We had the good fortune of connecting with Natasha Wing and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Natasha, what is the most important factor behind your success?
What makes my The Night Before brand (a series of children’s books based on The Night Before Christmas) successful is that it’s familiar and relatable. That Christmas classic has been around since 1823 so there are generations of people who know it. By springboarding off of the original’s story structure, I was able to tap into other holidays, school themes and life events that kids experience. I include parts of The Night Before Christmas in my current stories so that some of the story sounds familiar. I also feature families with characters who are relatable and who are trying to make celebrations current and realistic. The series is illustrated by Amy Wummer who has done most of the titles lately so that helps identify the brand. And the use of rhyme is great for kids who are learning how to read because it helps them anticipate words and sounds.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
My art is creating stories for kids. Each writer has their own voice, and even though my The Night Before series is based on another story, what I bring to my versions comes from my upbringing and experiences. Plus I have friends with kids or friends from other religions who have given me input. One lesson I’ve learned is you have to have a good way to reach out to others for help or research input, and not be shy about asking for help. If I didn’t have this series, I would have been a low-income earning author, so this series has helped me stay in business.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Given these pandemic times, I haven’t had visitors and I’m not going anywhere fun other than local hikes. But ideally I’d say one of the most fun things I did with a visitor was go to a Rockies game on July 4th. They have the best fireworks!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I’ve been writing for almost 30 years now, and all along the way the Society of Children’s Book Authors & Illustrators have been my guide and network organization. Luckily, Fort Collins has a regional group so when I moved here 10 years ago, I right away connected with the group and met some great writers and illustrators.