Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The Writer's Block Interviews: Adriana Cerrotti

1) Tell us a bit about yourself and where you live and work.

I am a children’s book author, and former traditional cartoon animator. Animation brought me out of my original country, Argentina. I worked as a senior character animator in a few countries around the world, before I arrived in the USA. I had the privilege of working for renowned companies and animating Disney star characters such as Little Mermaid, King Triton, Timon and Pumba and others. I also worked for Hanna Barbera, and had the pleasure to give life to popular characters such as Scooby Doo, The Snorts, and many others.

Currently, I live in Atlanta, GA, with my husband and two lovely dogs. From the quiet and beautiful environment of Duluth, I work on my children’s books. I enjoy my work very much. I am building a nice collection of books for children, which I develop completely from the beginning to end.

The first book I published was Never Give Up, which had been having a good reception on Barnes & Nobles. It reached a satisfying sales rank in a few months. Recently, I published 4 books more, being Ady’s Alphabet the last one from this list. Most of my books are for children 2 to 6 years old.

2) Which came first: writing or illustrating? Why do both?

Illustrating came far before than writing. I’ve been drawing since I was a girl. And entered the animation business when I was a teenager. I also painted, studied photography, ceramics, design, etc. I very rarely did any work in my life that was not related to some form of art. Later in my life, I had the need to write. So, I started my studies at the academic level.

3) Tell us about your children’s books.

My children’s books are for small children. They are made with the intention of helping children to increase their ability to identify component sounds within the words. This is why, Never Give Up and Beautiful!!! Inside and Out have both been written in rhymes. Also, it is my hope that children will motivate themselves to read more and better by engaging with the books’ fun and colorful images. In addition to that, it is my goal to attract parents and adults because it is essential that they participate in their children’s intellectual development. It is important that they read with them and be physically present and part of the process. Lastly, I intend my books to promote positive thinking and an optimistic outlook.

4) Describe your path to publication. Has this experience met/exceeded your expectations?

Publishing today gives us, creative people, a lot of freedom. My path to publication was fluid and easy. I publish all my books on Amazon (Paperback and Kindle) and on Barnes & Noble. My husband, a computer man, helps me with the process. So far, my experience on Barnes & Noble exceeded my expectations. However, I should mention that I am a very fast and hard worker. I could accomplish a lot in short segments of time. It is also important that I am my own critic and supervisor. And this makes my work more enjoyable.

5) How do you promote your work? What methods have worked best for you?

I do not do any paid promotion. I could not do anything that would approximate to the massive amount of promotion the companies such as Amazon and Barnes & Noble do. My books’ prices are very low (except for the paperback version). So, making any promotion would imply having to do a massive campaign. In other words, it would mean investing huge amounts of money. And I am not ready to do that at this time. So, I take what I can from monsters such as Barnes & Noble, which seem to be doing quite well selling children’s books. And hopefully Kindle will expand its children’s market too with the new incorporation of color.

6) Describe a typical day in your life.

I wake up early, feed my dogs and have breakfast. I have a big backyard, so I let my dogs run free for a bit. Then we all move to my studio where I divide my time between studying and working. I am a Penn State student. I stop at lunch, for us to eat again and have a break. And then, I work until 4 pm. Around that time, I am ready to exercise, which I do daily. Then, if I have some time in between, I do some reading until it comes the time to make dinner. By then, my husband is already at home, so we make some time to talk about his day and the country’s news. After dinner, I do my 20 minutes of daily meditation. And after that, if I have the time, I do some more reading or computer work until I go to bed. This is pretty much my daily schedule from Monday to Friday.

7) What projects do you have in the works?

At this moment I am working on two books simultaneously. One of them is about a bird and the process of growing up. The other - which I am currently illustrating -is about two creative and distinct cats. They will be also for 3 to 6 year old children.

8) What would you like to accomplish as a writer?

I would like to keep enjoying what I do. I believe this is by itself a privilege and the path to success. However, I am also getting trained, so I expect my writing skills to evolve. Plus, learning is a big part of that bigger joy. Both, my husband and I do university study. Studying as an adult is a very interesting and fulfilling experience. Especially when, like in my case, it is in a second language.

9) What advice would you offer to aspiring authors?

Go for it! This is the right time. You are the one that sets the limits.

About the Author

Adriana Cerrotti is an artist with multiple skills. She worked as a traditional animator for many years and was sponsored to work as a senior cartoon character animator for several projects, in a few countries throughout the world. She worked for Walt Disney and Hanna-Barbera, among other renowned companies, and animated the main characters of the very first Walt Disney Academy Award Nominee for Best Short Animated Film: Redux Riding Hood. Adriana also gave life to characters such as Melody (Little Mermaid II), Timon and Pumba (Walt Disney Series) and an innumerable variety of Hanna Barbera characters. Cerrotti is also a character designer, illustrator and children's book author. She lives in Atlanta, Georgia, with her husband and pets.

Contact Adriana



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