Six Questions with Nadia Ali
Nadia Ali is a children’s author who writes fiction and nonfiction picture books. Her stories range from funny to fanciful to factual. She is a member of Julie Hedlund’s 12x12 community and was honored to be a Grand Prize Winner in the 2022 #SunFunWrite Contest, a #DVPit Critique Winner and a 2021 Picture Book Party Finalist. Humphrey the Egg-splorer with illustrator Valenti Gubianas is her latest picture book. Visit Nadia's website to learn more about her and her work.
1. What are some of the best and hardest parts of writing for kids?
The hardest part is the actual writing which has to be very specific because the word count is low. Another hard thing is the language which usually included some sort of repetition, rhythm or wordplay. Some of the best things about writing for kids is the various styles such as fiction and non-fiction and the field is wide open to encompass many subjects. One of the best things is seeing the finished product with stunning illustrations that complement and enhance the words.
2. Do you ever struggle to come up with your next project? Or do you have lots of ideas and find it a challenge to narrow down your ideas?
If I were to sit down and try to come up with an idea I would struggle. Most of my ideas occur day to day from seeing and hearing things. It can generate a title, an outline for a story and even a rough draft, so I have works-in-progress all the time.
3. What one piece of advice would you like to give to aspiring kidlit authors?
Read, read, read. It will help to generate ideas, plots and twists, language and rhyme.
4. Where did you get the idea for this book? What was your inspiration?
The inspiration for Humphrey the Egg-splorer came from reading Dan Santat’s After the Fall: How Humpty Got Up Again. It sparked the idea of Humpty having a grandson who wants to continue in his footsteps and become an egg-splorer.
5. Was this always the title for this project? If not, what other titles did you consider and how did you land on this one?
The original title was Hardboiled, but as the story evolved the idea to have the main character as part of the main title came to mind.
6. If you could tell readers one secret about this book, what would it be?
Valenti Gubianas, the illustrator of Humphrey the Egg-splorer, has created two wordless stories. One is the sun at the window, that relates the emotion of the story. The other is the family who live in the household who are shown eating, having tea and even getting eggs from the fridge for a recipe. Both are seen throughout the book with the family pictured waving goodbye to Humphrey.