Author Interview: Mara Van Fleet

THREE LITTLE MERMAIDS BY MARA VAN FLEET Three Little Mermaids by Mara Van Fleet

1) Please provide a short excerpt of what your children’s book is about.
Three Little Mermaids is an under the sea book that teaches counting. With touch and feel elements, pop-ups, and sturdy pull tabs.

2) What inspired you to write this book?
My mother used to draw mermaids for me when I was child. Her mom went to Cooper Union and was a fashion illustrator for the New York Times in the 1930’s. Her portfolio was very inspiring to me.

3) How did you come up with the title or series of your book?
The title supports the general theme of the book.

4) Why did you pick this genre?
I wanted my book to contain teaching elements paired with fun interactive elements.

5) How do the illustrations complement your book? What was important to you as an author?
My illustrations are bright fun and colourful, which works well with the target age group (preschool).

6) As a child, what books and/or authors influenced you the most and why?
I really enjoyed Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are. I just loved how Max’s room slowly grew into a jungle. It inspired me to use my imagination. I also loved Crockett Johnson’s Harold and the Purple Crayon. I thought it was so great that he could draw whatever he needed through the use of his imagination.

7) What is the most fulfilling thing about being an author?
The characters in my book are mermaids, fairies, and princesses, but they are also little girls. I wanted the girls that read my books to identify themselves in my characters. It was amazing to hear one little girl at a book signing point to my book and say, “Look mommy, this one is me, this one is my sister, and this girl is my best friend.” That was exactly what I had been aiming for.

8) What do you hope children will take away with them after reading your book?
I hope they will learn to count and enjoy all the moving pieces and textures.

9) Who is/are your favourite author/s as an adult and why?
My favourite book is Barbara Tuchman’s A Distant Mirror, the Calamitous 14th Century. I enjoy reading anything with a medieval theme, and Ms. Tuchman’s book is factual history but written in a novelistic style. I also love books with a time travel theme. I’m currently reading the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon, which is a time travel back to the Jacobite rebellion in 18th century Scotland.

10)  What are you working on now?
I’m working on another preschool book with interactive elements. This one will be different from my other books in that it will not be for girls only. I’m excited about it!

Should you wish to know more about Mara Van Fleet and would like to purchase her book, here are all her pertinent details.

Website: Mara Van Fleet
Where to purchase her book: Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Mara Van Fleet
Mara’s social media connections:

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