Thursday, April 9, 2015

Showcase: Nanny and Me by Florence Ann Romano

25012915‘Nanny and Me’ based on author Florence Ann Romano’s own experiences with families

CHICAGO – Florence Ann Romano started working as a nanny when she was just 12 years old, and now she’s sharing those cherished memories in her debut book for children making the transition from being cared for solely by their parents to having a nanny in their home.

“Nanny and Me” (May 2015, Mascot Books) is a story told through the eyes of a young girl about all of the adventures she and her little brother have with their nanny. Romano modeled the nanny in her book after herself, and each scene was inspired by her personal experiences caring for children.

Romano wants children to read “Nanny and Me” – or have it read to them – and feel a sense of excitement, peace and joy wash over them. The modern day Mary Poppins wants kids to look forward to the time they spend with their new friend, and most of all, wants them to feel loved.

“I don’t want them to be afraid or upset; or for them to think they did something wrong; or think that Mommy and Daddy don’t love them enough to care for them,” she says. “I want this transition to be a sweet one…something to look forward to and treasure; and I want the kids to understand that the nanny is an extension of their parents.”

Romano describes a nanny as “someone who can care for your child, love your child, be invested in your child and protect your child just as you, the parent, would.”

“The nanny is Mom and Dad’s eyes, ears and heart,” she adds.

Romano hopes parents get just as much out of her book as the children, if not more.

“I may have written this book to help a child through the transition of being cared for by their parents to being cared for by a nanny, but I also wrote it to help the parents through that transition,” she says. “I want them to know that they can trust someone with their children’s lives, hearts and minds.”

Romano lives just outside Chicago where she works as a philanthropist with local nonprofit organizations, and serves as President and Founder of a junior board for young professionals that supports Autism awareness for children and adults.

Florence Ann RomanoA dedicated philanthropist and former nanny, Florence Ann Romano has always kept a special place in her heart for children.

Born and raised just outside Chicago, Romano earned a degree in performance theatre at Bradley University in Peoria, Ill. She is the director of business development for RCGF LLC, a new family-owned company that runs the

Romano started caring for kids before she was a teenager, and she shares those experiences in her first book for children and their parents. Mascot Books releases "Nanny and Me" on September 2, 2014.

A women with a charitable spirit, Romano spends time working with nonprofit organizations. Inspired by her younger brother, who is autistic and attends an adult program at Giant Steps Autism School, she is the founder and president of the Giant Steps Junior Board, which raises awareness about autism and supports the school in Lisle, IL

Q.  What inspires your writing?

A. Life experience! I think that, above all else, is paramount. Being able to relate to a wide demographic makes writing much more relevant and accessible.

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

A. It’s so strange to be asked this question - I still think I am getting used to it! I always wanted to be a children’s book writer, but the fact that it has come true continues to baffle me.

My favorite thing HAS to be making moments possible for people. Getting lost in a different world definitely has its charm, but the moment is more so what I am interested in. I love to picture the set up: is a family snuggled up on a couch together, with a fire crackling in the background, reading my book to their kids? Or, is a little girl laying on a blanket in her backyard – on a sun-shine filled, summer – sipping on lemonade and getting excited about her nanny that’s starting work on Monday?

It’s these moments that bring me so much joy. I imagine my readers, living their lives, and making my book a part of their journey. I am just so grateful that they are making time for me!

Q.  What is the toughest part of being a writer?

A. It’s not a typical job where you, even though you don’t feel like working, still have to do it. Writing doesn't work that way – or, at least it doesn’t for me. Unless I am feeling inspired, or can focus, I won’t be able to do my job well. When you need to force yourself to work, I think it only makes it worse. The ideas don’t flow as easily; the words don't come as easily; the themes start to become muddied and sporadic. Willing yourself into “the zone” is like eating a donut and crossing your fingers that there are no calories in it!

Q.  If you could not be writer, what would you do/be?
I think I am one of the lucky few who actually gets to do “the other thing I would do” if I wasn’t a writer. I have two, start-up businesses, and both have a piece of my heart, passion and sometimes frustration! Being a business woman was always a dream of mine, so I feel very blessed to be in both worlds.

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

A. 5 Laws to Living a Life you Love

Q.  What is your favorite book of all time?

A. That’s a tough one! Well, the child in me loves Cinderella. The adult version of me loves either Tale of Two Cities or The Great Gatsby.

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

A. I am probably most like Jane Bennet in Pride and Prejudice, just not shy!

Q.  What character from all of your books are you most like?

A. That’s easy! I am the nanny in Nanny and Me! I wrote the book based on my former experiences as a nanny.

Q.  Which book would you love to take a weekend vacation inside of?

A. The Great Gatsby, definitely. I would love to get a taste of that time period and world.

Q.  What do you want to be remembered for 100 years from now?

A. One of my favorite lines is: “If you can’t give anything up to faith, then you are doomed to live a life dominated by doubt.” I want to be remembered as compassionate, spiritual, loving, brave and a woman who chased dreams – mine or the dreams of people she loves - because she couldn’t stand to ask herself, “what if?”

But, if I can only be remembered by one thing, I want my legacy to be someone who made a difference in the lives of others.   

Q.  What is your favorite season?

A. Fall is so gorgeous, but I am a big fan of the holiday season – snow, hot chocolate, magic all around!

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

A.  The book cover of Nanny and Me was a very deliberate and easy pick. One of my favorite scenes in the book is where the nanny reads to the kids under a fabulously lit self-made tent in their bedroom. I knew, as soon as I saw it, that this image needed to be the first thing anyone saw. It was so eye-catching and memorable. Gave me goosebumps!

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

A. I haven’t officially started traveling for my book yet, but you’ll be the first one to know when something funny happens

Q.  Are you working on something new?

A.  Yes, my plan is to make Nanny and Me a series, and I have started brainstorming the second book.

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

A.  I am just so grateful for your time today! You all have such busy lives – keeping up with your children, your social calendars, your friends and family. Giving me a sliver of time today has meant the world. Usually you say that you hope someone’s wishes come true on their birthday, but I think you should say that every day – so, to all of you, may your every wish come true!

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