Natasha Wing interview with David Alan Binder

Post date: Jun 12, 2018 10:37:55 PM

Natasha Wing interview with David Alan Binder

Shortened bio from her website: It wasn’t until after college, when I was working at my own small public relations agency, that I decided I really wanted to write children’s books. I was so inspired by the magic that happens when reading a story that I wanted to see if my active imagination could create magical moments for kids all over the world. So I started writing. Luckily, I sold my first manuscript, Hippity Hop, Frog on Top, in 1992. I’ve been writing ever since.




1. How do you pronounce your name?

Nah – tah - sha

2. Where are you currently living?


3. What is the most important thing that you have learned in your writing experience, so far?

To be flexible. Topic needs change. Word count changes. New genres are added. So hang in there!

4. What would you say is your most interesting writing, publishing, editing or illustrating quirk?

I tend to backfill my Night Before stories when I write them. I come up with images and rhymes then puzzle piece them together versus following a plotline.

5. Tell us your insights on self-publish or use a publisher?

I’m mostly traditionally published but I have done two self-published books, one for adults and one for children. If I was both author/illustrator I may try another self-published book.

a. Who is the name of your publisher and in what city are they located?

I have several publishers – Grosset & Dunlap, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Sterling, Henry Holt, Atheneum – that are in New York City.

6. Any insights eBooks vs. print books and alternative vs. conventional publishing?

I don’t own any e-readers so I prefer printed books over electronic. I like looking at the cover, flipping pages and using bookmarks. I even try to match the art on the bookmark with the type of book I’m reading.

7. Do you have any secret tips for writers on getting a book published?

Think of it as a people business and go out an meet people in the business! Attend workshops, writers’ organizations meetings, critique groups and chat groups.

8. Do you have any suggestions or helps for new writers (please be so specific that this most likely will not have been seen elsewhere)?

Read current picture books to see what the industry is producing versus classic ones then hope yours becomes a classic. For new writers I’d say read lots of examples of the type of book you are wanting to write. But as a skilled writer I try NOT to read other’s works so as not to be influenced by their writing voice. I read them AFTER I finish my draft to make sure I don’t repeat information, especially when it’s nonfiction.

9. What was one of the most surprising things you learned with your creative process with your books, editing, publishing or illustrating?

Most surprising thing I learned is that I’m pretty darn good at watercolor portraits of dogs! I haven’t illustrated my own books yet, but hoping to someday. This discovery happened between agents and when I was thinking of giving up on writing kids books. So I turned back to my childhood and started painting.

10. How many books have you written?

I’ve written over 125 but published 32.

11. Do you have any tricks or tips to help others become a better writer (please be so specific that this most likely will not have been seen elsewhere)?

Look at the verbs you are using and replace blah ones with more active and interesting ones.

12. Do you have any suggestions for providing twists in a good story?

One fun thing to do is to bring your story to a school visit and ask the kids how they would end the story. You’ll get some interesting ideas!

13. What makes your or any book stand out from the crowd?

Illustrations can be so unique that they catch a buyer’s attention on the rack. But heart makes it become a child’s favorite.

14. What are some ways in which you promote your work?

For Bagel in Love I had a dress designed by a university fashion student inspired by characters and end pages from the book, and I wear it to literary events, conferences, and school visits. It’s quite memorable.

15. What is the one thing you would do differently now (concerning writing or editing or publishing or illustrating) and why?

I would have done more self-published poetry books and joke books.

16. What saying or mantra do you live by?

If you hang in there long enough, the industry will come around to your forward thinking.