Naila Neymatova

What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?


"Bubble in Trouble", which will be coming out next year. It was inspired by my bubbly toddler who is always up to mischief. It is also my first project which is both written and illustrated by myself - with the help of my little artist, of course.


Do you have any unusual writing habits?


I tend to work on multiple books at the same time. Usually I am illustrating one book, while brainstorming another, storyboarding the third and writing an additional chapter on the fourth. I seem to focus better this way. To some this may seem a bit unstructured and chaotic but to me it gives me a better perspective, especially when going back and editing the works. 


What authors, or books have influenced you?


A wide range of authors, from the classics like The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry to Julia Donaldson's Monkey Puzzle, and contemporary talents like Oliver Jeffers' Here We Are and Matt de la Pena's Last Stop on Market Street.


What are you working on now?


At the moment, I am doing the finishing touches of my board book Bubble in Trouble and working on a new work about two inseparable friends, Boy and his plush Cat.

Do you have any advice for new authors?


To persist. We all get a couple rejections here and there. The key is not to give up your passion. You may push it aside, let other urgencies of life take over, but one way or another, this passion for writing creeps up. So make enough room for it, because that is what will make you truly happy. That's how it is for me, at least. 


What is the best advice you have ever heard?


“All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know.”- Ernest Hemingway. I stuck by it, making sure that every word I write comes truly from within, is genuine and means the world to me. And believe it or not, these were the works that were selected for publication. 


What are you reading now?


"Furthermore" by Tahereh Mafi, a beautifully enchanting story that grips you with every page. 


What's next for you as a writer?


I will be attending the annual Malta Book Festival this year and reading my picture book "Giraffe's New Scarf" to the little ones. As for the long term, I will continue creating more works from picture to middle grade chapter books that inspire little minds.  



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