I am so delighted to welcome Rita Antoinette Borg to the blog today. She has a new picture book, although she is the author of several more as well. Let's have our readers get acquainted with you, Rita!
NS You are from Malta, and I’ve visited there, with fond memories of the warmth of the people and the beauty of the place. Please tell us how Malta and the US helped define you as a person and, by extension, a writer. I find your new picture book, Meg the Egg, so charming. Please tell us how it came about and your expectations for it.
Sometimes the Mother is attacked, as in Meg the Egg; other times my books show mothers as a dominant person in a child’s life. Mothers are a special theme in my heart and in my picture books.
Home is another special theme. Everybody needs a home and wants to go there after a long day. I go “home” every two years or so to the U.S though I am not a citizen. However, my immediate family lives here in Malta; so with them I am home here. I am not about to leave them behind me. I feel that every immigrant and U.S citizen should see the United States as a true home and feel proud of her. If not, they should leave the country and return to the place they really call home. Like every country, the United States needs to be loved and honored by her occupants, too.
NS I find your new picture book, Meg the Egg, so charming. Please tell us how it came about and your expectations for it.
RB My youngest daughter, Meghan, was afraid to go to bed at night by herself. She’s fifteen going on sixteen now. But the theme of Meg the Egg has been incubating in my head for quite awhile.
First, I thought of a rhyming word to go with Meg. The eggshell and its purpose came to mind. Then I took Meghan’s problem and decided Meg would be afraid to hatch. My usual mother theme came up and I decided the only way Meg would want to be brave and become motivated to hatch would be if her own mother would land into trouble. Yes, the book can be scary with Howls (a fox) but isn’t life scary, too? Snow White and the original Three Little Pigs are scary, too Children should be prepared for any eventuality; picture books help children face fear. NS Tell us how much time you devote to writing daily and how you organize your time. (I find that everyone wants to know this about an author!)
I am the worst organized person in the world. But what I do everyday makes me happy.
I visit schools for storytelling.
I am the official storyteller for a local bookshop.
I market my newest book, Meg the Egg.
I have three kids and my husband is a medical doctor.
I am studying for a B.A. Creative Writing course that last about 7 years.
I have a house to maintain.
I read a lot.
How do I take care of all these things? I do my best. I wake up at about 6 o’clock in the morning and handle my emails. I love reading and mailing out emails. I wish I had more fans.
I write about 750 words a day in a five day week. That comes out to be 3750 words per week. Saturdays and Sundays are dedicated to my family. I also rewrite my manuscripts and course lessons as much as I can until 2 o’clock in the afternoon when my youngest arrives from school.
NS In your website, you speak of the importance of two ideals: creativity and imagination. Please tell us a bit about how you try to weave both of these into your writing for kids.
AB We all need a dose of these two magical words to help us through life. Einstein is quoted to have said that Imagination is more important than intelligence. What a genius he was! These two abstract thoughts help us in good and sad situations. They are what really make us humans. They help us see and understand and hope beyond what is reality and what could be a really boring life! They keep us linked throughout our lives to our inner child who does not want to grow up into an adult. They keep me writing books and poetry for myself and my audience.
AB My picture books are mostly about animals like hedgehogs, frogs and birds.
I have one published bilingual book in Maltese and English: On a Lonely Tree (2000)
Another published book in Maltese translated to The Lost Sock (2011)
I also have three self published bilingual Maltese-English picture books:
But only Meg the Egg can be purchased on Amazon.
NS You can be found at:
AB If you have any other questions about my book or about writing in general please don’t hesitate to contact me on:
It's been a pleasure having you visit the blog today, Rita. All best wishes with your continued success in writing for children!