Hooray! It’s the Book Birthday of Rosie J. Pova’s new picture book,
THE SCHOOL OF FAILURE: A STORY ABOUT SUCCESS,
illus. Monika Filipina, Yeehoo Press!
“”Failing your way to fabulous.” A delightful and refreshing take on failure that shows kids how imperfection is an expected and necessary part of success. The story highlights the importance of experimenting as a tool for discovering your true self. The detailed illustrations are immensely fun to pore over. A wonderful addition to any child’s library.” –Karen Yin, author of Whole Whale and So Not Ghoul
Welcome to the blog, Rosie J. Pova!
Let’s Ask Some Questions!
Q 1. What was the inspiration for SCHOOL OF FAILURE: a Story about Success?
Rosie J. Pova: Our family was away on Thanksgiving a few years ago, up in the mountains in Colorado, in a cabin, and between cooking the holiday meal and getting ready for our celebration, I sat down to write. I brainstormed possible book titles, trying to come up with one that would be interesting and memorable, and THE SCHOOL OF FAILURE came to mind. I thought it was intriguing, and so I wanted to find out what that story could be about. Later, I added the subtitle because I didn’t want readers and educators to get the wrong impression for the book, and because I needed the title to communicate the positive aspect of “failure” that the story explores.
Patience and Persistence
Q 2. Were there any times during the writing & publishing process of this book, or your #kidlit journey that—much like your characters Wolfred, Zinderella, and the Non-evil Queen—required patience and persistence?
Rosie J. Pova: Yes, plenty for both!
My #kidlit journey did require a ton of patience and persistence and it still does. (THE SCHOOL OF FAILURE is actually an autobiographical story. 😉 LOL)
As for the book, I guess it was only logical for a book about mistakes to go through a lot of “mistakes” ha-ha. This story definitely holds my personal record of the most revisions ever. There were other bumps on the road to its publication as well, and the release date had to be postponed a couple of times. But it’s finally here and I am excited to share it with readers around the world!
Q 3. What advice would Wolfred, Zinderella, and the Non-Evil Queen say to rejected picture book characters (and possibly their authors & illustrators)?
Rosie J. Pova: Ha! Having graduated The School of Failure, I think they’d say, “rejection is redirection” and also, “NO stands for ‘next opportunity’ that could be a better fit.” And if they’ve really learned their lesson, they might add that “failure is your friend because it’s leading you on your own personal path to success. Just keep going and trust the process.”
Q 4. What surprises did illustrator Monika Filipina bring to the book?
Rosie J. Pova: So many surprises! For example, the Headmaster being a bat or the Fairy Godmother being a pink dragon.
Tips, Tools, and Techniques
Q 5. Taking a question from your wonderful blog, Rosie: Could you share any craft tools or techniques that you find most helpful to you when working on a project?
Rosie J. Pova: I have many and revise in tiers but to mention a couple techniques that are really helpful:
1) As I read my manuscript out loud, I imagine that I’m in front of 300 first graders and try to anticipate their engagement and reactions to the story as well as checking against my own excitement sharing it with them.
2) I look for opportunities to insert something unexpected, especially in the opening or ending of the story. I pay extra attention to making sure my beginning doubles on the hooks and that my ending has triple powers—it’s satisfying, memorable, and effectively wraps up the intended emotional takeaway.
Support & Celebrations
Q 6. Who’s part of your #kidlit support system? Who gives YOU support and encouragement in your writing life when times get crazy?
Rosie J. Pova: My critique partners, author friends, and my agent are invaluable in being my support system!
Q 7. Do you have a launch planned for this book? Details, please!
Rosie J. Pova: No official launch planned for this book, but if people follow me on social media (or subscribe to my blog) that’d be a great way to stay in touch and get updates on upcoming events, giveaways, webinars that I host, or interviews with industry professionals that I post on my KidLit Oasis Chitchat Series. I would also encourage emerging or unpublished writers to join my Facebook group, The Unstoppable Writer if they’re looking for support and resources.
Q 8. What do you hope readers (young and old) will take away from this book?
Rosie J. Pova: I hope the book will be entertaining and elicit a few laughs, but also that it would serve as a conversation starter on how making mistakes is an opportunity to grow and learn, how failing could be perceived differently, and the importance of persistence. I think young readers will identify with one or more of the three characters’ personalities and, as they follow along their fairytale journeys, kids will feel more empowered and unafraid to face challenges in their own journeys.
It would be wonderful to know that the story resonated with readers, both young and old, and that they’d happily read the book over and over.
Q 9. What other projects are you working on?
Rosie J. Pova: Lots in the works and it keeps me busy—I’m never bored! We’re about to go out on sub with a board book, in addition to some picture books we’re waiting to hear on. I have a chapter book series that my agent and I are getting ready for submission as well. Next will be finishing revisions on my non-fiction picture books.
I’m teaching my online writing courses and mentorship programs for other writers.
Q 10. What is your favorite thing about being an author?
Rosie J. Pova: Oh, so many things…. I love school visits, I like helping other writers, I enjoy the flexibility of writing, and the thrill I get from a raving reader review never gets old! 😊
To learn more about Rosie J. Pova and her books,
check out her web site: rosiejpova.com
and follow her on social media: