I recently sat down to do a Q&A with children’s book author, Mandana Vetto. I loved her book The President Wears Pink and wanted to ask her some questions about being an author and her inspiration. The book has such a wonderful message and I have purchased it for many of the young girls in my life. For more information or to purchase the book, click HERE.
What inspired you to write the children’s book, The President Wears Pink?
A compilation of things led me to think up this book. Mainly, in 2014 Always came out with a powerful campaign “Like A Girl” – the link below will take you to one of the commercials for this campaign. I absolutely love this campaign and found myself pondering the term “like a girl.” When I think of girls I think: of strong, smart, tough, kind, movers, shakers, leaders, fearless, powerful – and completely unstoppable. Absolutely nothing in the pejorative. It was very important for me to convey this positive message of what “like a girl” means by essentially redefining it, which is when I wrote “when someone says run like a girl they mean really fast. When someone says act like a girl they mean really kind.” The book sort of went from there.
Does anything in the book come from your own childhood?
My father is elderly and has a very old-school mentality regarding women and their place.
Is writing easy for you?
Can being a writer be a lonely business?
While I love writing, it does not come that easy to me, yet this book did.
Who illustrates your book and why did you choose her?
Sara Foresti was my illustrator, and I found her through Astound Agency. They represent amazing artists and Sara’s work really stood out to me. She was just brilliant when we collaborated together and had a lot of great ideas from the get-go. We both put a lot of thought into every page and every illustration, and the meanings behind them, and she was so talented in her execution.
Do you try to write without expressing your own opinions?
It depends on the subject matter.
What is the main idea you wanted to get across to your young readers in this book?
Empowerment and girl power. The definition of what being a girl is on a basic level so that if anyone says anything that feels deprecating to them they can defend themselves. Quote the book. Use your strong voice. Whatever it takes. And to believe and feel what they are saying. Girls can do anything – we just need to believe it. As Glinda, the Good Witch said to Dorothy: “You’ve always had the power, my dear, you just had to learn it for yourself.”
As a grown-up how hard is it to write in for Children? In a child’s voice?
I surprised myself when writing this book as I never thought I’d write a children’s book, yet the message came very easily to me.
How long does it take you to write a children’s book?
This one did not take me long once I put pen to paper, however, I had given it a lot of thought beforehand and it was rolling around in my thoughts for a while.
How much research is involved?
It is a children’s book so not have a lot at all compared to, for example, a historical novel. But it did have some research; e.g. on page 4 of the book we see a young girl on her trail to the moon, and in many of the steps of this path are names of women who are trailblazers and have made history. There are just so many amazing women who have made history. I wanted to make sure I had a representation across the board, so I did a lot of research here and put a lot of thought into which women I chose.
Where can we purchase your book?
Amazon.com is everyone’s best bet. Locally Arcade books in Rye carries my book and has had me come in and sign books that have been ordered through them, which make for great gifts.
What is next for you?
As this book was released right before Covid I hope to re-launch it and garner the attention it deserves.
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