Interview with children’s author Rita Avaud A. Najm

Children’s
author Rita Avaud A. Najm
joins me today to talk about her series of stories, La Petite Rita,
Volumes 1 & 2.
Welcome, Rita. Please tell us a little
bit about yourself.
I am an
American-Lebanese mother of two amazing loving boys, Leonid and Mark. Moving
with the family to Houston, Texas in 2007 made us do lot of absolute changes.
One of them was changing my career as a registered nurse, and going back to
college to study business management.
Wonderful
things started to happen. Working as a library assistant was one of them.
This rich and joyful experience made me change my mind on working in health
care management. I even decided that my graduation project should be a teacher
and parents’ guide to encourage elementary students to read more non-fiction
and poetry books.
My life
path brought me to Utah, where I found out that many public schools have dual French
immersion program. Being multilingual (French is my second language), created
in me the desire to write stories about a 7-year-old girl named “Rita.”
Yes! Rita!
Since some of the stories had to do with my childhood, I wanted to share them with
you. Young readers will enjoy Rita’s daily life experiences, her cute funny
adventures, as well as learning some French words from her short conversations
with her parents.
I will
keep writing and will make my collection bigger; hoping that one day my children
won’t need to buy books for their children to read.
What do you enjoy most about writing
short stories?
Writing short
stories is like arranging a bouquet of flowers; each flower has its unique smell,
color and shape. Short children’s stories are usually fun to write, since the
message is clear and the end is cute. Children love to jump from an adventure
to another without being bored.
Can you give us a little insight into a
few of your short stories – perhaps some of your favorites?
Most of my
stories have to do with my childhood. My joyful moments, that I made stories
about, are all my favorites. I was and still shy because of my accent, even
though many of my friends think it’s cute, same way with Rita’s friends at
school (Coming to America, Volume 1).
I even bought
a white Christmas tree for my children; because I loved the one I had long time
ago, and still remember how I felt the first time I saw that sparkling,
beautiful tree (A White Christmas Tree, for Rita Volume 2).
What genre are you inspired to write in the
most? Why?
I love to
write morals stories that hold a message or a simple lesson that teaches
children about love, honesty, virtues and courage, while entertaining them and
showing them how blissful their innocence is while experiencing life. 
What exciting story are you working on
next?
I am
working on my 3rd volume of La Petite Rita.
I also have 5
other stories ready to be published yet needs illustrations, with no human
characters and some tales and fables that everyone will enjoy.
When did you first consider yourself a
writer?
Once I
decided to publish my books, I felt the responsibilities of a writer. Being
creative as much as I can while expressing my ideas using the right words is
not easy. I have to write about interesting things and funny ones, since my
audience is basically children, while taking into consideration all reviews and
comments to succeed and make my work better each time.
How do you research markets for your
work, perhaps as some advice for writers?
Promoting through
blogs and creating websites,
Joining
Facebook pages that promotes new releases,
Making trailers
on YouTube, as well as taking advantage of all social media sites by talking
and sharing publicly everything about my books (Google+, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn,
and Twitter).
What would you say is your interesting
writing quirk?
I
actually don’t have one, but I usually laugh if what I am writing is super
funny.
As a child, what did you want to be when
you grew up?
I wanted to
become a lawyer to defend women’s and children’s rights. I studied political
law for one year, but I felt that my time would be wasted, since I was born in
a country where, even now, these rights are still not guaranteed because they
are religiously-based with little or no government oversight.
Anything additional you want to share
with the readers?
My books are
not just about a little girl. They are about every single person who comes to
the USA and struggles with the language. It’s for everyone who likes to learn a
foreign language too, since most of the dialogues between the main characters
are In French. Easy short and common French sentences (translated to English on
the bottom of each page) will make these books unique and entertaining.
I would like
to share my Instagram link
where followers will find lots of beautiful quotes about life, and of course info
about my books.
Thanks for being here today, Rita!

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