Friday, July 7, 2017

Interview with Children's Book Author Miri Leshem-Pelly

Miri Leshem-Pelly is the author-illustrator of 14 children’s books. She’s also illustrated 14 books for other writers. When Miri isn’t writing she can be found speaking at schools, kindergartens and libraries. She is invited to do more than 200 presentations with her books per year. Miri is also a Regional Advisor for SCBWI (Society of Children’s book writers & illustrators).
Miri is represented by Olswanger Literary Agency.

Miri’s works have won awards and her illustrations have been shown on several exhibitions.
Miri lives in Israel with her husband and two children, and loves reading books and going on nature hikes.

Her latest book is Scribble & Author.



About the Book:

Title: SCRIBBLE & AUTHOR          
Author: Miri Leshem-Pelly
Publisher: Kane Miller Books
Pages: 32
Genre: Picture Book for Authors

Scribble & Author is written as a dialogue between the main character, Scribble, and the author who created her. 
Scribble's journey starts on a peaceful shore called THE BEGINNING, continues to the rough, adventurous MIDDLE, and leads finally to the gate of THE ENDING, but it’s not at all what Scribble expected… Scribble is a scribble and Author is an author, but who really gets to tell the tale?
A picture book about finding your own voice, making your own decisions, and writing your own story.
Watch the book trailer at Vimeo.


Thanks for this interview, Miri Leshem-Pelly.  I’ve always wanted to write children’s books.  When did you determine that writing for children was for you?

I always loved books, especially picture books, and ever since my childhood I’ve been writing and drawing just for fun, as a hobby. When I was an art student I realized that illustrating children’s books is my dream. I started illustrating stories by other writers and then I thought - wait a minute. I can write too. Why don’t I illustrate my own stories? My first book as author/illustrator was published when I was 26 years old, and since then I had 14 children’s books published as an author/illustrator.

What was the inspiration behind your children’s book, Scribble & Author?

I was thinking about my self as an author and my relationships with my characters, and realized something interesting: Authors love their characters very much, but they also must put their main characters into trouble, in order to create a plot. That led me to imagine what would it be like if I could talk with a character that I’ve created. What’s going to happen to the story if the character could interact with his author? So I decided to write down this dialogue and see where it would lead me…

How do you get into the mind of a child to create a fun reading experience?  Are you around kids?  Are you a kid at heart?

I’m a mother of two children, but I started writing and illustrating for kids before I became a mom. So I guess the answer is that I am still a kid at heart, and I love it!
On my role as Regional Advisor of SCBWI chapter in Israel, I get to meet many other authors and illustrators of children’s book, and I must say that most of them are truly fun people who never stopped listening to their inner child.

What was your favorite book as a child?

Oh, must I pick one? There were so many! The first one that pops to my head is Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren. As a child I was very much inspired by Pippi’s courage, strength and free spirit. I also enjoyed the humor and imagination in this story.

What kind of advice would you give writers who would like to write children’s books?

First, they must understand that writing a good children’s book, even a short picture book, takes a very long time. You must take it seriously and learn the craft. Join SCBWI - this is the best way to get all the professional knowledge about the craft and business sides of creating children’s books. And one last advise - join a critique group for children’s books writers. I’m part of such a group and I owe them much of my success.

What are your goals for the future?  More children’s books?

Of course! Creating picture books is my favorite activity in the world. I hope to continue doing just that as long as I can.