Magic Fairy Tales (Author Interview)

  



https://olgaverasen.com/happy-home-resources/

Magic Fairy Tales looks like a fun children’s book.  What can you tell us about it?

This children’s book has beautiful and fun handmade illustrations complementing 7 magic fairy tales.  Each tale is written to share Heart-to-Heart relationships supporting children in developing an awareness of positive human values in unity with nature. 

The positive values of respect, honesty, gratitude, and love are modeled and gently highlighted with relatable characters.  All characters and settings are drawn from nature.   Magic Fairy Tales are 7 of 30 tales originally penned and published in the Belarusian language. 

The Red book in the Rainbow series of Magic Fairy Tales is the first of 7 books which will have 7 tales in each. 

 

What age group is the book for?

Ages three plus! While all the fairy tales are enjoyable and meaningful for all age groups, you will see more fairy tales targeting adults as the series develops.

 

How long did it take you to write Magic Fairy Tales?

The original 30 Fairy tales penned in Belarusian took a year, including 30 full size illustrations for each tale.  My husband and I met on my journey to translate those Fairy Tales to English.

After trying to work with over 40 translators, I decided to take on the task myself with the help of my husband Joff.  Each Fairy Tale was an adventure in learning my fourth language.  Since the other three are Slavonic, English has been a challenge!   At first, I translated the Russian version of the Fairy Tale and had Joff edit it. 

However, we quickly ran in to trouble as meanings and flow was lost.  I started to understand that the original Russian was too different syntactically.  So, I added a step where I would redo the Fairy Tale into a Russian that more closely resembled English structure and then, with the aid of google translate, create a first draft.  Joff would then edit it grammatically. 

We had many interesting sessions training Joff to identify my rhythm and meaning.  He would propose with a new draft, and I would accept, or we would work together to polish.  Once we were both satisfied, we worked with a contract proofreader/editor to generate a final version. 

Before Magic Fairy Tales became a book, there were a few other mountains I needed to climb.  As well as original authorship and translation, I painted all the watercolor illustrations, generated digital images, tweaked the RGB colors to CMYK in photoshop and did all the book design work in InDesign® before working with a print-on-demand service. 

At first, we used IngramSpark, but have since migrated to Lulu who offer much better quality and service.  We started the process in 2017 and the book was published in 2018.   However, along the way we published Happy Home, Blue Bell Song and Little Snow Flake as single Fairy tale picture books!

 

What inspired you when writing Magic Fairy Tales?

I think the foundation was laid in childhood. On summer evenings, we sat on the porch and looked at the starry sky, listening to grasshoppers, frogs and mother’s stories. In addition, my family has always had a special relationship with books that show the beauty of human qualities.

Besides, I always painted. 🙂 And even when I later had no opportunity to buy paints, I always had a pencil and a piece of paper on hand. All my notebooks at school and at the university were filled with drawings.

Later, when I became a mother, I told tales to my 3 children. These books helped me cultivate kindness, gratitude, the ability to hear my heart, dream and follow my dreams and other best human qualities that are important in order to be happy in life.

 

What will readers get out of your book?

The life of each of us is like building a house. I always talk about this when meeting with parents. We cannot build a “happy home” for our children, but we can share with our children how to build their own using tools and technology. We can also encourage our children to choose the best materials to build their happy home.

When we focus only on external success – money, a career, security, we build a house on sand. When we recognize the value of individual human qualities, and the value of family, we create a solid foundation, and we also take responsibility for building it. In other words, “I am responsible for what I create in my life”. It is like in my fairy tale about the fluffy cloud “When you expect help, you get angry if it’s late or never comes.”

I try to convey the basic principles of building a “Happy Home” in my tales. This includes integrity with oneself and the people you interact with, the ability to be grateful, the ability to rejoice at what is in life and the ability to dream and believe in one’s strength. Other principles include the ability to see one’s own uniqueness and talents and see the uniqueness of every person, to respect oneself and others, and the ability to take responsibility for one’s decisions, actions, and results.

My heroes are the inhabitants of nature. When I am asked why, I reply: “Because we are also part of nature.” I do have works in which the characters are also children and adults, such as my fairy tale novel Golden Palace The Way of the Ruler.  In it, the main characters are a boy and his family, and with them: a mountain, an eagle, a snow leopard, an old apple tree and many other heroes.

I hope this year I will have time to release another adventure fairy tale The Black Hole Palace, King Fear and Magic Formula. All these works support my promotion of values to create one’s own “Happy Home.” I hope these tales will become good helpers and friends for children and parents in building “Happy Homes” all over the world.

 

What value do Fairy Tales hold for you, children, and parents?

In my life, fairy tales really occupied a special place. They helped me preserve my inner world, develop, and overcome difficulties. Fairy tales did not take me away from reality, on the contrary, they helped me create my reality. Looking back, I smile and ask: “How did I do this?”

That is why I began to invent fairy tales for my children when they were very small. They have a strong foundation for the best human qualities. Fairy Tales also helped me give them a strong foundation to develop their own “Happy Home.” I try to convey this through my works. And more about fairy tales…

A fairy tale is always a special kind of creativity because it removes the internal restrictions that are often formed from external influences. A fairy tale removes limitation, and both empowers and reveals the personality of a child in all their fullness and strength. A fairy tale also develops responsibility: everything that I create I see in reality.

A fairy tale shows the power of the best qualities of a person. In a fairy tale, good always wins, but it shows how important it is to be able to trust your heart and follow it. That is why I chose these words as an epigraph to my play for theatre Where do Fairy Tales Live:

“If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales.”― Albert Einstein

“Some day you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again.”― C.S. Lewis

Favorite children’s book and favorite phrase?

 

What is your favorite children’s book and favorite phrase from it?

Oh! There are so many of them … And yet, perhaps, one of my most beloved Winnie the Pooh. This is a book for all ages. I still feel like the different heroes: sometimes like Eeyore, sometimes Winnie, very often Piglet. I’m Kanga and Tiger too … Favorite phrases … There are many of them … I read a translated version of Winnie. But one that sticks with me is: Situation : Winnie and his friends help the Owl to move to a new hollow.  “and what about this carpet, it’s all in holes,” and Owl was calling back indignantly, “Of course I do!   It’s just a question of arranging the furniture properly...”

 

What motivated you to become a writer?

I think the foundation was laid in childhood. On summer evenings, we sat on the porch and looked at the starry sky, listening to grasshoppers, frogs and mother’s stories. In addition, my family has always had a special relationship with books that show the beauty of human qualities. Besides, I always painted. 🙂

And even when I later had no opportunity to buy paints, I always had a pencil and a piece of paper on hand. All my notebooks at school and at the university were filled with drawings.

Later, when I became a mother, I told tales to my children.

These books helped me cultivate kindness, gratitude, the ability to hear my heart, dream and follow my dreams and other best human qualities that are important in order to be happy in life.

 

Can you tell us a little about yourself?

I am a writer, artist, biologist, coach, trainer, and economist.  I was born and grew up in the Far East region of Russia, close to the Sea of Japan and later moved to Belarus. I now live in Charlotte with my husband Joff. I have worked in many places with different responsibilities, but always with children and parents.

I have lived in many places ranging from a small village without indoor plumbing to a high-rise apartment in a huge metropolis. For as long as I can remember, I have always written and painted. My first published book was 30 fairy tales that were a selection of stories I told to my two sons and daughter.

Gradually, step by step, there were books, magazine articles for teachers and parents, plays, a novel, and scripts for children’s television

 

Where can readers find out more about your work?

Your can find out more about our activities on our website at:  www.olgaverasen.com

Also, there you can find audio fairy tales what my lovely husband narrated.

We also have a blog, and an Instagram and Facebook account.

Is there anything special about this collection of Fairy Tales?

What is the most important message for:

1. Happy Home
2. Ladybug and Seven Spots
3. Little Fluffy Cloud
4. Grasshopper’s Violin
5. Why do I need Wings?
6. Teddy Bear and Rain
7. Colorful World

 

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