I was able to jump in and drag Mira away from her fans in between speaking sessions to have quick chat.
Mira loves Australia and the Australian sense of humour, the land, and the food, especially the tropical fruit and barramundi.
I cheekily asked her how to become her best friend.
“Getting to know her,” she said, “it would be important to understand that she is approachable, a perfectionist and has a warm personality.”
In stories she prefers heart, humour or stories with a deeper meaning, but mostly books that resonate with children.
She looks for books that would have helped her as a kid, and prefers stories that include many forms of diversity.
Hot tip for authors:
See if you can find a mentor
Read every book twice
Consider writing stories in an urban setting and graphic novels
Hot tip for illustrators:
Use your non-dominant hand
Draw upside down
Explore new materials
Always look for the emotion and the heart in a story
When first receiving a manuscript for illustrating, Mira suggests that, when paginating the story, you note in the margin where the emotion is on each spread. Then she said to deepen the text by adding personal symbols and connecting the story to your own heritage.
Mira was passionate in her believe that authors can and should learn to illustrate and illustrators can and should learn to write.
“Everyone can write AND illustrate,” she said. “It is usually because someone has been told when they were a child that they weren’t good at it that they gave up, or they may have been held back exploring all their creative sides because there already is an established artist or author in the family.”
by Yvonne Mes