Home / Books / Book Interviews / Interview: Alinka Rutkowska, Author of ‘Maya & Filippo Visit a Glacier’

Interview: Alinka Rutkowska, Author of ‘Maya & Filippo Visit a Glacier’

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Alinka Rutkowska writes children’s picture books.  I read her newest, award-winning book, Maya & Filippo Visit a Glacier.  I am very intrigued with her work.   I am always looking to meet new children’s authors.  Alinka is very passionate about producing quality books.

Congratulations on  the  release of your newest book, Maya & Filippo Visit a Glacier. Thank you for doing this interview, and I am wishing you great success in your future endeavors.

alinka head shotCan you tell me about yourself?

What do you want to know? My favorite food is crab bisque followed by a Louisiana seafood pot. That’s a dish I recently discovered and it’s basically all kinds of food thrown in a pot and mixed together. Are you curious what type of stuff goes in the pot? It’s potatoes, Polish sausage, clams, mussels and crab. I love to have it with a glass of Nobilo wine and finish it all off with some nice Belgian dark chocolate.

It’s funny that I list this as my favorite dish, since a couple of years ago I couldn’t even look at seafood. But extensive travel around the world, living by the sea and on cruise ships helped me appreciate food coming from water and drink coming from grapes…

I’ve always loved chocolate – maybe because my parents let me have my first sweets at the age of seven!

You asked me to tell you about myself, but to truly know an author, you have to read her books. In fact, if you do read my books, you will find that in Maya & Filippo Visit a Glacier, the children have crab for lunch and chocolate appears pretty much constantly throughout my book series. Now you know why.

What inspired you to become a writer?

Have you ever seen one of those freaks who goes to the book store, picks up a book, opens it at a random page and smells it? That’s me. I’ve always revered the written word. I used to have a book of poems of my own creation when I was eight (I’m sure it’s pretty horrible.)

I was the founder of the school newspaper and I would write the articles, get my peers to write some more, take their hand-written posts and transfer them into my computer (that’s how I learnt to type really quickly). I’d then do the layout, printing, binding and distribution. Seeing my name on the front page of the paper gave me an incredible rush. And I still feel that each time a new book of mine is released.

Another thing is that my parents are both scientists and would publish academic papers and books since I remember. So I was raised with this awareness that writing and publishing is very achievable.

Finally the idea that when you publish something it will be available for people to read for all eternity (OK – as long as paper and reading devices exist) makes me go bananas!

How long did it take you to acquire the skills to become a writer?

I keep learning and I will never be done. While I enjoy seeing my books published, selling well and getting awards I keep improving both my writing skills and my marketing skills.

I invest a lot of my royalties in courses on how to get more and better books out there. It’s my passion.

How many books have you written?

I have 10 children’s books out and a couple of non-fiction titles but the children’s books are what I am most passionate about.

Not so long ago I just had an idea for this one picture book. Now I have a full blown business with mailing lists, newsletters, brochures, trade fair presence, multiple awards, brick-and-mortar store presence, online presence, a foreign rights agent and strong social media presence. It’s so exciting to see a dream become reality.

Some writers go on long walks; others keep a journal, write at a café, or listen to music. What do you do for inspiration and unleashing your creativity?

Two things: discipline and meditation.

Discipline. I blog daily and this keeps my mind looking for something fresh to write about every day. I find that these posts are the basis of the newsletters I send out both to my readers and fellow authors. They are also seeds for my upcoming books.

Meditation. Before I sit down to write anything meaningful, I center myself. I have a whole meditation routine (I go through it in detail in one of my non-fiction books). This really helps me keep focused on what’s important in life.

Right now I’m working on my glass of Nobilo… just kidding. I have a vision for a brand new children’s series and I already have a couple of drafts ready. I’m now taking yet another course on picture book writing and I’m finding a lot of inspiration here. I’m experimenting with completely new writing styles and it’s a lot of fun. I’m really excited about this series and when I feel excited about a new idea hatching, I feel alive.

What I love about this business is that you can dream up your perfect book, go through the process of writing it, rewriting it, getting it critiqued, edited, polished and finally you get that first dummy copy in your hands, you can open the book at a random page and smell it…

Then comes in the marketing and I’m constantly learning in this department as well (you have to because everything changes all the time!). I make my readers (not my books) the center of my attention and I’ve been having a lot of success with this approach

Where can readers find more information about you and your books?

Come over to my virtual home at www.alinkarutkowska.com and I’ll give you a free review copy of Maya & Filippo Visit a Glacier (you know – the one with the crab…) – this will be the start of two book lovers’ journey and I’m so excited to have you on it. And if you’re an author – I have something special for you as well! See you all at www.alinkarutkowska.com.

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About Nicole Weaver

Nicole weaver is an award-winning author. Her first trilingual book Marie and Her Friend the Sea Turtle was published in 2009. Her love for languages and other cultures resulted in publishing the award-winning book, My Sister Is My Best Friend which was published in 2011 by Guardian Angel Publishing. My Sister Is My Best Friend has won the following awards: 2012 Creative Child Awards Program consisting of moms and educators has awarded this book the 2012 PREFERRED CHOICE AWARD Kids Picture Storybooks category. 2012 Children's Literary Classics Seal of Approval 2012 Children's Literary Classics Gold Award Readers' Favorite 5 Star Review Her newest book , My Brother Is My Best Friend was also published by Guardian Angel Publishing, January 2014.
  • Jeanne Rogers

    Excellent interview, Alinka and your children’s books are wonderful. I especially love the bright and colorful illustrations. They are an eye catcher for children and adults alike. Success is your middle name, Alinka, and I am certain you will continue to provide great fun and entertainment for children, I look forward to what will come next. 🙂

  • MaryEveLS

    BEST WISHES to you and the continued success of Maya and Filippo books. So creative!!

    • Alinka Rutkowska

      Thank you Mary!!! I do have a new book series coming out next year – but shhhh – it’s still in the works 🙂

  • MaryEveLS

    Great interview, Alinka!! I enjoyed getting to know a bit more about you. We really enjoyed Maya and Filippo Visit a Glacier. Look forward to more of your children’s books. By the way, as a true native of Louisiana, I share your enthusiasm for the delicious taste of crab bisque. Of course, in the winter, one can always find a big pot of Gumbo cooking here in Breaux Bridge. Whatever it is, be it seafood (my preference) or poultry…throw all dat in da pot, mais cher!!

    • Alinka Rutkowska

      Thank you so much!!! I do have a weakness for whatever comes in a pot – I recently tried a turkey pot baked in bread crust – wow! Maybe Maya & Filippo will be eating it in one of the next episodes 😉

  • Maya & Filippo Visit a Glacier was a great read for my Granddaughters and myself. It started so many discussions about different things.

    • Alinka Rutkowska

      This makes me so happy, Dusty! It is one of my most popular titles at the moment 🙂

  • Reagan (Mikki) (Foor) Hutchiso

    I lived in Belgium during high school. Nothing beats Belgian chocolate!!

    • Alinka Rutkowska

      Yes, Belgian chocolate is the best!!! My mouth is watering at the mere thought!!!

  • Damon Dean

    Enjoyed the interview and the little details I had not known about you, Alinka. Nothing like chocolate dipped shrimp….MMM!

    • Alinka Rutkowska

      Hmmm, shrimp? That’s something new!

  • Lori D.

    Great interview! I enjoy your stories, and I love dark chocolate, too!

    • Alinka Rutkowska

      Thank you, Lori 🙂

  • Great interview! It’s nice to get to know you a bit better, Alinka. Best of luck with your new project.

    • Alinka Rutkowska

      Thank you, Lynda! I will keep you posted 🙂

  • Susan Hornbach

    Alinka, I too love chocolate and sea food! Thank you for such a spirited interview. Wishing you much success with your writing. Thanks Nicole for sharing Alinka’s passions.

    • Alinka Rutkowska

      In this case we should have dinner together 🙂

  • Gina LoBiondo

    Great interview, Alinka! I know I enjoyed your Maya & Fillipo Make Friends in Auckland book and I’m sure the rest are just as wonderful! Good luck with all your future endeavors.

    • Alinka Rutkowska

      Thank you, Gina!

  • Alinka Rutkowska

    Thank you for having me, Nicole

    • Nicole Weaver

      Happy to help promote your book, Alinka!