Question: Bianca, you are one crazy, busy woman! How do you organize your time to devote time to your website, The Children's Book Review, writing & creating your own children's books, and raising three children with your hubby? Did you figure out how to trick time into giving you 48-hours in one day instead of 24-hours the rest of us have (just kidding, but really, Bianca, how do you do it all?)
Answer: Bwa-hah-ha! I only wish that I could trick time—there are never enough hours in the day. Your comments and questions make me feel seen. I use a digital calendar with loads of reminders and alerts that ding consistently and keep me on my toes—I even have one to remind me to pick the kids up from school because once I put my head down to work, the time flies, so quickly. I honor my family time once dinner rolls around and during the weekends—everything else can wait—and (with all the remote learning this past year), our kids have learned to honor our work time in return. As for writing my books, I have busy days, an active family, and a busy brain, so ideas and creativity usually come when the house is quiet at night and I really should be drifting off to sleep.
Question: You have two Dragon interactive books published now: Don't Wake the Dragon, Who Loves the Dragon, and a third one coming in 2021. We'd love to hear your inspiration for the colorful, inspiring, and fiery Dragon persona in your book series. Was there a particular situation that inspired her?
Answer: The idea for Dragon's character stemmed from a five-hour airplane flight with my family in which my youngest, who was one at the time, was not feeling well. It took some time to settle him, so when he finally fell asleep in my arms, my husband told our other two: Don't wake the dragon! While I held onto my son for hours (afraid to move for fear of waking him and disturbing everyone on the plane), I began to muse about my years of experience raising reluctant sleepers and found some humor in the experience. My busy brain had loads of fun turning real-life, frustrating parental moments into silly scenarios that both kids and parents could relate.
Question: Who Loves the Dragon celebrates "friendship." What is your message about friendship to children and their parents?
Answer: There are a few different friendship-themed messages to take away from Who Loves the Dragon?, but the most obvious one is that no matter how busy we can get, it's essential to make time for the ones we love.
Question: Can you give us an itty, bitty, teeny, weeny hint about your upcoming third book in your "Dragon" series? Pretty please!
Answer: The title is Just Be Yourself, Dragon! It's Dragon's first day of school and let's just say she's feeling a bit nervous. And you know when there's a nervous dragon around there's bound to be some fire involved.
Question: If you had to pick your favorite, all-around children's book for young kids and one for a little bit older kids, what would they be?
Answer: I'm pretty sure I have a new favorite every day, so I always reserve the right to give a different answer to anyone who asks. Ha! Today I'm going with the picture book How to Be a Lion by Ed Vere. For older readers, I'm going to say The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien. And for in-betweens, I love the Princess in Black series by Shannon Hale and LeUyen Pham.
Question: What do you miss the most about your homeland, Australia?
Answer: My family members. The sunburnt yellow-orange sand that's so hot you have to run so as not to burn the bottoms of your feet. Pacific Ocean water to cool the toes. Eucalyptus trees, waratah flowers, wattle flowers, and jacaranda trees. Meat pies, sausage rolls, pavlova, and sticky toffee pudding. I could keep going, but I'll leave you with an excerpt from Australian poet and fiction writer Dorothea Mackellar:
"I love a sunburnt country,
A land of sweeping plains,
Of ragged mountain ranges,
Of droughts and flooding rains. I love her far horizons, I love her jewel-sea, Her beauty and her terror The wide brown land for me!"
Question: At some point, do you think any of your children will want to follow in your "entrepreneurial" shoes and take over your business endeavors so you can relax?
Answer: Time will tell, Maureen. Time will tell.
Thank you, Bianca. It was enlightening finding out more about you.
Find out more about Bianca Schulze, an accomplished author/entrepreneur. Please check out Bianca's website: The Children's Book Review and her newest book Who Loves the Dragon in the "Dragon" series for young ones (ages 3-7) or anyone older who just loves children's picture books! You won't be disappointed. The story by Bianca Schulze and illustrations by Samara Hardy are enchanting.
Interview by: Maureen McCabe, author of "A Christmas Love Story: Nicholas Nutcracker & Brittany Ballerina" for kids age 4-8. Find out more about this Christmas Love Story for kids at www.achristmaslovestory.com.