Marie-Élisabeth is the Director of the Parrot Sanctuary here in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. She shares her wealth of knowledge of parrots with me today, and we also get to meet her inspiration, Sammy!
Please tell me a bit about yourself—your background in writing for children and in other areas.
I am a qualified accountant but my passion has always been writing. I used to write books from an early age but life happened and it took me over 30 years to start writing again (October 2020).
Tell me about your most recent work(s)......what inspired the premises? What about your stories happen to be topical right now?
My latest book is called Drew the Dragon. All my previous books had real animals and people as the main character. I wanted to write a book with a mythical main character. It is a book about love and miracles.
What do you hope young readers, and perhaps even parents take away from your stories?
All my books have an important life lesson which kids and their parents learn from.
What are your fav scenes (and why) from one or two of your books?
I love the fairy donkey in Donk and the Stubborn Donkeys. He is so wise. I also love Chuck the Cheetah as Chuck ends up learning that you can't be a winner all the time.
Where do your ideas for stories generally come from?
I get them from my kids as well as from folk tales an proverbs, and some are based on true events.
For the other children’s writers out there in my audience, could you share a little advice on either writing or marketing children’s picture books?
It is really tough. I am still learning, but I have so much content on my self-publishing online course. It is so in-depth and covers marketing, writing etc. The link is: https://kamulengaselfpublishing.thinkific.com/
How has the current pandemic changed or shaped how you write your books? What about how you market them?
I started writing and publishing my books in 2020, so the pandemic was in full swing. So, I have no idea what it was like before the pandemic.
Tell me about some of your other books and projects!
I have three picture books that I am hoping to publish before the end of this month: Uni the Unicorn, Pete the Panda, and Never Give Up. I also have a middle-grade novel that is being edited at the moment, and I would like to get my memoir published before the end of the year.
What's next for you?
More marketing, more writing, and more book readings (these have dried up a bit, but I really love doing them, and hopefully this interview will get some people contacting me about virtual or on-site book readings).
Tell me something others may not know about you?
I played professional basketball in my home country of Zambia. I played for two teams over three years!
Get your copy of Drew the Dragon!