Author Spotlight: Mina Javaherbin
Dec. 13, 2019
We are pleased to feature author Mina Javaherbin and her recent picture book, MY GRANDMA AND ME, illustrated by Lindsey Yankey (Candlewick, August 2019). Enter to win a copy!
Tell us about yourself and how you came to write for children.
Although I’ve been reading and writing all my life, I somehow ended up going to architecture school and practiced full-time in that field for about fifteen years. When I had my children, I stayed home to take care of them and work on a more part-time basis. Simultaneously, I decided to give my writing a chance to get out of the house and become published. I researched how to become a published author and taught myself how to write children’s books and find an agent. It took ten years, but it worked!
Congrats on your picture book, MY GRANDMA AND ME. Tell us about it, and what inspired you?
MY GRANDMA AND ME is an homage to my grandma, who meant the world to me. It’s an autobiographical account of the time I spent with her as a child years before my world completely changed and I had to emigrate away from everything and everyone I knew and loved. The book has received numerous starred reviews from prominent publications in the US. Less than two months after its publication date, my publisher informed me they are on the second printing of the book.
|MY GRANDMA AND ME. Text copyright © 2019 by Mina Javaherbin. Illustrations copyright © 2019 by Lindsey Yankey. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Candlewick Press, Somerville, MA.
Was your road to publication long and winding, short and sweet, something in between?
It took me ten years to publish my first book. I write every day, and there are hundreds of stories on my computer. I’ve written diverse books and braved hard-to-address subjects. My current books in the market are well reviewed and awarded. But readers have seen only six of my picture books. You can assess if all of the above is short and sweet or long and winding! I can’t really tell. I simply work and hope.
What projects are you working on now?
I’m working on a screenplay, a young adult trilogy, and several picture books. Also, I recently finished designing an installation. I love keeping creative in a multidisciplinary way, and in the architecture medium I recently completed a kitchen remodel. It’s been an extraordinarily busy few months.
What advice would you give to aspiring authors?
I would talk to them about my personal path, because I believe the most personal is also the most universal. I’ll explain how I became an author and what trials and tribulations I’ve endured. I’ll share with them what I’ve learned from myself and my life, and how an immigrant with no connections or mentor made her way to being published. I would tell them about my daily routine and how discipline and desire is an inherent part of this craft and life in general.
What is one thing most people don’t know about you?
I’m an introvert pretending to be an extrovert.
Where can people find you online?
For school visits, appearances, books, and bio, read and contact me via my website, www.minajavaherbin.com. As for social media, I post things on Instagram and cheat by clicking the share button for Twitter and Facebook.