By Agatha Rodi
Eirini Tsachouridi is a children’s author of published books including “Stories from a Magical Kingdom” and “Τhe magic of Christmas (and not only) is…in your hands,” published by Oselotos Publishing.
Having a PhD in Organisational Behavior, Eirini pursues an academic career. Teaching and research are an important part of her life, as they provide her the opportunity to transmit knowledge and communicate effectively with her students. However, her passion for creativity always drives her to think out of the box and led her to write stories for children and adults.
When did you start writing children’s books?
Writing has always been an important part of my life. As a child, I used to write some stories in order to entertain my friends. Later, as an adult, I continued writing stories in order to express some aspects of my inner world that I could not express through academic life.
Did any specific book influence you to begin writing?
I love reading books. However, no specific book influenced me to begin writing. I do not look around me in order to write a book. Instead of that, I look inside myself. Writing has always been for me the byproduct of seeking aspects of myself, a way to interact with my thoughts and feelings. As such, it is more an inner process and less the result of an external influence.
Where do the ideas for your books come from?
The ideas for my books come from my personal “journey” to self-knowledge. Every experience of my everyday life and every interaction can inspire me.
How long does it take you to write a book?
Generally, writing a book is a multi-step process. First, I conceive the main ideas of each story and then I write the stories. It takes me 2 months (more or less) to write the stories. However, some months later I review and rewrite the stories and then I decide whether the book is ready to be published or not. I always want to read my stories again adopting a new perspective, as I feel that I interact with the text and I transmit the message of each story more clearly.
How do you ensure a picture book lends itself well to being read out loud?
In the case of my books, the pictures complement the text. This means that the text can be read out loud without creating the sense that “something is missing”. The pictures interact with the text very well. My illustrator has a unique point of view. She always understands the message I want to transmit as well as the audience of my books.
What about the process of editing and working with the illustrator?
My cooperation with the editor and the illustrator has been very pleasant and fruitful. Their perspective helps me understand many things about my books and encourages me to continue writing.
How do you connect with your little readers and the writing community in general?
Fortunately, nowadays there are many ways to connect with your audience. I present my books at presentations, as well as to schools. It is a wonderful experience to discuss both with children and with adults about how they perceive my stories and their hidden messages.
What are some of your favourite children’s books?
Generally, there are many children’s books of high quality. However, I am especially “touched” by fairytales written both for children and for adults, like “The Knight in Rusty Armor” or the “The owl who did not give a hoot” of Robert Fisher. These books constitute a unique kind.
Tell us about your books “Stories from a Magical Kingdom” and «Τhe magic of Christmas (and not only) is…in your hands».
“Stories from a magical kingdom” is my first book. It includes five stories about some people who live in a magical kingdom and experience some unexpected adventures through which they realise many things about themselves and the obstacles that exist not only around them but also inside them. Each of the heroes of the book realizes that despite the existence of magical objects and helpers, the real magic is inside him/her.
«Τhe magic of Christmas (and not only) is…in your hands» is my second book. This book contains seven stories about Christmas magic, as well as about the magic that all of us hide inside us. Everything starts in a village, in which something unexpected happened….From this story all the other stories begin, as at the end of this first story, a girl takes six magical objects in order to deliver them to six different people. In this book, you will find what happened with these six magical objects and how they changed the life of people who took them.
Through the stories of my books, children, as well as adults have the opportunity to discover many things about themselves and their inner obstacles, while they can also find a way to go above and beyond these obstacles and develop themselves. Behind each story, there is not only a fairytale but also a tool for self-improvement.
What’s coming up next for you?
My third book is ready to be published. It is a symbolically written book of self-knowledge and self-consciousness for adults. Moreover, I have two books for children in the making.
Finally, do you have any advice for aspiring picture book authors?
Maybe it is time to look inside us instead of around us….Probably inside us we can find inspiration and food for thought for new stories.