Name: D.A. Batrowny
Where are you from? I was born and raised in New York State.
A little about yourself `ie your education Family life etc.
I am married and have two children. I have over 20 years of experience working with children and families in the field of nurse home visiting, growth and development, literacy, and early childhood education. I have degrees in Nursing and Business Administration. I love to learn new things and visit new places.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
I just released a new book entitled, Welcome Smart Artt, which is the first of five books in The Artt of Early Learning Series. In the book, Smart Artt, an extraordinarily bright newborn creates mischief at the hospital as he attempts to help all of the other babies gain knowledge… right from the start! I wrote the series to provide information to parents about age related growth and development in a fun way.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I started writing stories for fun when I was in middle school. I had a notebook that I wrote in at night in my bedroom. That notebook is long gone but it would be really fun to read those stories now.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I first considered myself a writer when I saw my name on a poster in the window of Barnes and Noble Booksellers.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
I have worked with young children most of my career and I have seen the excitement and joy in children’s eyes when they are being read to. I thought that a fun children’s book would be a great way to spread the word about the importance of early childhood development.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
I do not have a specific style that I always write in.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
The title of the series was developed by my publishing company during a brain storming session. I instantly loved it!
Fiona: Is there a message in your children’s book that you want readers to grasp?
I would like parents to know that they are their child’s first and most important teacher and there are things that a parent can do that will impact their child for a lifetime.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic?
None of it! Smart Artt is a super- baby, but that’s what makes it fun!
Fiona: Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Well, we were all babies at one point, so yes!
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most?
The Books of the Bible have been a great influence on my life.
Fiona: If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
I do not really have a writer mentor, but I do admire the work of two authors connected to my home town; Tedd Arnold, writer and illustrator of many great children’s books and Mark Twain.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
I am currently reading two; Contagious by Jonah Berger and The Chicago Manual of Style. The second book should keep me busy for a while.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
Although he is not brand new, I like Mo Willems’ books. They caught my eye when I first saw his display in the children’s section of a Washington D.C. book store.
Fiona: What are your current projects?
I am currently working on the editing of the other books in my series, as well as writing an interactive baby’s book of poems. I can’t forget marketing. That alone is a major project.
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
My colleagues as well as my Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and mastermind friends have been very supportive. I also belong to the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. SCBWI provides great information and resources. I guess I named more than one.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
I would love to have a career in writing, but I would still want to be involved in many different endeavors.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
There is nothing that I can think of at this time, but one can always grow as a writer.
Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
As a teenager, I liked to read books and I always thought it would be cool to be a writer.
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
This is part of a poem within the book, Welcome Smart Artt. It was written by Smart Artt, one of the characters in the book.
“I love it when you talk to me, no matter what you say,
I love the sweetness of your voice, so please just talk away,
My vision is improving, so can I please request,
10 inches is the distance that I see your face the best,
Another thing I like to see that helps promote my sight,
are solid and contrasting shapes, especially black and white”.
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
It was difficult to write a book that would provide information for parents, yet is written for children. I included a letter to parents at the beginning of the book and age related developmental milestones at the end of the book, to address that issue.
Fiona: Who is your favorite author and what really strikes you about their work?
I always enjoyed the crazy stories written by Dr. Seuss. His imagination and silly rhymes made his books fun to read over and over again.
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
I have not traveled far yet, but I plan to speak and promote my books in other countries very soon.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
The illustrations on the cover were made by a wonderfully talented illustrator named Diana M. Hernandez. The publishing company designed the cover using Diana’s illustrations.
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
The number of times I refined it. I really care about quality, so I spent a lot of time editing it to get it exactly how I wanted it to read.
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
First, thank you for the great support. An author is not a true author without readers. Also, the information in this book is essential for every parent. Please share my book and my website http://www.smartartt.com, with anyone who is expecting or has a newborn child. The website includes many professional links that are helpful for parents.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
The first book I remember reading was Two Kittens by Marjory Schwalje and Virginia Tiffany. My kindergarten teacher gave this to me at the end of the school year. I recently found this book online and it is currently being shipped to my house. I can’t wait to see it again!
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies?
I love to read, create ideas, games and websites, garden, travel and spend time with my family. I am inspired by learning new things, so I like to take online courses and listen to audiobooks and webinars whenever I can.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
When I find time to watch TV, I enjoy watching sitcoms because they are short and funny.
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music
I love pizza, sushi, and a good burger every now and then. I love every bright color and I enjoy all types of music.
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
I love computers and creating business ideas. I would have liked to have been an entrepreneur and there’s still plenty of time to do that!
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?
My website is http://www.smartartt.com
Twitter – SmartArtt
Facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/pages/Smart-Artt-Childrens-Books-page-The-Artt-Of-Early-Learning-Series/211191322409580
SCWBI Speaker Profile – http://www.scbwi.org/speakers/d-batrowny
Amazon Author Page – http://www.amazon.com/D.A.-Batrowny/e/B00IQEEZ44
Thank you Fiona