Tania McCartney is the perfect example of what happens when you give a determined woman too much coffee, because I can’t imagine how she could maintain her schedule without it and still look as full of life as she does. An author, editor, publisher and a book reviewer, this Australian is also an ACT Ambassador for the National Year of Reading. She is passionate about children’s literacy, which is why you might recognise her name in connection with Kids Book Review and the Riley series of books. Despite all of that going on, she also managed to release Beijing Tai Tai and Australian Story this year. Tania recently took the time to answer my questions.
1) What is something you do in your professional or artistic life that you think is really cool?
I get to ‘play’ with words and eventually have them touch people’s lives – especially children. Watching kids’ faces light up when reading my stories is surreal and utterly cool.
2) How did you come to be in the career position you are currently in?
Hard work. Dedication. Tenacity. A deep love of writing and books.
3) What is something from your personal life that you are very proud of?
I was absolutely thrilled to be asked to be an Ambassador for the National Year of Reading. I’m passionate about literacy, so to be recognised for this was a Life Moment. I’m proud of the way I manage to balance family with career. I don’t always succeed but I do make it a priority.
4) What is a personality trait you possess that other people might not notice?
5) If you could change just one thing about the world, what would it be?
That everyone should be more self-aware. If people could look openly and honestly at the impact they’re having on others and the world, we would be a much happier, healthier and more balanced race of people. I also think we need to laugh more. I know I do.
6) If you could give a young person one piece of advice, what would it be?
Do what you love and never give up.
7) What is something that you would like to do in your life that you haven’t done yet?
Spend three months of the year on a writing sabbatical – each time in a different part of the world. New York, the Amalfi Coast, Santorini and Norway would be a nice start.
8) What is something that you have sworn to never do again?
Allow anyone to take advantage of my kindness.
9) If you could break one personal habit, what would it be?
Sitting on my butt all day (writing).
10) If you could take up a new hobby or learn a new skill, what would it be?
I’d love to learn to juggle and do backflips. I’d love to be fluent-multi-lingual – and skiing is something I absolutely know I would love.
11) Is there anything from you that we should be looking out for in the future?
A totally new genre of books than I’m used to writing. I’m busting with new concepts.
Thank you, Tania, for taking the time to answer my questions.
If you would like to know more about Tania, you can visit her website, her Facebook page, or follow her on Twitter. Kids Book Review has enough resources to boggle the mind, so if you’re as passionate about literacy as Tania is, it’s worth a read.
Next Week: Angus Templeton