Author Interview with Barbara Ann Mojica
Barbara is a historian who holds graduate degrees in history and multiple New York State certifications in education. Now a retired educator and principal, she is staying busy by writing historical pieces under the banner of “Passages” for The Columbia Insider, a biweekly news magazine and developing her series of children’s books featuring the Little Miss HISTORY character. Marrying her love of history and teaching, Barbara hopes that her Miss HISTORY character will inspire children and adults to learn more about historical people and visit these landmarks. Barbara also finds time to read and review books twice weekly on her blogging page.
Little Miss HISTORY is a funny, whimsical character invented by the author and her illustrator/husband. The character is based on a younger version of the author. She looks like a wannabe park ranger with pig tails and hiking boots three sizes too big. In the first book of the series, Little Miss HISTORY Travels to MOUNT RUSHMORE, she presents the evolution of this monument as well as its connections to Native American history and human rights. When she arrives at her second destination, Little Miss HISTORY Travels to The Statue of Liberty, she helps the reader discover the planners, the process of building, and why Lady Liberty remains a promise and symbol of the hopes and aspirations of people around the world. Both of these books have been awarded a B.R.A.G. Medallion and Reader’s Favorite Five Star Reviews. On her third trip, to be completed and released in spring, 2014, Miss HISTORY will visit SEQUOIA NATIONAL PARK, pointing out its history, beauty and environmental concerns.
Since her last trip to Mount Rushmore, Little Miss HISTORY has journeyed more than 1700 miles over land, sea and air to reach her second destination, The Statue of Liberty. This national treasure stands proudly in New York Harbor welcoming all people to the land of freedom and opportunity. In this second book of the series, Little Miss HISTORY will help you discover who thought of the statue in the first place, the values she symbolizes, the architects and engineers who built Lady Liberty, and the little known individuals who contributed their pennies to make her debut in New York’s harbor possible. You will learn about why she remains a promise and symbol of the hopes and aspirations of many people around the world and not just to immigrants coming to America. Come now and follow Little Miss HISTORY as she enlightens you about The Statue of Liberty!
Stephanie: Hello, Barbara! Congrats on winning the B.R.A.G. Medallion for a second time. That is wonderful and I am delighted to be chatting with you again. What is the message in your story?
Barbara: All my books are nonfiction. They do not relate traditional stories but are a collection of knowledge from the past. My intention is to make learning about historic events and places a fun and interesting experience by using a whimsical character who sees things from a unique viewpoint.
Stephanie: When did you start to write children’s books?
Barbara: I began writing children’s books about three years ago, shortly after I retired from a long career as an educator. At first, I started writing historical articles for a local news magazine, but then I decided I wanted to marry my love of history with teaching so I developed the picture book series that would be appropriate for a wide variety of ages.
Stephanie: Who designed your illustrations?
Barbara: My husband Victor is an artist and writer. He conceived the idea of the Little Miss
HISTORY cartoon character based on a younger version of myself. I had already written the first four or five first drafts of books in the series. We began working on illustrations together as we worked through the manuscript. Illustrations are worked and reworked until we are sure that they fit perfectly. That process takes about three months.
Stephanie: How long did it take you to write your story?
Barbara: The first two books have taken about the same amount of time to write. I write the story, put it aside and then go back to take another look. There are several revisions, which take about three months to complete.
Stephanie: What do you find most rewarding about writing?
Barbara: There are so many rewards in writing. My first objective is to eliminate the boring textbooks that I had in school and to make learning fun. When I see children reading
Little Miss HISTORY books and enjoying the learning experience, that is really satisfying! In addition, I have met many wonderful authors online and in person. Sharing and caring with fellow authors, parents and readers is another avenue to expanding all our horizons.
Stephanie: What is up next for you?
Barbara: Right now I am in the final stages of my third book, Little Miss HISTORY Travels to
SEQUOIA NATIONAL PARK to be released in a few weeks. Her next journey will be to
FORD’S THEATER, where Abraham Lincoln was assassinated. I continue to write my local history articles and plan a book about the local history of Columbia County, New York.
Stephanie: Do you work with an outline or just write?
Barbara: That depends on my project. All my work involves research of some sort so I start with doing the research. I sift through my research and mentally divide things into categories, but rarely outline the whole article or book. Because I have been a historian all my life and write a lot about local history, I do have a large personal experience base on which to draw. For the Little Miss HISTORY series, one of the greatest challenges is to experiment and find just the right illustrations to convey the points in a funny, interesting and educational milieu.
Stephanie: How did you discover indieBRAG?
Barbara: I discovered indieBRAG by surfing online while investigating book promotion, but I had also heard about it through some of my author friends online. That made it a top priority for me to investigate.
Stephanie: Where can readers buy your book?
Barbara: The series is available at CreateSpace, amazon, and Barnes & Noble as well as my website. It can be ordered by any local bookstore if you do not find it on their shelves!
MY WEBSITE CONTAINS LINKS WHERE TO PREVIEW, BUY BOOKS, MERCHANDISE, SEE UPCOMING EVENTS, AND VIEW MY BLOG OR VIDEOS.
would like to take this opportunity to thank you, Stephanie, for the opportunity to share my work with the indieBRAG community.
A message from BRAG:
We are delighted that Stephanie has chosen to interview Barbara Ann Mojica, who is the author of, Little Miss History Travels to the Statue of Liberty, one of our medallion honorees at indieBRAG . To be awarded a B.R.A.G. MedallionTM, a book must receive unanimous approval by a group of our readers. It is a daunting hurdle and it serves to reaffirm that a book such as, Little Miss History Travels to the Statue of Liberty merits the investment of a reader’s time and money.