Welcome to the 2023 ARIA Author Showcase and Giveaway Event!
How to enter – Comment on the daily showcases to enter the daily giveaway. Comments close one week after the initial Showcase post. GRAND PRIZE drawn on Dec 8th (1 -$250, 1 -$100, or a 1 -$50 Amazon gift card. One grand prize pp) – For every showcase you post on, you automatically gain one entry to the grand prize. 30 Authors = 30 entries.
Nishita Roy-Pope will be at the Rhode Island Author Expo
On to the Showcase!
What name do you like to write under? Nishita Roy-Pope
Where do you call home? Rhode Island
What genre(s) do you write? Children's Fiction
What genre(s) were you drawn to when you were younger Was there a reason that genre(s) appealed to you the most? Children's Fiction - I appreciated that these fictional stories allowed me to dare to dream bigger without setting limits to what was possible based on reality.
What were some of your favorite books growing up? Why? I loved the Nancy Drew mystery series. I thought it was super empowering that a teenage girl was so fearless and capable of solving hard problems. I was (and am still) pretty fearless, so I definitely resonate with strong women/girl protagonists who are not afraid to lead and show the world how awesome they are.
What are some of your favorite books today? My favorite books today center more on non-fiction inspirational and leadership books, such as Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg, Becoming by Michelle Obama and It's About Damn Time by Arlan Hamilton. Just as I admired Nancy Drew for her courage and passion, I find myself seeking out real-life women who have "made it" and am eager to learn from their experiences and challenges as I navigate my own journey as a leader, entrepreneur, author, mother and diversity champion.
What inspired you to become a writer? When I became a mother seven years ago, I realized that I had a responsibility not only to my own kids to empower them and show them they can do anything, but also felt a greater purpose to do this for all kids. I want kids to understand that they all have unique strengths, that their diverse experiences are an asset and that they are capable of taking on the world's hardest problems and challenges. Although children's literature is improving, there are still gaps in terms of diverse authors, diverse main characters and content that is both educational and entertaining. My aim is to do my part to fill these gaps through my books.
Courage Kids: The Magic Soccer Ball
Boringville is a place that is really…BORING. There are no playgrounds, no beaches, no soccer fields, no basketball courts, no video games, no ice cream trucks and definitely no recess at school. It is against the law to use your imagination in Boringville. Everything must be done the way it has always been done. Well, at least Boringville used to be so boring. Until, an unexpected discovery of a magic soccer ball brought together a group of students–known as the Courage Kids–who want to make the world better. They must use the soccer ball to save their town before it disappears! Will they be able to use their teamwork and problem-solving skills to save Boringville in time? Will they be able to complete the mission without getting caught by Principal Bland? There is only one way to find out…read this adventure-filled book!
Tell us a little about how “Courage Kids: The Magic Soccer Ball” came to be. Did it start with an image, a voice, a concept, a dilemma or something else? The book came to be because my 6-year old asked me to focus on a book featuring sports (which he is really into). I took on this challenge and then also added in other key concepts I believe are important, including exposure to STEM topics and seeing a set of strong, diverse characters leading the way. I studied a lot of the popular books that appeal to early elementary students and tried to emulate a lot of those best practices in terms of how the stories are structured, making sure there was suspense and drama, adding in a little humor throughout, having some cool illustrations along the way, etc. Each of the characters takes a little inspiration from people I have met along the way - some very close to me and some strangers, including from my time living abroad in multiple countries. I hope that many different types of kids can relate to and see themselves in these characters.
Which scene, character or plotline changed the most from first draft to published book? I can't say there was one specific thing that changed the most along the way. But, the challenge was taking all these disparate pieces of content that I wanted included and figuring out how to incorporate them in a way that was still easy to understand for young kids. It took me a lot of iterations and creativity to figure out how I was going to combine elements such as soccer, STEM, diverse characters, action-oriented storyline, some way to measure reader retention, etc all into one book and make it fun to read! I know my goal is to help educate and empower kids, but I had to find a way to achieve this without them feeling like it was boring and overly prescribed.
Which character was the most challenging to create. Why? Two of the characters in the group - Ziggy-O and Diggy-O - are based on my kids. So it was hard at times to progress with them as my kids would have feedback as to what they wanted to see, which did not always match up with my vision. But, I was able to include them in much of the design process and find a way to merge the best of all our ideas. It's really special to know that my kids were both the reason for me becoming an author and that they could also be a direct part of the creative process.
What do you like best about being a writer? If I'm being honest, I am still getting used to the title of "author". I have had many titles in my life, but author is a new one and it does feel like a weight at times. I know that words are powerful and I hope that, as an author, the words I choose to share will lift and inspire the next generation.
If you could collaborate with any author past or present, who would it be? What would the title of the book be? (If possible) - Give us a one sentence blurb. Going back to my childhood, one of the things I thought was so fascinating was when I found books that had Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys together. So, I would love to collaborate with a popular early reader team series and combine forces. Imagine the Courage Kids team up with Harry Potter, Dragon Masters, Magic Treehouse, etc....now that would be pretty fantastic!
You can follow Nishita Roy-Pope here -
Nishita is giving away a signed copy of her book - Courage Kids: The Magic Soccer Ball. To enter comment below -->
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