Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Crystal Kite Winner Interview Week Three: Maja Sereda, A KITE'S FLIGHT

Did I say two weeks? Math has never been my strongsuit.

Welcome to week three of winner interviews featuring Maja Sereda whose book A KITE'S FLIGHT won the Crystal Kite award for the Africa region. To learn more about today's winning author/illustrator, check out her website, visit her blog or see her work on her agent's website.

Please tell my readers a little about your winning book.

A KITE'S FLIGHT tells a story about how Andile and his father make a kite. While flying the kite, its string breaks releasing the kite on an epic journey across Africa. The kite's flight takes the reader over some of the great landmarks of Africa: from the thundering Victoria Falls and the snow tops of Kilimanjaro, to the Sahara Desert and ancient Egyptian Pyramids.

The book illustrations were done with acrylic and gouache on board with some newspaper collage.

How does it feel to receive an award voted on by your peers? What does this award mean to you?

It's fantastic--I'm thrilled to receive the award! I'm always inspired and motivated by my peers and it's wonderful to receive their recognition of my work. The award helps me push myself a little harder, strive to achieve more and create better work. I really love what I do!

How long have you been a member of SCBWI? How has your SCBWI membership been helpful to your career?

I've been a member of the South African SCBWI since 2007 and I joined SCBWI.org at the beginning of 2010. I've taken part in an exhibition (South African SCBWI) in November 2009.

It's wonderful to stay connected to artists and writers abroad and to keep up-to-date with current news and trends. It helps me keep my work and ideas fresh. Through the South African SCBWI I was able to meet the publisher of my book A KITE'S FLIGHT (Jacana Media) for which I've now received the award!

What will we see from you next?

I'm currently working on a number of projects and one of them is my new book about a boy and his love for the sea. It's still early in the creative process but I'm hoping it will be published in 2012.

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