Thursday, October 13, 2016

JCUF VOL 3 NO 1 (2016) – Children’s Author SIMONE DACOSTA

This edition of the Journal of Canadian Urban Fiction is dedicated to the writers who have committed themselves to sharing diverse stories and celebrating children from all backgrounds through literature. We take a brief look at their history, their inspiration, their favourite children’s titles, and ask them to share some advice for aspiring authors.


1) How long have you been writing children's literature, and what first inspired you to write this genre of books?

About 5 years. My inspiration is Dr. Seuss and the many classical books he wrote. I love that some of his books are nonsensical but also very unique, comical, and entertaining. Kids gravitate to stories that are funny and make them laugh—kids love to be entertained. I try to adapt the same policy when writing children's books. I was also inspired to write children's books because growing up as a child I rarely saw a character that looked like me. Come to think of it, I don't remember seeing any....I am sure if there were characters that resembled me, I would have enjoyed reading even more so, and I would feel a sense of belonging knowing that the author thought about me by putting a Black character in a book.

2) How does your personal culture influence your writing?

It has a great deal of influence due to the lack of characters of colour that are being represented in children’s books. I, for one, would love to see more characters that look like myself and other ethnic groups in children’s books. Characters in children's book should represent all races and nationalities, so each child can identify with the character(s).

3) What do you remember about children's books when you were growing up, and how to you hope to change the experience with your audience?

I remember racing to the library after school, and spending most of the late afternoon there engulfed in reading a funny, entertaining, and delighted children's book. I was entertained and intrigued every time I picked up a book and read it. Such books had me hooked, wanting more. Most of the time, I lost track of time being at the library so long. I often raced home (good thing I did not live too far from the library) just so I would not get in trouble for going home late! I prefer not to change my experience and relationship with books was a good one. I actually hope to continue on with this experience. I also hope that when I write a children's book, my book(s) will have that effect on a child, and if it does that would mean I have done something right and exactly what a book should do: make a child interested, wanting more!

4) Who is your favourite children's author, and why?

I don't know if I have one, but if I had to pick I would say Dr. Seuss and Judy Blume. I have a thing for Judy Blume's books...and her books have a thing for me (smile)!

5) What is one piece of advice you would give to an aspiring children's author, based on your experiences thus far?

Hmmmm…the children's writing business is not an easy one. Writing for kids lit takes a lot of work, time, and patience. If writing for children is what you love and aspire to do, then that should be enough. It makes your writing journey all the merrier if you become successful!


PHONE: 416-998-7770
FACEBOOK: DepictingTheWriterInYou
SOCIAL MEDIA: @simonesblognet

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