Interview with Author Natascha Taylor
Self motivated and free spirited, Natascha Taylor has built a career in tandem with her gypsy spirit. She maintains an eclectic client base while seeking adventure across the globe. This has led her to cross fields in the elaborate world of design, securing colleagues and clients of distinction, and enabling her to integrate all aspects of design. She has worked in theatre, the arts, fashion, film, and the corporate sector.
Natascha provides online solutions, identities, packaging, brochures, advertising, copywriting, illustration, animation and more for large corporations to small businesses. Her clients have included Disney, the Xfactor, Cigna International, theBBC, Soundtribe, Sam Sparro, Natalie Williams,TMGMarketing Group and many others. She is driven by her entrepreneurial spirit and collaborates easily, thriving on the creation and realization of unique ideas.
Natascha is also inspired by work that speaks to a greater purpose: working with the incredible hip hop artist Emmanuel Jal, a former child soldier whose warrior heart is set on peace and reconciliation. She contributes to his charitable projects with Gua Africa and now is collaborating on his upcoming Lose to Win Campaign. Among other charities, she has also worked with the Jamaican based charity Open Doors, creating its debut national campaign. Open Doors helps young artists inJamaicaby providing materials and guidance needed to bring the artists’ talents to the world.
Drawing upon her many skills, Natascha created her first children’s book. Philosophical, poetic, and filled with magical transformation, Willow Wise is written from the heart and has been followed by The Fuzzy Fella, The Beetle Barabus and Telephants. Dealing with emotions that reach across humanity these stories have been created to inspire, encourage and warm the hearts of young and old readers alike.
Formally trained, Natascha received a Bachelor’s degree in both illustration and design and she currently lives and works inLondon. Her extensive knowledge and experience continue to drive her – never forgetting that sassy swing kick opening the door to life, love, and laughter.
In her own words, “The greatest achievement in my life has to be birth of my darling daughterPhoenix. While creatively, the ultimate expression of my soul is never better spoken than on a makeshift canvas in the thickness of paint with the slashing of chalk and the pasting of layers, all in intimate conversation with the universe”.
Interview with Natascha Taylor author of The Fuzzy Fella
I want to thank you for being my guest here on Mymcbooks Blog
What is the last book you read?
My daughter and I have been reading Jonathan Livingston Seagull together. The classic struck a deep chord with me years ago and I am enjoying rediscovering the story with my angel,Phoenix.
What were your earliest memories of writing? My earliest memories of writing reach as far back as I can remember, as a child I wrote many heartfelt letters, I can still recall the purpose and energy behind them. I wrote stories for fun, and recited spontaneous lyrics for my constant impromptu singing. I always dwelled in poetry. It was a steady stream of thought.
Were you encouraged to write or was it something that came natural? Writing is something that came naturally; I was very deeply involved in my thoughts and observations of the world around me, and the people I love. Writing down my emotions was always a good feeling. I felt renewed by it.
Are you working on a new book? I am working on releasing several other stories that I have already written. These include Angry Potato Man, The Beetle Barabus, Telephants and Willow Wise. I also have constant creations and true‐life stories turning in my head that I hope to magic into form soon enough.
What inspired you to write The Fuzzy Fella? Many years ago, Neal Dlin who remains one of my most beloved and loyal friends, was prompted by my Mom to describe his feelings for me at the time. My Mom’s response to this “fuzzy feeling” was so innocently delightful. She had an action when she described Neal’s answer to me that was as sweet as a child’s. There was a light in her eyes I can still remember. Neal and I later revelled in our discussion about it, and we brainstormed this vision of love as this fuzzy feeling that is ever changing and could grow as big as a house one day. It was only years later, with the birth of my daughter, that the idea returned to me. Inspired by her, I became driven to finally combine talents and create children ‘s books. Following this I decided to turn the fuzzy feeling into a character for children to identify with and simply understand a deeper emotion. I have been blessed by my understanding and recognition of love in my life and all around; this gave much to reflect on and create from. Love in its simplest form is endless and everywhere, in everything…. I like that.
What was your favorite children’s book? I had many favourite stories as a child…classics like The Ugly Duckling and The Giving Tree…but I think my favourites were probably these little tiny beauties from our relatives inAustria. They were little books of different flowers and the fairies that lived in them…. another with little chefs cooking cookies in heaven. I didn’t understand a word as they were written in German, but they were the most beautiful things to look at. My Mom’s voice reading them was the perfect lullaby.
What was the most difficult part when writing The Fuzzy Fella? Writing The Fuzzy Fella flowed easily; producing the book was the harder step. Challenges of all kinds presented themselves and had to be overcome while maintaining self‐belief throughout any and all pitfalls. My father’s stroke ultimately pushed me to take the final risks. A promise I made to him while he could still hold my hand is one that could not be broken…it is a moment that will forever be imprinted on my soul and drive me beyond any doubt.
What do you do when you’re not writing or promoting your books? Outside of writing and promoting books I am also a designer, illustrator and artist. I travel as often as possible, driven by adventure, by family and by friends all around the world. And, of course, my most important incarnation is being a Momma.
What do you hope that readers will take away from your book? I hope that readers will take away their own understanding of the book…something that is sparked…a memory or a feeling. And if they are to take something from my words…I hope that it will be to come to understand that love truly is all around us. It is in the simplicity and beauty of life. Even in the ugliest or most painful moments of life, it can always be found. To truly understand the power of love, you must be willing to let go, only then can you embrace its infinite and glorious freedom.
Who are some of your favorite authors you would love to dine with? There are so many… Vikram Chandra for breathtaking Indian imagery and storytelling in Red Earth Pouring Rain. Mikhail Bulgakov for his posthumous magnum opus that is The Master and Margarita. Naomi Wolf for her brave gift of Misconceptions. Elizabeth Gilbert for her open spirituality and humour.
Kurt Vonnegut for his incredible style; Tom Robbins for the same reason. The heroic Antoine de Saint‐Exupéry for his deep insight in The Little Prince, a classic children’s book to dazzle readers of any age. This table would be filled with so many more guests ever after…and certainly would also include Gregory David Roberts.
What author inspires you the most and why? Gregory David Roberts inspires me the most at the moment because Shantaram has been the most engaging novel I have ever read. He writes about his own life with a laid back kind of honesty and humour I find pure genius. He is poetic and brave with an incredible ability to recall and charmingly retell real events of his life. The story is free spirited and unbelievably adventurous. He can beautifully illustrate even the most brutal of moments, and romanticize shady characters in a way so true to life. He is a true maverick…a kindred spirit. I cried my eyes out, and laughed just as hard.
What discipline do you impose on yourself regarding schedules, goals, etc.? I use very minute available to me to work, write, illustrate, promote, plan etc., and every minute unavailable to germinate ideas. Every moment of the day, no matter what you are doing or where you are, ideas present themselves. I hang on to as many as possible and grab the nearest pen.
What advice would you give parents on selecting the right books for their children to read? Let your children lead you.
What advice you would give to new writers? Don’t hold back, and be yourself. Use your own voice.
Is there anything else you would like to share with our readers? I have been developing a project based around The Fuzzy Fella. The project was tested on a primary school here inEnglandand is currently being adapted for integration at a correctional facility inCanada. This facility works to rehabilitate juvenile female offenders; these girls come from various and unbelievably challenging backgrounds. I look forward to the results and I anticipate adapting this project further as an anti‐bullying campaign. If there are any teachers or parents out there that may be interested in being involved please contact firstname.lastname@example.org and follow the fella on facebook for updates, as well as general fun: www.facebook.com/FuzzyFella And OH! … Happiness, joy and peace to all of them also ;).
Thank you for this interview.
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My name is Ella Johnson. I started Mymcbooks to promote reading. As a former teacher, I know that making basic education fundamentals interesting to children can be challenging. Education can be fun, exciting and captivating for children with the right learning tools. So my goal is to “make learning interesting and fun” for the children while they learn, by introducing them to fun books with colorful and captivating illustrations.
In 2009, I start the giveaway program giving away free school supplies at random to 2 winners each year. I also started a monthly free giveaways for books and gifts.
August 2010, I extended the free school supplies from 2 to 5 winners at random on my blog and also give away 20 bags full of school supplies to familes in need at Chick-fil-A in Brandon, Florida during their family nights. And in 2012, I beat my that number and gave away a lot of school supplies to needy families. Hopefully, I can continue to do this each year.
In 2011, I started writing reviews on children’s books then giving these books away free on Mymcbooks Blog. I increase the number of books we giveaway free to help support parent. My goal is to give away as many as I can each year. This is also a great way to introduce parents to new books.
Mymcbooks blog is always looking for other ways to give kids free books. So I started Mymcbooks Birthday Library http://mymcbooksbirthdaylibrary.wordpress.com/
My goal is to giveaway at least 300 books to children each year.
Books Given in 2011: 315
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Read Interview about Ella Johnson, http://melangeofcultures.wordpress.com/2011/07/31/interview-with-ella-johnson-founder-of-memorable-children-books-gifts/ Interviewer: Nicole Weaver
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