Monday, August 12, 2013

Meet Me Monday with Aviva Gittle

Please welcome my next Meet Me Monday guest, Aviva Gittle!


Hi, my name is Aviva Gittle and I like to tell stories. Stories about flies who wear shorts, kittens who talk to snakes and kids who do crazy things. Like turn into a bagel or bounce to the moon on a trampoline.
I started Aviva Gittle eBooks to publish my own children's stories. But a funny thing happened on the way to the Kindle library: I discovered the joy of creating stories with others. I'm writing more stories with Mark Megson and a new novel about a scary beast with Sara Dean.
Aviva Gittle eBooks is publishing many great stories including Mort the Fly, Kitten & Butterfly, In Nana's Arms, Bagel Boy and more! Most stories will be available in both English and Spanish.
We want to know your stories, too. Starting in September, 2013, you can enter writing and drawing contests at Follow @AvivaGittle on Twitter to be the first to know about new stories, contests and free books. I’m looking forward to meeting you and learning your stories. Remember to Go to Gittle…and bring all your friends!

A word from Aviva:

All Aviva Gittle eBooks for children will be available free on August 12th (one day only). There are 3 books available now and there should be at least a couple more by 8/12. All I ask is if a person likes the book to please leave a positive review on Amazon. And spread the word.
Follow Aviva on Twitter, @AvivaGittle. They will get a reminder the day of. 4-6 free books, great stories, professionally illustrated.

My giveaway:
All Aviva Gittle eBooks are available to download free today only. Four great books to share, like “The Boy Who Bounced to the Moon” and “Bagel Boy.” All I ask is that if you like them, please leave a positive review on

1. How has your journey in publishing been? Anything you would or wouldn’t do again?
I would start earlier. I would have spent less money on stupid stuff so I could afford to hire professionals to do my website, layout my books, do marketing, etc. Forget Starbucks! Forget smoking! Vacation at home! If you really want to be successful, save your money so you can hire the right people and do it right.

2. What are you working on right now? Can you tell us about it?
Right now, my 7-book “Kitten & Friends” series is being illustrated. So, I'm working with the artists to develop the characters and the composition of each scene. It was a long search to find the right artist. I'm also developing stories for 2014. If you have a great idea for a children's story, email me at and I'll tell you how to submit your idea or manuscript. (Don't actually send them yet.)

3. What/Who inspired you to start writing?
Depression. There’s nothing like feeling sad, awkward and alienated to inspire you to write. The reason there are so many sad love songs. Lol! Children's stories allow you to escape into your imagination. But, I also try to weave broad themes into the stories that a child, and the adult who is reading the story to them, can learn from. Kitten and Friends is about getting along with others through acceptance of differences and a focus on finding enough in common to enjoy each other's company.

4. How long have you been writing?
Off and on for over four decades.

5. What advice would you give a new writer just starting out?
Go to and hire an editor. You must have an editor. Did I mention that you must have an editor? You can afford it. Quit smoking, eat out less, quit Starbucks. Do whatever you need to do to hire an editor. You can get good people at a reasonable rate. I like to have at least 2 editors read my stories.

6. Are you a pantser or a plotter?
If I knew what either of those things were, I would tell you.

7. Who is your favorite author?
Dr. Seuss. No, really, Dr. Seuss. And Maurice Sendak.

8. When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I wrote my first song at age 7, my first poem at age 11. It took a lot of years to be a good writer, but I’ve always considered myself a writer.

9. What is the hardest part about writing for you?
It isn’t the writing; it’s the marketing. For me, that’s the scariest part of publishing.

10. Do you have a favorite character from your books? If so, why and who?
Kitten from the Kitten and Friends series is my favorite character. He’s everything I’m not (but I’m trying, really I am): sweet, kind, accepting of everyone. And fun! This kitty knows how to play. Lol!

11. How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?
I have written 10 stories, co-written 2 stories (with more in development). I’m publishing the work of 2 other authors. Most books are being translated into Spanish. I’ve got a lot of layout work to do! The Kitten and Friends series is my favorite (7 books written so far). Kitten is sweet and every book has a teachable moment. But never, ever preachy.

12. Do you do research for your books or does it all come from your head?
The idea starts in my head and then I’ll do some research. I like to have a couple of facts that the kids and their caregivers don’t know. Like the fact that butterflies puddle.

13. What is your favorite colour?

14. What is your favorite food?
Buttercream frosting. Seriously.

15. What is your favorite smell?
Jasmine and lilac flowers. Real; not in a bottle.

16. Do you have any strange habits?
I’m a) human and b) a writer. Of course I have strange habits!

17. Where are you from? Do you still live there? If not, what do you miss about it?
I was born and raised on Long Island in New York. I left in the late 80s and never looked back.

18. Ebook or print? And why?
I have limited capital so I'm going digital. I've learned that if you want to offer children's books in print, you must hire a professional designer. Also, I truly believe that there will soon be a generation of readers who will never hold a printed book. Except at an antique store.

19. How do you keep your writing different from all the others that write in this particular genre?
My competition is other self-published children’s book authors. They are a dime a dozen. But they put out a lot of crap because they are lazy. (See? I’m not like Kitten at all.) I differentiate myself by writing imaginative stories that teach not preach. Each book is thoroughly vetted by editors before I even think about publishing them. I hire talented illustrators. All books go through a pre-release review process. I want to make money, but I’m doing what I love. Children’s books should not be considered a get-rich-quick scheme.

20. What is one thing your readers would be most surprised to learn about you?
That I used to be able to bench 95 pounds. Notice I said, “used to.” Lol!

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