Contributor Interview with Guitar Hanna

Everyone, welcome Guitar Hanna to our Contributor Interview series, a routine blog feature that introduces you to the wonderful writers whose work will be featured in our upcoming anthology, Byline Legacies.

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“Guitar inspired me from the moment I met her. Women in particular juggle so much, and what really moves me about Guitar is when the world says women can’t be both mom and career and dreams, she says, ‘Oh yeah? Watch me.'”

— Jaime Dill, editor for Cardigan Press

[E] Hi, Guitar, welcome to our blog! We’re so delighted to introduce you to everyone. What genres/age ranges do you typically gravitate toward in your writing?

Throughout my life I have always gravitated towards children — I was the teenage babysitter who took care of the neighborhood kids. I was the Sunday School teacher who taught children biblical lessons. I was the medical student who chose a career in pediatrics. It was no surprise to me that when I began writing, I wrote for kids. 

I write stories for early readers to foster their growth and development, and perhaps shape the adults they will become. 

[E] Having the chance to publish something that’s not a picture book must have been a unique change for you! In what way is your submission to Cardigan Press similar and/or different from your usual kid writing?

My submission to Cardigan Press is quite different from my usual writing, primarily in the word count! Traditionally, in the picture book world, less than 600 words is the goal to establish character, create an emotional arc, and present a thoughtful, non-didactic lesson. With my anecdotal vignette, lyrical words were my oyster. 

There is a common thread that shines in my KidLit writing that did sneak its way into my Cardigan Press submission— my writing style. I instinctively write in a pattern of three. The reader will find, sprinkled throughout my anecdotal vignette, what I call “the power of three” subtly utilized to tell my story.

Why three? There’s something about the triquetra that makes sense to me and brings me peace. This ancient symbol represents so many facets of life. Ultimately, for me, the three intersecting pieces remind me of my three passions — literature, science, and travel. The circle that interlaces each of those elements is childhood. 

Our childhood experiences shape who we become as adults. We live in a fascinating and diverse world, and I believe each child should have the opportunity to experience and explore the world, and uncover the imperfect perfections that lie within themselves. This is why I write for children…to bring the world to them. 

[E] The usefulness of repetition and grouped arguments continues well beyond picture books and into adult reading. These devices worked so beautifully in your submission to support your message. We can’t wait for people to read it in September! Until then — how can the community best support your work?

The online writing community has been incredibly supportive with their words and encouragement towards every writer, and I have felt a great deal of genuine care from fellow writers towards me. All I ask is that, as a community, we continue to share our resources, celebrate each other’s success, and lift one another when there is perceived failure. That’s all I ask for. There are too many moments in this writer’s life where impostor syndrome devastates the imaginary landscape. Having a community that has my proverbial back is perhaps the best way a reader can support my writing career. You can find me there as @GuitarHanna

[E] How incredibly inspiring! Oof, that request hits hard in the feels. We, too, love our precious writing community. Thank you so much, Guitar, for hanging out with us. We’re so excited for readers to explore your writing and get to know you!

Everyone, please show your support and give Guitar a follow!

Do you know Guitar? Comment below and let others know what Guitars’s writing means to you. If this is your first time meeting her, say hello!

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