Now that you have had your debut as a children’s book author, what would you say is your favorite part about being a writer?
101 Books to Read Before You Grow Up: The must read book list for kids (Walter Foster Jr. 2016) is my first published children’s book, so I’m still such a newbie! However, I would say that the highlight, so far, has been seeing how much family support I have. Knowing that I have a husband that has my back when I need to meet a deadline and seeing the excitement of my 10-year-old daughter as I put this book together has been personally rewarding. My daughter’s so proud of me (I’m sure the little ones are too in their own special ways) and it makes my heart grow when I see her enthusiasm for this project—my family are my biggest advocates and that’s a great feeling. I’m incredibly lucky!
What is the secret to managing your work and family-life balance?
It’s a constant juggling act! I have built myself a specific daily routine with time carved out for everyone in the family, as well as time for myself. With 3 kids (ages 1, 4, and 10), the secret is to be prepared to go with the flow. Having a routine allows me to manage my time and also set my own expectations as well as the expectations of my family members. However, being ready to go with the flow allows me to stay present and adapt to the multitude of unexpected daily happenings.
What would you say was your favorite behind-the-scenes part about working on 101 Books to Read Before You Grow Up?
My favorite part? Hmmm …. I’d have to say the collaborative process of a book’s life from idea conception to published book in hand. Writing the book itself can be a solo effort, but I think the most rewarding part is seeing the finished product. So many people play a part in having a single book published: editors, illustrators, book designers, printers, publicists … and it’s so fun being a part of a team who’s goal is to bring your words to life in the best possible way.
Did you always aspire to be an author?
To be completely honest, growing up I wanted to be a film star! I got as far as a being an extra in 3 different TV commercials (Cocoa Puffs, Pizza Hut, and a Korean cosmetic ad), as well as being featured in a commercial for the Australian Tourism Commission. The latter helped me purchase my first car, an old maroon mini with gold painted mag wheels.
However, eleven years ago, something hit me out of nowhere and I decided that I was going to be a children’s book writer. I started out by working part-time as a children’s bookseller in an independent bookstore in Washington, DC. And soon after that, my husband encouraged me to start a blog where I could write about all of the great kids books I was discovering and being inspired by—I’m still writing away on The Children’s Book Review. I’ve been immersing myself in the world of children’s literature for quite some time now and my eleven-year dream has officially come true.
About Bianca Schulze
Bianca Schulze is the founder of The Children’s Book Review, a resource devoted to children’s literature and recognized by the American Library Association as a ‘Great Website for Kids.’ She is a reader, reviewer, mother and children’s book lover. Combined with her love of books and experience as a children’s bookseller, Bianca’s goal is to share her passion to help grow readers. 101 Books to Read Before You Grow Up is her first book.
Born and raised in Sydney, Australia, she now lives with her husband and three children in Boulder, Colorado.
You can visit her at www.thechildrensbookreview.com.