Ann, please tell us a little about yourself.
I am Ann Morris (Ana when I write in Spanish). I am completely bilingual in English and Spanish. I learned my Spanish in Northern Spain, but I am deeply involved with the Latino community where I live and am well aware of the localization and accent differences.
What is the title of your book?
This book (pair) is titled “Surprise in Auntie’s Garden!” or “¡Sorpresa en el jardín de la tía!”
My book was inspired by my shared love of flowers and my garden with my niece, Erin. I added the part about the caterpillar to give the story something to follow and a learning experience. It is about the life cycle of the monarch butterfly, but it features a positive adult role model, a curious child, and a learning experience plus a method to learn.
How long have you been writing.
I have been writing as long as I remember. I have always loved to write. My mother also loved to write and encouraged me. In elementary school, I had 2 poems published in a children’s magazine called Wee Wisdom. My first book was written as a school project in Fifth Grade. I have written for many reasons since then, but my first children’s book pair was published in 2011.
What is your favorite place to market and promote yourself, as well your book?
I market my books largely through schools. I do a lot of school readings. I also find other avenues to market, e.i. Arts Shows where I provide story time for children, book signings, and a variety of venues.
I love reading to elementary students. They are so enthusiastic and full of curiosity and questions! They are welcoming and appreciative. What more can I say?
Do you have other books?
My first book pair was “Mommy and Mikel Go for a Walk” and “Mikel y Mami dan un paseo”. That book is being republished by my new publisher, Mascot Books. The new Spanish title will be “Mami y Mikel dan un paseo”. It was also well loved by students and adults alike.
What is your hope for your book?
My hope for all of my books is that they interest children of all ages. They have a multi-level intelligence, so adults learn things that children don’t notice. I hope to increase literacy in English as well as in Spanish for those learning that language.
Besides writing, what are some of your other hobbies or interests?
I love photography, flower gardening, bird watching, and projects that help assist and empower those who need gentle help and care.
What draws you to the genre that you write?Children’s books can be used for children as well as for language learners. I used to teach High School Spanish and always used Spanish Children’s books and videos as learning tools. The same is valuable for English learners.
Is your book educational? If so, how so?
All of my books are educational. They may be a “teaching moment” about pertinent subject matter, but they also involve the learning process. “How can we learn more about this?”
Is there a message, a lesson, or a moral to your story? If so, would you to share it?
The purpose of “Surprise in Auntie’s Garden” is to show an appreciation for natural beauty, a desire to cultivate it, to encourage children to “stop and smell the flowers” and to learn about things they notice. The adult helps them do that.
What literary character do you think you are like and why?
Oh, I would definitely be Pollyanna! I have eternal hope, I won’t give up on “impossible” causes, and I’m very proactive.
Where can we find you?
I’m on FaceBook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Book-Spot, GoodReads, and a couple of poetry sites as well. My website is: www.authorannmorris.com. It contains other sites and links where I am also active and visible.
What are you working on now?
I have submitted the English manuscript for my next book to my publisher so the graphics department can work with my artist, Melissa Wright. I will write the Spanish version while they work.
What are your writing goals?
My writing goals are to communicate from one soul to another, to inspire the love of education and literacy, and to entertain.
Do you have any old home remedies you would like to share?
When I was young and would swallow something wrong, I would start to cough. The first thing my mom would always say was, “Raise your arms!” I always would, and it seemed to open the airway. I still automatically do that today unless I’m in sophisticated company, which doesn’t usually occur.
To where would you like to travel and why?
I love Spain and was there recently. I loved England (the UK) and would return tomorrow if I could. I would love to visit family in Norway. I have friends in Ghana that I would love to visit and help. I have friends in Algeria and about 200 Vietnamese friends from FaceBook. They are interested in learning English. I would love to travel there and visit them. I have a “son” in Thailand who would love to have me visit. My global interests are endless. I travel for language and friendship, for historic interest, for family, to promote communication and international goodwill, and to help empower those who need an extra hand to begin their own development.