An Interview with Anna Othitis
Where are you from?
I am from a lovely country Zimbabwe in Africa. My family and I lived there all of our lives until the political situation took a toll and got worse.
Having no other option but to relocate not knowing our destiny and where our new adventures would take us, nervous and excited at the same time, after our many travels far and wide we settled in USA, where our sons had a future ahead of them.
Our youngest son Frankie, "Captain Frankie" in our children's series "My First Travel Book" series had his dream career and great opportunity to take up his career as a pilot which he loves and enjoys so much, "Flying and soaring the skies like birds in flight" just as we encourage and would like our young readers to live and take up their dream careers.
What did you do before you became a writer?
Before I became a writer I lived in Zimbabwe where I helped out in the family business, an accountant, a teacher and an ABA Therapist. I loved being involved in Charitable, Non profit organizations where I Chaired a few of the Organizations and helped raising funds for the less fortunate African people especially in the rural areas, to assist them in having a better life, education, food, a roof over their heads and more.
I enjoyed and loved teaching young children, more so the Autistic children who I have a great passion for. They are special people who deserve to be loved and taught the wonders of life tat they can enjoy. They are no different to normal human being and ever so special and loving.
Presently I am an ABA Therapist in autism, love my work, love my children, love teaching them and encourage these special children to enjoy a fun filled normal life. Their talents are extremely amazing.
Did you know that famous and talented people such as Einstein, Amadeus
Mozart- a composer and pianist -Susan Boyle, British singer and Britain's Got Talent finalist , Tim Ellis, Australian magician and author, Luke Jackson, author, Jerry Newport, American author and mathematical savant, basis of the film Mozart and the Whale, John Elder Robison, author of Look Me in the Eye - Donna Williams, Australian author - and the list can go on, (Note the authors) had/have been diagnosed with autism, Asperger syndrome (AS), or another condition on the autism spectrum.
Have any of your careers or education inspired your writing?
My career with children has inspired me but more so our son Frankie inspired me with his career he took up. Teaching the children and showing them the world we live in is my inspiration. Our wonderful, amazing and inspiring earth with it's beautiful sites and creations of natural beauty that our young generation should and taught to take care of our environment. an important factor of our lives and their future lives and living.
"Do not spoil our beauty of the Earth and World" is my plea to the People of the World.
What would you say is the hardest thing about writing?
For me the hardest thing about writing a children's book is getting the illustrations done to the specifics of each destination that we visit and show the children an illustration of the actual site and not a cartoon type illustration. In this way one day when they do get the opportunity to visit in their minds they will remember them as is. The rhymes and flow of the information comes naturally.
How do you conduct research for your books?
I search the internet for the closest true information. I have to ensure that this information is what the children will absorb when reading "My First Travel Book" series, so they remember and be able to give out to their teachers, friends and family.
Do you have any authors that inspire you?
I read many authors books. My favorite as a child and in my children's youth were the Ladybird series - "Ladybird Children's Classics"
We had loads of fun and learning with this collection of children's books.
How did you get published?
I initially published my first book with a publisher which cost me a lot of money. Through the Facebook groups I learnt that I could self publish my books. This I enjoyed and learnt a lot on my own. LionheART Publishing House a dear professional author friend went on to publish them for me, edit my books and have my illustrations done in a professional manner. She produced and produces wonderful work.
Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?
That they should take pride in their work and always stay focused, keep writing. Keep their dreams alive and never be disheartened.
Every author has a story to tell and a dream that comes true.
Who is your greatest supporter?
My husband and sons together with a dear friend who encourage me and support me through this wonderful venture.
Mostly Frankie "Captain Frankie" our pilot of "Angelic Airlines" who takes the children to so many wonderful destinations, teaching them and inspiring them through my books "My First Travel Book" series.
Is there anything you'd like to say to your fans?
To my fans and wonderful special children, not forgetting their parents and families - Thank you for your wonderful support and thank you for flying with us and hope that you have enjoyed your travels from the comfort of your own homes.
Keep reading, stay inspirational and keep learning and education yourselves there is nothing more precious that knowledge in your lives.
"Reading is Knowledge and Education" - "Books are the keys to our future and our past"
“There are many little ways to enlarge your child's world. Love of books is the best of all.” - Jacqueline Kennedy “There is more treasure in books than in all the pirate's loot on Treasure Island.” - Walt Disney
What is next for you?
I have more books in this series that I am still working on and hope to publish in the next few months. Now that I have a lovely grand daughter, Annamaria in our family, a first time grand mother my aim, mission and focus is to teach and educate her the best I can and to let her know that these children's books will be a part of her life and many other children's lives, especially our beautiful autistic children out there that always want to learn more.
Children have curious little minds with amazing memories, they are our little sponges who absorb and remember so much.