Ask the Author: Celia Krampien
What would you like readers to know about you?
My name is Celia Krampien and I’m an illustrator and author living in the Niagara region in Ontario, Canada. I grew up in a rural area in Southern Ontario where the closest town had a population of 400 people. I spend most of my time reading, writing and drawing pictures. I like animals of all kinds, sipping on coffee or tea, rainy days and going for walks in places where there are lots of trees.
What is your book about for those who haven’t read it?
My first authored and illustrated book is called SUNNY. It’s about a little girl named Sunny who has an unexpected adventure during a rainy walk to school. She tries to see the bright side of her unusual set-backs but as her situation gets bleaker and bleaker, she struggles. When the going gets too tough, Sunny has a cry. In the end, she gets back to where she needs to be thanks to the kindness of others.
What has been your inspiration for writing it?
I’ve always liked exploring the idea of different perspectives in my work. Around the time I started developing SUNNY, I had been thinking a lot about what it meant to be resilient and wondered if the concept could be explored in a picture book. The idea for SUNNY blossomed from there.
What was your favorite scene or part of your book to write?
My favourite scene in the book is when Sunny breaks down and has a little cry. I almost backed off and changed that moment but I’m glad I didn’t. I’m so happy that everyone else involved in getting this book made was on board with Sunny breaking down too—my fabulous agent, Andrea Morrison, my wonderful editor, Emily Feinberg, and the whole team at Roaring Brook Press. I think it’s important to show that strong characters aren’t strong all the time. I think optimism and positive thinking have bad reps as all-or-nothing, reductive mind sets but I think there can be power in this sort of mental reframing. A way to take back a little control when we’re wrestling with a situation bigger than ourselves. But doing that can be difficult. That’s why it was important to me to have Sunny become overwhelmed and need help. We all need help sometimes.
What books or authors inspired you to become a writer?
Too many to list! Two of my favourite picture books from when I was small but still love are BUT NO ELEPHANTS by Jerry Smath and THERE’S A MONSTER AT THE END OF THIS BOOK (starring Grover!) by Jon Stone. Right now, two picture book authors/illustrators I admire are Carson Ellis and Christian Robinson.
What advice would you give to aspiring authors who want to write a book?
My best advice for those wanting to write books is to read books. Read lots of books of all kinds.