Anastasia Valentine – Crocodiles and Crumpets

What is your most recent book? Tell us a bit about it.

My most recent book is entitled Crocodiles and Crumpets. It is a book for children ages 5 to 10 and encourages independent decision making, truth and some great lessons in friendship. With my illustration partner Jo-Anne Guindon we were able to bring the characters to life in a way that children could relate and keep the story humorous, whimsical and light so that it can be read easily before bed time!

Tell us something about yourself.

I have had a great career in High Tech where I still work and have a successful career and coaching business. I love adventure travel and have had the luxury of exploring many undiscovered places worldwide. Hats that I have worn in the past have been that of musician, independent record label owner, vice president of innovation, as well as the most important hat of all and that is mom!

What inspired you to write this book?

With my first book, Nature’s Creatures, a Language Introduction Book, I was inspired by the way young children absorb information so quickly. Language is such an important part of our lives, it makes sense to start language exploration beyond our mother tongue early in life in a fun and musical way.

As my children grew, I saw the new challenges they were faced with which inspired me to write my second book, Crocodiles and Crumpets focuses on friendship, telling the truth and independent decision making.

I have always been a fan of high quality books that can be passed on from child to child so it was important to me that we go with the highest quality of artwork to keep the children engaged as well as the materials to keep the book living through multiple busy hands.

How did you choose the title?

My latest book, Crocodiles and Crumpets was aptly named to describe the characters in the book and what they were doing but also to catch the readers eye with something that would just never happen and thus appeal to children! Crocodiles with crumpets? Never! J

What obstacles did you encounter in getting this book published? How did you overcome them?

Our obstacle is always time. We have very busy lives and are committed to a relaxed schedule in creating our works so that they are done exactly as we want them and authentic to our values of quality. Because our publisher prints overseas we had an obstacle with a huge vacation season in October that we weren’t aware of, so we needed to ensure we went to print before vacation season started to meet our launch date. It was very interesting to learn more about other cultures and their practices during the course of bringing our product to market.

How did you know you wanted to be a writer? How did you get started?

I have always written since I was quite young whether it be letters, journals, songs or stories. Never did I think I would be published and share my creative words with others. When people started commenting on my writing and how much they enjoyed it, I thought maybe it would be time to start making it available more widely. It is a big jump from journaling privately or in my case, creating stories for my children and then sharing them with the world! An exciting jump and worth every second!

Do you have any writing rituals?

The only ritual I have is that when an idea hits me, I must write it immediately. This can come at any time and the most inopportune times, however if I don’t get the idea out I may lose it or lose the intensity or details of the idea. Its very important for me to start writing straight away whether it be on paper, on my iPod or computer.

How do you come up with the names for your characters?

Some people believe that they are characters in my latest book but I’m afraid that’s not the case. The character names just come to me and are named based on what sounds good and represents the entire personality of the character.

Did you learn anything from writing and publishing this book? What?

Yes. Our latest book is much more of a story than our last book which was more of a learning tool. To that end we really needed to focus on flow, character development and incorporate that into great design that will engage children on sight. Surrounding ourselves with great partners to produce the book as well as other authors who can share their lessons learned was extremely helpful this time around.

What is the best advice you could give other writers about writing or publishing?

In two words, DO IT. There are so many options to publish your works today that do not require a high investment. You can shop your works around, publish your own or submit your work to print on demand. All of these are options that ENABLE you to make your work available to others and are just waiting for you to take the plunge. DO IT.

Who is the perfect reader for your book?

Children of all ages will enjoy the book. Younger children will enjoy being read to, enjoy the characters and the story. Older readers up to the ages of about 10 will enjoy the story but also appreciate the message of tolerance, truth, friendship and independent decision making.

Where can readers learn more about you and your book?

Readers can always visit us at our online home at! Oh and follow us on Twitter for news, thoughts, and tips on publishing for authors