The Picture Book Author Interview is one way to learn about the author and their book. They can be fun and informative. Interviews with authors help readers to better understand how and why stories were written. This week I would like you to meet Maria Buffolino, author of The Leaning Palm. I enjoyed reading this story and traveling along with the coconut. I think you will too!
This beautiful story follows the journey of a tiny coconut as it travels from its home island to a new stretch of land and sea.
Book Link: https://theleaningpalm.company.site/
Social media: @theleaningpalm
My name is Maria Buffolino, and I am a new children’s book author. I absolutely love the beach and anything tropical. The inspiration for this book came from my visits to the Bahamas where the water is clear as far as the eye can see. I hope you enjoy reading my book and come back soon for my next one.
When did you realize you wanted to be a children’s book author?
I first realized that I wanted to be a children’s book author after an author visit when I was in fifth grade. It was amazing to me that the author of a book was able to share his idea with so many students and was reading it aloud to the school. That’s when I knew I wanted to be an author who could inspire others to create their own works to share with others.
What is your favorite part of being an author?
My favorite part of being an author is sharing my book with students. I especially like to see the reactions from the students at the school where I work as a kindergarten teacher’s aide. The children are always amazed that I am the author and was able to create a book. Once they see that it is possible for anyone to achieve this goal, I see them coming up with their own stories and drawing pictures.
What inspired this book?
I have always loved anything and anywhere tropical. I was fortunate enough to visit the Bahamas. It was there that I saw a single palm tree by the water. I began to think about how it got there and wondered why it was leaning towards the water. It was located in a cove with a hotel in the background. That is how I got the idea of a coconut that traveled to this island and as it grew, kept stretching towards the water to see the fish and creatures. Since the location was so beautiful, it made a great place for a hotel to welcome other guests.
How long did it take you to write this book?
This book took me a few years to complete. Although it is not a long story, I would change some events until I liked what I wrote. There were times where I stopped working on it and revisited the story to see what new ideas I could add.
What part of the book was the most fun to write?
I really enjoyed writing the part where sea creatures were drawn to the shade of the palm tree leaves. It was a way for me to connect both worlds in a way where they depended on each other. I also enjoyed introducing the fisherman who was drawn to the island and decided it was so beautiful that a hotel should be built to welcome others.
What advice would you give a writer working on their first book?
My advice to a new author would be like most others, do not give up. There were many times when I thought that my idea was not good enough to share and that I should just stop, but then I could not imagine not sharing it with others. My manuscript was not accepted by multiple publishers, and I realized that if I wanted to see my book printed I would have to make it happen. I am so happy that I did, and I hope that when people read it they will question what could that palm tree be looking for and how did it get there?
What are you working on now? OR What would you like people to know about you or the book?
There are a few more ideas for children’s picture books that I am working on. I mostly incorporate nature and try to look at ordinary things in a new way. Creating ideas that allow the readers to gain a new perspective, helping children to question what they see, and imagine what could be is what I hope will inspire them. Encouraging young readers to pursue their ideas and make them feel that they too can accomplish anything they set their minds to do is what I like to do.
Where can I get a copy of The Leaning Palm?
You can purchase a copy of The Leaning Palm directly from Maria on her website via her book link.
Maria is available for author visits. You can contact her directly from her website.
I enjoyed this book and following along on the journey of the tiny coconut. This book is perfect for classroom libraries. It may not seem like it weather-wise, but spring is on the way. It is not too early to start thinking about spring holidays and events that will require a gift. Books make wonderful gifts and The Leaning Palm is one of those books that any child or teacher would love to receive as a gift.
If you are a new picture book author and would like to have your book featured on my blog, please contact me. The picture book author interview is a way for you to share your book and help your readers learn more about you as an author. I can’t wait to meet you and read your new book!