laid-back pace to life, and there’s plenty of modern art and culture as well. Wider WA has some spectacular landscapes, landmarks, and crazy wildlife to explore as well. Less kangaroos than advertised.

Your favorite time of the day?
Bedtime. I dream a lot, so sleeping is both refreshing and entertaining for me. I even get idea seeds from dreaming too.

Your zodiac:

Your favorite color and why?
All of them! I love colour. But mostly green, it can be calming and vibrant all at the same time, and it reminds me of home (NZ).

Your favorite book and why?
My favourite children’s book when I was little was The Nickle Nackle Tree by Lynley Dodd. I loved the rhyme and all the crazy made-up birds. I guess Lynley has been quite an influence.
As an adult I enjoy books by Lynn Flewelling and Michael J. Sullivan, among others.

Your favorite movie and why?
Labyrinth – lots of childhood memories of rainy days or sick days wrapped up warm watching the film, singing the songs and watching mum dance to them while she did other stuff.

Your favorite celebrity and why?
Oh this one’s a bit hard, I’m never good at picking one favourite anything. I love English comedy, so some of my favourite actors are Nick Frost and Simon Pegg, Bill Bailey, and Bill Nighy… and also Alan Rickman.

Your favorite sports?
As a kiwi I feel obliged to say rugby… but apart from the odd All Blacks game I don’t really take much notice haha. Playing badminton or volleyball is fun.

What comes to your mind when you think of India?
Of course I Imagine lots of colour and amazing art, architecture and wildlife. I am also aware of a long history of STEM (science technology engineering and maths) innovation, as well as a rich diversity of cultures. Would love to visit one day, for sure.

Some quickies: Sun or Moon, Laughter or Smile, Morning or Evening, Coffee or Tea, Mountain or Sea, Long Drive or Short Drive…. Walk lol, Silence or Conversation, Water or Fire, Air or Earth, Mars or Jupiter, Tulip or Rose, Red or Blue, Left or Right, Glance or Stare, Fame or Money, Boy or Girl, Day or Night, Tree or Plant, Love or Passion

What three words come to your mind for each
Technology, - impressive, knowledge, convenience
Life, - learning, growing, teaching
God, - love and tolerance
Humanity, - caring for others
Terrorism, -  arrogance, intolerance, selfishness
Racism – ignorance, unfortunate, uneducated
Childhood Abuse – heartbreaking, anger, disgust.
 Love - care, laughter, sharing
Parenting - same as life and love J
Old age – memories, experience, underappreciated

First thing you do in the morning after waking up?
Lie in for a bit, mentally planning my day. It doesn’t usually take very long unless I have a lots of specific tasks at work that day.

State your signature line/ tagline/ best quote:
I would like to say my line is something like “There’s nothing wrong with asking questions or seeking help; people who think they know everything never learn a thing;” or “Don’t let fear make up your mind for you.” But, in reality, the thing I find myself saying with the most frequency is “Whatever works.”

The title of your autobiography would be…
Anything that doesn’t have some “body” related pun in it.

Links & other relevant details:
Some of Adrienne’s books so far:
Granddad’s Fish Tank
ISBN-10: 1500596906
ISBN-13: 978-1500596903
ASIN: B00MP594O6

S is For Science
ISBN-10: 1500759171
ISBN-13: 978-1500759179

A Sheep Named Breakfast
ISBN-10: 1499686579
ISBN-13: 978-1499686579

Twitter handle: @AdrienneBody

Any other links:

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