Interview with Award-Winning Author Alva Sachs

AlvaGet to know Alva…

Alva Sachs is the founder of Three Wishes Publishing Company. She is a former elementary school teacher with sixteen years of classroom experience and a Master’s Degree in Education. She writes stories to engage, excite, and empower young children at an early age for the shear joy of reading. She believes at the onset a child learns to read and then reads to learn.

She also serves as President on the Board of Reading Is Fundamental of Southern California, to expand her efforts to support literacy by helping to build home libraries in the greater Los Angeles/Orange County areas for underserved children while fostering literacy through the efforts of Reading Is Fundamental.  As Vice President of the Angels of the Alliance, in conjunction with, The Alliance for the Arts, at the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza, she helps to raise funds for Title 1 schools to provide free live theatre experiences for children. For more info, visit her website.

Quirky Questions 

What makes you want to throw up?

Prejudice and intolerance. 

What makes you laugh until tears roll down your cheeks?

My daughter Julie and her funny outlook on life! 

What compliment do you wish someone would give you?

You are doing just great! 

What do you waste time doing?

Sorting through oodles of paper work. 

Whose ideas totally conflict with yours?

People who have expectations and do not listen to others and put their own agendas first.

What is the first thing that pops into your head when you think of politicians?

People who are totally narcissist and don’t really care about the good of the people and put their own agenda in first place. 

What do you do every day, without fail?

Feel blessed for my family and friends. Grateful for my life and opportunities ahead. 

What is something you wish you did every day, without fail?

Exercise!!!  

What’s the biggest inconvenience about where you live?

Cars, cars, and more cars….

If you were a professional wrestler, what would your name be?

Shorty.

If you could own a store, what sorts of things would you sell?

Books, books, and books! 

What was your favorite meal when you were growing up?

Chicago is my home town of Vienna hot dogs, Lou Malnati’s pizza, Portillo’s Italian beefs, and White Castle hamburgers. 

alva_portrait2Writing Questions 

Who do you consider a literary genius?

So hard to answer this with the wonderful world of books out there and genius to one maybe not be genius to another. IF I had to say, it would be Mark Twain. 

What obstacles have you had to deal with in your career?

Taking the fork in the road and going it alone trusting my instincts.

What are the biggest challenges you have had in the realm of your art?

Facing the fact that unless you have connections or are a celebrity, you do not have much of a chance of being published with the main stream publishers no matter how good you are.

How did you pick your writing genre?

Children have always been the greatest part of my life as a classroom teacher and of mother of three. Seeing the world through their eyes puts a smile on my face. I guess that is what keeps the kid in me. 

What life experiences have inspired your work?

Having a son, and two daughters and being a part of watching them play, create friendships, and learn to enjoy the simplest things, as well as seeing how they figure out life as they explore inspires me. Even to this day.

How do you know when a book is finished?

When I feel the smile across my face grow and my heart is full of pride that maybe I could touch the life of just one child.

What impact (good or bad) do you think the media has had on your work?

I think the media expects the story to tell everything and leave nothing to the imagination. Comments I have received from reviewers ask questions that should rely on the reader and the interpretation of each individuals experience with the story. Too many words can cloud the opportunity for conversation, socialization, and personal connections. Leaving space in a story can be the most important aspect. 

Do you ever feel that you have to censor your creativity because you don’t want to offend anyone?

I do not write stories for children that would offend anyone, but I do write where characters may have to learn to make choices that would be positive and in the end rewarding to them and the other characters in the story.

Do you do anything special to get your creative juices flowing?

I usually dream my stories for a long time and then I start to write. I begin to feel a part of the story.

What are your words of wisdom for someone starting out in the field of writing?

Be sure this is what you want, be real, do not think it will pay the bills, no you are NOT JK Rowling, and be sure your heart is full of enthusiasm for the genre you write, and you fulfill your commitment to what you are doing. Be willing to take the time. 

How would you define creativity?

Free and easy like a mustang running wild in the fields.

Why were you drawn to a career in writing instead of to a job that might offer more stability and security?

My classroom full of children for 16 years surprised me each and every day. I never knew what would happen. I did a lot of writing and reading with my kids, plays, poetry, and plain old fun. They drew me to this career after I raised my own children. I just asked myself, “What do I want to do when I grow up?

When did you know for certain that you wanted to pursue a career in writing? Have you ever questioned that decision?

I actually found my illustrator by accident as I sponsored her and another children’s author at an event and told her about my manuscript I had. She asked me to send it to her and Circus Fever was born! Never once questioned myself, or looked back.

What traits, if any, do you think that creative people have compared to people who are not creative?

First of all, I feel that everyone is creative in some way. For me and my genre of picture books is seeing the world through the eyes of a child. Every time you look at something, it is for the very first time and the experience is fresh, exciting, and free.

Have you ever felt that your personal expectations have limited your creativity? If so, how have you dealt with this?

Having expectations only limits you, so I work hard at not going there.

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