Thank you Melissa Rose for hosting me and “Amelie Gets Busy” on your site!
- Hello Agatha, please tell us a little about yourself and your book.
I was born in Patras, Greece and I am a school owner – teacher of foreign languages. Although I have worked at different working posts, teaching and writing are the best occupations for me. My first self-published rhyming book “Amelie gets Busy” was written as a tribute both for my yiayia(grandmother) and my friend Amalia Balch who didn’t have the chance to meet her yiayia.
- Where are you writing from?
I write from Patras, Greece mostly but I do write also when I travel, it just comes out naturally!
- When did you begin taking an interest in writing books for children?
My first attempt was back in 1997 when I had to write short stories as a part of a Creative Course. Till, then I was only interested in Fiction writing. As a student at Institute of Children’s Literature , in C.T, I wrote stories for different age groups.
- Do you have a particular writing process?
Brainstorming, Prewriting and Revision are the most important steps in my writing process. I don’t follow them in a particular order each time but I do have a notebook with me always.
- Where did your idea for “Amelie gets busy!” come from?
During one of my visits at my village where my yiayia lives I was paying attention to her daily chores and that’s how the idea came.
- Are there plans to write more Amelie adventures? Or was this book intended as a standalone?
When I wrote “Amelie” I didn’t have in mind this possibility. Most writers and readers want me to have more books on ‘Amelie” so I guess I will!
- To follow up on the last question; are there any more books in process?
Another story for young learners is on the way of having it published, with the illustrator working on it. I write also Romance and Poetry.
- Who did the Illustrations for “Amelie Gets Busy!” and how much influence did you have on them?
Joanna Scott , http://www.joanna-scott.com/ is a British illustrator and I was really lucky to have her illustrate “Amelie”. Joanna enlightened me on many issues during the book’s preparation and I did the same regarding the Greek village details.
- What were your favourite childhood books?
My first Alphabet Book. It is still considered to be the most famous Greek Alphabet Book which first appeared in 1955.
Heidi, Johanna’s Spyri , book is my favourite one!
- What are your favourite books now?
A Dance like Starlight: One Ballerina’s Dream by Kristy Dempsey
The Framer and the clown by Marla Frazee
Green is a Chile Pepper: A book of colours by Roseanne Greenfield
Brown girl dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson
The red pencil by Andrea Davis Pinkney
- What book are you reading right now? What is it about?
I am reading “Little Red and the very hungry Lion” written by Alex T. Smith. I find the idea of Little Red Riding Hood put against the African setting where he becomes friends with the wild animals although the Very Hungry Lion is lurking in the shadows. I really enjoy this book for its illustrations they are excellent!
This month’s choice will also be “It’s raining Pups and Dogs!
(Sit! stay! Read!)” by Jeanne Prevost and Amelia Hansen. Here is the story:
Lauren is angry with her father for having their dog Scout spayed, dashing her hopes of having the fun of raising puppies. To show Lauren why they made the decision not to breed Scout, Lauren’s dad takes her to visit a large animal shelter. Seeing the hundreds of dogs waiting for rescue, many with little hope of finding a home, Lauren comes to understand why they spayed Scout: there are too many dogs and too few homes for them.
- Thank you for taking time to answer these questions. Is there anything else you would like to add about yourself, or your book?
Writing is the best way to know your roots deeply and offer the chance to the rest of the world to get to know more about your country and your personal journey. Reading is the best activity ever to know more about people around you and become more creative by spreading hope. Thank you Melissa for this amazing opportunity I wish you the best in your tour around the world!
About the Book:
Amelie is a cute little girl who gets busy while visiting her Greek grandmother (yiayia) at the village. This is her first visit in Greece. Amelie is so impressed especially by the animals in the farm, the bloomed trees and flowers, the birds. She gets so excited by the colours, the smells and the sounds that she feels so unique! Spending time in the garden is the best time ever for her. Amelie is thrilled with the yummy tastes she discovers! She loves her yiayia’s gift a keepsake box which is full of the village’s smells and colourful memories to have in her heart, forever!