Interview with Barbara Ann Mojica
Author of Little Miss HISTORY Travels to TOMBSTONE ARIZONA
Barbara Ann Mojica, M.A. S.A.S., S.D.A is a historian and retired educator. Her education career spans more than forty years serving as a teacher, special educator, principal, and school district administrator. Barbara writes monthly historical articles for the Columbia Insider under the banner "Passages." Using the whimsical Little Miss History character to narrate her book series, Barbara hopes to educate, entertain and inspire children to learn about historical people and places. Little Miss History's antics make reading nonfiction a fun-filled adventure for all ages. She firmly believes, "If you don't know your history, you don't know what you're talking about."
The Little Miss HISTORY book series has garnered more than twenty awards including B.R.A.G. Medallions, International Book Excellence Awards, International Readers' Favorite Awards, Eric Hoffer, and Independent Author Network Awards
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What inspires you to write?
- After retiring from a long career in education, I wanted to combine my love of history with my passion for teaching. In recent years the study of history and civics has been sorely neglected. My mission is to make learning about history fun and exciting. My motto is, "If you don't know your history, you don't know what you're talking about."
I want to educate the youth of today because I feel that both children and adults are so wrapped up in their everyday lives that they don’t stop to think about what is going on beyond their immediate surroundings. It saddens me that so many Americans lack a basic knowledge of our country’s history and how our government works. If one wants to make progress, one must understand the foundations and incremental steps that have brought us here today. Just as our ancestors passed knowledge down from generation to generation, knowing where we came from and how we got here is the cornerstone of who we are.
How did you decide which method you would use to publish your books?
- In order to achieve my mission to make children aware of their historical heritage, the best option was to publish my Little Miss HISTORY Travels to…book series. My husband is an artist and illustrator. He came up with the idea to design a cartoon-like character to narrate my books. Little Miss HISTORY is based on a younger version of myself. I traveled extensively and enjoyed hiking. The rose-colored sunglasses reflect an optimistic outlook on life. The over-sized boots are a tribute to my father who had huge feet. My character is a funny version of myself narrating historical adventures.
Which authors do you admire?
- Some of my favorite authors are Pulitzer Prize winners like Margaret Mitchell, Pearl S. Buck, and Harper Lee. Contemporary favorites include James Patterson, John Grisham, Clive Cussler, and Steven King.
What's your writing process?
- Because I write nonfiction, my writing process first and foremost involves lots of research. I am definitely not a seat of the pants writer. After I complete extensive research, I compose the first draft on my computer I write primarily for the six to twelve age group. My books are picture books so I must edit the text until I am left with the essentials written in an easy to read format. Generally, I visit the historical site and take photographs. Then my illustrator takes my script and adds thumbnails for each page. We discuss the layout and design. Sometimes the illustrations change parts or sequence of the text. I edit the text with the illustrations. Then I add a glossary to explain difficult or technical terms. My publisher uploads the book. Before that happens, I have written a synopsis, blurb, Amazon description, and researched categories and keywords.
What genres do you write?
- Nonfiction, Juvenile, History
What formats are your books in?
- A few of my books are in e book format. More than 70% of children prefer books in print. My books are available in paperback. The last three books, including Tombstone, are available in hardcover.
5. Do you blog? How does blogging help you sell books?
- I do have a blog, but selling books is not its primary function. My blog is one way to keep my followers up to date about new releases and developments connected to the Little Miss History book series. While I do believe that reading other authors who write in your genre is an integral part of growing as an author, I read and review family-friendly literature on my blog because I want to share my love of reading and inspire others to read as a family. Another of my objectives in writing the Little Miss HISTORY Travels to…book series is to encourage families and teachers to bring children out to visit and experience their historical and cultural heritage so that it may become a permanent part of their life experience. If I can communicate that message to readers via my blog, school visits, book signings and appearances, then I am happy that I have succeeded in my quest.
Where can you be found on the web and on social media?
Barbara Ann Mojica Home Page Link https://www. LittleMissHISTORY.com
Follow Barbara Ann Mojica On Amazon https://www.amazon.com/Barbara-Ann-Mojica/e/B00B9DOVKC
Link to Author Page on Barnes & Noble https://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/barbara%20ann%20mojica
Author’s Social Media Links
What are some of the most interesting places you've traveled?
I have traveled to over thirty countries and more than half of the United States. One of my greatest adventures was traveling to the Soviet Union when it first opened to the West for travel. I was able to go behind the Iron Curtain to see Budapest, Prague, Warsaw, Lenningrad, Moscow and East Berlin. I nearly got thrown out of the Moscow Circus because I couldn't speak Russian to communicate. The whole trip was an adventure. In 2007, I took a trip to China and visited Bejing, Shanghai and a lot of the countryside. Again, it was an eye-opener for a middle-class American tourist.
- My advice to aspiring authors is to remember the three p's: persistence, perseverance and patience. Writers need to develop a long-term plan. Success will not happen overnight. It takes time to find your target audience, build up an email list of followers, and develop a network of followers and influencers on social media. I think that the publishing world will continue to evolve as technology changes. There are many advantages to e-books. They are portable, cheaper and save trees. But I still love to hold a book in my hands. Statistics indicate children prefer print to ebooks. I enjoy walking into a bookstore or library and spending time exploring.
Self-publishing affords almost anyone the opportunity to express themselves. While that may appear to flood the market, the discriminating reader is able to find pearls of wisdom among the thousands of books published each year.
Where next? What are you working on now?
- I always indicate my next stop at the end of each book in picture form. After Tombstone, Little Miss HISTORY will venture to Philadelphia to visit Independence Hall and the Museum of the American Revolution.
Did you ever wonder?
·What it would be like to live and survive in the Wild West?
·About what kind of people lived and worked in a mining town
·The machinery and tools they used
·Step back in time to become a prospector in the Goodenough Mine
·Walk the streets with cattle rustlers and outlaws
·Watch the Earp brothers attempt to restore order
·Take part in the gunfight at the OK Corral
·Ride on a stagecoach
·If you are lucky, you won't end up in Boothill Cemetery
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