Wednesday, October 3, 2012

The Writer's Block Interviews: Anna Church

1) Tell us a bit about who you are, and where you live and work.

I am a retired teacher that is an author and a co-illustrator for Hug-A-Bug Travel series and the president Mighty Lion Ventures Pub. LLP. I live in Houston, Texas with my husband and two Schnauzers. I have two married children and am a proud grandparent with four grandchildren. Two of my grandchildren are adorable twin girls!

2) Describe your journey to becoming an author/ illustrator. Which came first?

I have always doodled as a child creating critters in my sketches. I became an author after my 2 children went to high school. My husband and my two children encouraged me to publish my stories I used to tell my students when I was an elementary teacher, especially when I taught overseas. There are many children out there that need hugs in this world. When I taught in Indonesia is when Hug-A-Bug became a tool in my classroom.

3) Do you prefer to write for children? Why?

Yes, I do. I feel that their needs to be less wordy books for children to enjoy but learn from the same time about other cultures and be sensitive to others needs.

4) What mediums do you prefer to use in your artistry? 

I draw using pencil sketches and than my co-partner, Nicole Taylor, utilizes the Illustrator software program to embellish it. Also, for the background, I use my own photos from when I lived or visited that country.

5) Tell us about your latest project.

Our second book to our Hug-A-Bug Travels series, Hug-A-Bug Travels to Greece is the one we will be launching before December 2012. The goal for the book is for children to discover Greece, language phrases, and meet a rare animal that needs a hug.

6) Who are your favorite authors? What is on your reading list right now? 

E.B.White for children’s book- She is very creative in telling her story about a pig and a spider’s venture on a farm. Virginia Brown’s Diva series for adult books- She uses humor and mystery at the same time in her stories. Also, John Grisham- He is well researched and a detailer telling his stories. It is one of those books you can’t put down until you finish it. For recent ones, I just finished reading The Dog Prince, so I could write a short review for the author, Fun London. I am also reading The Wake Up and Dream Challenge by Barbara Lavi.

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

Active social media for marketing. I have found that if someone picks up our book or goes to our website to look at it, they always ask where can they purchase it. I am not a hard salesperson. The book sells itself because of its vivid illustrations and it is not wordy. As a teacher I have discovered that children always reach for the books that have lots of colorful illustrations and less words and interact with them.

8) What are your upcoming plans for the rest of 2012? 

Our next book my partner and I will be creating is the third of the series, Hug-A-Bug Travels to Peru.

9) What is your definition of success? 

Never give up on your dreams. Just keep chugging along like the book, The Little Engine That Could. I always tell myself and my students to memorize this saying, “I can do it; I will do it; I did it!

10) What advice would you offer to aspiring illustrators? 

Find your style and embellish on it. Most importantly, set up a website and a Facebook page to get known.

About the Author

Anna was born on an Iowa farm. However, when she got married and had two children she became a world traveler. She now has four grandchildren, but still has time to create her books with her partner, Nicole Taylor.

The creation of the little bug that just wanted a hug sprouted from a character the author, Anna Church, had been using for years in her classes. After retiring, she finally had the time to work on creating her series for all children across the world. She has a B.S. and a M.S. in Elementary Education and has taught many years overseas. Her books and vivid illustrations are based on her overseas experiences and background in early childhood development. In her books she strives to entertain and help children discover other cultures, languages and famous geographical places in a fun and inviting environment. Through their journey they learn the importance of caring for others around you and that everyone needs a hug from time to time.

When she is not writing or illustrating children’s books, she is enjoying time with her grandchildren, designing jewelry, studying yoga or hiking in new places. 

Contact Anna

FB author page :
Personal FB:


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