Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Q&A and Review: Did You Know That I Love You? by Christa Pierce

Did You Know That I Love You?



Did you know that I love you?

Could you feel it in my hugs?

From her soft kisses and soothing hugs to her tasty tea and warming mug, Bird sweetly expresses her love to Fox so he knows that no matter how big he gets or where he goes, she is always with him.

Through delightfully endearing illustrations, debut author-illustrator Christa Pierce creates a whimsical tale that will have every reader feeling loved and cherished.

Watch a video HERE

Christa PierceChrista is an author and illustrator from Portland, Oregon. She is a lover of tea and acrylic paint - but not together. Christa received her BA in Illustration with a creative writing minor from Seattle Pacific University in 2013. She is currently working on making her debut in children’s publishing, as well as preparing other illustration projects. Her first children’s book, Did You Know That I Love You, is planned for publication in 2015.  Look for it in bookstores everywhere. In the meantime, preorders are available on Amazon.com. Christa is particularly interested in visual storytelling, speaking to students about the relevancy of the arts, and empowering others to find expression/catharsis through image and narration.
visit the website: HERE

My Review:
I love this book.  I have started reading it to my boys before bed.  What is a better than going to bed with visions of unconditional love dancing in your head.  The story combined with the the beautiful illustrations with draw in any reader.  I love that you can add voices to the characters and make it loving, silly and fun.  What a great book to create a class around.  I plan to make this book into a lesson for Valentine's Day!  5 lovable stars!

Q. What inspires your writing/drawing?

A. Emotions and relationships inspire most of my writing and drawing. I’m an emotionally aware person – sometimes being around other people can be tiring because I’m usually thinking about how others feel and trying to read the situation. To me, any given day is full of interpersonal dynamics and feelings that I try to empathize with, dissect, and understand through art making. It is very satisfying to me to take an abstract, emotional concept like love and put it down in simple, honest words and rich colors.

Q. What is your favorite thing about being a writer/artist?

A. My favorite thing about being a writer and artist is the actual making. In the moment, alone, creating something that I think is worthwhile, challenging myself, playing, and experimenting - that is my favorite thing. 

close second is when I can show that piece of art to another person, my agent, or editor, and see them connect with it in the same way that I do.

Q. What is the toughest part of being an writer/illustrator?

A. To me, the toughest part about being a writer/illustrator is the fear and pressure which comes with sheer freedom. I can do anything. How I spend each day, what I paint, how I paint, what I write about, whether or not I write is all up to me. No one tells me what to do. I have no coworkers to check in with, my only managers live in other states and graciously treat me as an equal partner. All of that seems wonderful, and it usually is, but for me, things can get what I have nicknamed, ‘bad existential’. If I don’t impose some kind of synthetic structure on myself, I freeze, lose confidence, feel lost, and alone, and because all decisions are up to me, any freezing up often also feels like my fault. I keep myself out of this bad state of mind by reminding myself that my editor and agent are here to help me and guide me, I am not truly alone in this creative work, and I can only do my best (and there’s no sense feeling badly about that). I also try to remind myself that almost no one I have met is as hard on myself as I am. I can be a mean boss to myself, and need to remember to relax and enjoy living my dream job.

Q. If you could not be writer/illustrator, what would you do/be?

A. I think about this all the time! I think if I weren’t a writer/illustrator, I would want to be a teacher. I admire teachers – they have a difficult, important, and often under appreciated job. I hope that if I were a teacher, I would make meaningful, supportive relationships with my students a priority.

Q. What would the story of your life be entitled?

A. Before I got my first art job, I used to joke that I would title my memoir My Life In Food Service. In reality, I would name the story of my life Call me Cupcake, celebrating the strange, wonderful confidence I had between ages 3 and 6 when I told everyone I was a cat, and they should refer to me as Cupcake. I have no idea why I did that, but admire my own bizarre spunk for having done so.

Q. What is your favorite book of all time?

A. I love The History of Love by Nicole Krauss. It has been my favorite book since I read it. I haven’t read it since high school (I don’t read books twice) but it made such an impact of me at the time that I read it. It had a lot of tangled, beautiful, painful emotion written into the story, enough for me to enjoy exploring and sifting through. I love a book that tells a good story and exercises your empathy.

Q. Which character from ANY book are you most like?

A. I’ve been several times compared to Luna Lovegood in the Harry Potter series, which really makes me smile.

Q. What character from your book are you most like?

A. I love this question, because my book is a children’s book with only two characters, one of which hardly speaks. However, I thought about this a lot while I wrote the book – I wrote the book with a comforter (the bird) and the comforted (the fox). I intentionally made them different kinds of animals, and made the comforter small than the comforted so that it didn’t seem like it had to represent a parent comforting a child. I wanted the roles to interchangeable. That being said, I identify with both characters, but more so the comforting bird.

Q. What is your favorite season?

A. My favorite season is definitely summer. I live in Portland, Oregon, so I’m used to long stretches of darkness and constant mist. I wait all year for the few months when I can spend as much time outdoors as possible –swimming, hiking, camping, walking, just feeling the sun on my skin. It feels like a whole other life in the summer.

Q. What inspired your book cover(s)? Or what is your favorite book cover and why?

A.  I love all the creative, contemporary book covers of classic novels coming out right now – I especially love the cover of The Secret Garden by Penguin Threads and Jilllian Tamaki.

Q. Tell me something funny that happened while on a book tour or while promoting your book.

A. I love talking to children in the schools. They can be so funny, and so smart. This is isn’t funny, but probably the sweetest question I have ever been asked was by a 4th grade boy. He asked whether it hurt my feelings when my editor asks me to change my drawings. It was unexpectedly sweet.

Q. Are you working on something new?

A. I am! I signed a two-book deal with Harper Collins. Since the first book, Did You Know That I Love You, is now out and in bookstores everywhere, we have more time to work on the second book. We are about halfway through – it’s not yet titled, and the story and concept art is still being tweaked. It’s been a very fun and interesting process. The first book was basically done when I pitched it, but this second book we are building together. I am excited to finish it and show it to the public – I’m writing the story based off of my own favorite story lines and themes from my childhood, so it’s been a very rewarding process. When I’m not working on the second book, I’m working on developing other children’s book concepts.

Q. Anything you want to say to followers of this blog or those that are just stopping by?

A. If you’d like a personalized, signed copy of Did You Know That I Love You? But don’t live in the Portland, Oregon area, I’ve put up a listing in my Etsy shop to simplify shipping:

If you would like to plan a school visit with me, please contact 

Thank you for having me, Mrs. Mommy Booknerd! Happy reading

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Emily, AKA Mrs. Mommy Booknerd

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