Lisa Anne Novelline is a children’s book Author who has released two stories to date: “Piccadilly’s Magical World” and “Piccadilly and the Waltzing Wind." Both books are intended for children aged four to eight and focus on the colorful, imaginative and beautiful world of Piccadilly, a curious little girl who loves nature. Poet and writer, Lisa has a strong way with words. Now living in Massachusetts, Lisa enjoys teaming up with artists like Singaporean illustrator Nicola Hwang. Recently, Lisa discussed her experiences as an author.


Blasting News (BN): Why did you become an author?

Lisa Anne Novelline (LAN): When I was a little girl, I loved to write.

I used to ask relatives to name me a subject and I would write them a poem about it. I became a teacher of mathematics but I still adored writing and reading. Becoming a writer was a very natural progression for me.

BN: What books inspire you?

LAN: “A Wrinkle In Time” by Madeleine L’Engle affected me profoundly. It lit my imagination on fire! I also adored “The Phantom Tollbooth” by Norton Juster. Illustratively, Disney’s big golden book of “Cinderella” illustrated by Retta Scott thrilled me. I used to pour over those illustrations for hours looking for all the magical, hidden details.

BN: How did you come up with the concept for Piccadilly?

LAN: Piccadilly is an amalgam of my fondest memories growing up when I felt one with nature along with the curiosity, optimism, and fascination with all things that I wish for every child.

The concept for the series arose from my frustration with the strain that the national curricular initiatives were putting on teachers, making it increasingly difficult for them to offer sufficient practice with explorations of fancy. I wanted to write stories to provide families additional support in allowing their children to dream, imagine, and create from a safe and loving space, qualities which I believe are essential for creative problem solving excellence in all subject areas.

BN: How did you find illustrator Nicola Hwang?

LAN: I always have such a clear vision of my stories and what they need to look and feel like. He or she also needed to be talented enough to step into a world that already existed, as this is “book two," and recreate the characters with enough similarity to the originals that they would remain recognizable to the reader.

When I sought out an illustrator, I needed someone who could abide by my determination to realize my vision. I needed someone with magic and delight in his or her work, an intangible quality that I knew I would recognize if and when I found it. I was thrilled when Nicola agreed to participate.

BN: Approximately how long did it take to draw each scene?

LAN: We moved pretty quickly, aiming for two completed drawings per week. We had a lot of back and forth as well. My son, Ryan Jude Novelline, who is also an illustrator, provided additional feedback and support during the editing process. The beginning was the hardest as we were creating a working relationship. As we got to know each other and as Nicola and I came to understand each other’s needs more clearly, the work progressed more rapidly.

I also made a lot of the color and compositional edits myself to allow Nicola to keep moving.


BN: What’s the best part of being an author?

LAN: At New York Comic Con, so many young readers and their parents who loved “Fairy Polka” returned excitedly for “Waltzing Wind” and that made me very happy.

BN: Where do you aspire to be in ten years?

LAN: Writing! I’m working on a Sci-Fi/Fantasy novel for young adults now.

BN: What advice can you give to aspiring authors?

LAN: Write what you feel, what’s in your heart, and fight for your vision. Take the editing process very seriously. Rework your own writing, and then hire professional editors to spot what you may have missed. Don’t give up.

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