'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Thursday 24 May 2012

Interview: Author Tania Cox

KBR would like to warmly welcome author Tania Cox with this interview on her life, her writing processes and her wonderful collection of books. We are big fans of your books here at KBR. Thank you for talking to us. Take it away Tania.

Tell us a little about you: what’s your background, your story? 
I grew up on a north Qld farm with my mum, dad, sister, two brothers, nonno and nonna. On this farm were lots of loveable dogs, bossy cats, overbearing roosters and noisy hens. My parents encouraged us to read books from an early age. Mum read to us at night. Dad was the storyteller. The idea for being a writer was first planted when I wrote a children’s story for a class project. I just loved being in the imaginary world that writing created. But I didn’t do anything serious about writing until I was in my mid twenties. I did about four years in writing courses and was later mentored by the wonderful Ann James. In 1999, my first book Little Bat, illustrated by Andrew McLean, was published. Since then I have written books about all sorts of animals ranging from a plucky young penguin, Alberta to a frightened feathered dinosaur, Millie’s Special Something. And of course, now that I have my own family, their antics have appeared in What Makes My Mum Happy (Mother’s Day book) April 2012 and What Makes My Dad Happy (Father’s Day book) August 2012.

What genre/s do you write in? 
At this stage in my life, children’s picture book.

What do you love about writing for children?
The picture books themselves! I love the way the words and pictures work together to tell the story.

From where do you draw inspiration for your stories? 
Everywhere! Past, present, family, friends, good and not-so-good experiences. Observations. Inspiration can flutter down gently or hit hard at the most unexpected times.

What are the greatest blocks or obstacles you have experienced on your book-writing journey? 
With a young family, it can be tricky allocating time. I guess I write in snatches of time whenever I see a quiet moment.

What’s a typical writing day? 
That’s a very good question. Not all of my three children are at school yet, so the last few years have been taken up with looking after fearless, tyrannical toddlers who have grown into, how shall I say… highly spirited young children. So the only time I get to write is at night when all is quiet and they are asleep. Perhaps this will change when they are all at school next year.

What advice do you have on writing? 
Write. Read. Write. Read. Write.

If you couldn’t be a writer, what would you be? 
A hairdresser! I have three girls!

What were your five favourite books as a child? 
Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carl
Yertle the Turtle by Dr Seuss
Come and Have Fun by Edith Thacher Hurd
The Cat in the Hat by Dr Seuss.

What else do you like to do, other than write books? 
I love to read and go walking.

What would be your perfect day? 
No cooking!

What’s next for Tania Cox? 
A Father’s Day book titled What Makes My Dad Happy illustrated by Lorette Broekstra published by Allen & Unwin. It’s the companion book to What Makes My Mum Happy released this year for Mother’s Day.

Anything else you’d like to add? 
I think it’s important that we as adults read with enjoyment to our children to foster a love of reading and books.

For more information on Tania's books go to: www.taniacox.com