An Interview with Author Mary Anastasiou

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We came across the book I Want to Be a Rock star on Instagram of all things. It is a delightful book and we wanted to know more about the first time author.

Mary Anastasiou has been telling stories her whole life. She grew up in Melbourne and works in marketing. When she had her son Luke in 2008 she was inspired to write fun and inspiring stories that made him giggle. 

In I Want to Be a Rock Star, a small boy is playing imaginary games and pretending to be a musician. We love how he explores the different musical genres including rock, rap, country, metal, pop, punk, jazz. disco, classical and even being a DJ. The little boy is captured in a outfit to suit each musical style in clever detail by Anil Tortop. There are some homemade elements to each costume that are particularly endearing. I think this would be a great addition to any music program in early learning or Kindergarten. The book is suitable to read aloud to ages 3-6 and can be read independently up to age 8. We love its theme of going after your dreams and dreaming big!

Here is what we asked Mary:

Is there a book you remember most fondly from your childhood? What is it?

I was an avid collector of Golden Books. I remember I wouldn’t let my mum leave the Supermarket without a weekly purchase but I have to say, my all time favourites were the Enid Blyton classics. ‘The Enchanted Wood’, Faraway Tree Series, Ameilia Jane and the Fabulous Five. Magic. Adventure and Naughtiness - how can you not love them?


Did you always want to be a writer growing up?

I’m not sure that I had a writing career in mind, but I was always really good at making up stories and creating characters.

How did you get “discovered”?

In year 7 we were asked to write and illustrate our own picture book as part of an English assignment. Mine was titled: ‘Puffin learns to Smoke’ (not the best title in retrospect) but it was about a Dragon that couldn’t breathe fire and his friend who helps make his dream come true. My teacher was thrilled with the project and I remember feeling really proud of it.

Do you base your characters on anyone in particular?

No, not really. It kind of depends on the idea. Sometimes I’ll come up with a theme and the character will evolve from the story. Other times I’ll play with a ‘personality’ or ‘feeling’ and see who it becomes. 

Where do you find your inspiration for a story?

Stories are funny, the come from strange places - especially when you’re not expecting them. In most cases my stories pop into my head after I’ve had a silly conversation with my son or when I’ve watched other children play and engage with each other. 

Do you test out your stories on your own children?

Absolutely! If my 9 year old hates it, then it’s usually out.

Where did the idea for I Want to Be a Rock Star Come from?

Growing up I always wanted to be a singer. In High School I sang in musicals and school performances and I developed a love for many different genres of music. Rock Star was my way of introducing various musical styles to kids in a fun and engaging way. A gentle reminder that the Rock Star dream can come in many different forms.

If you want to find out more about Mary or continue to follow her career you can follow her on FacebookTwitter or Instagram (@lilrebelbooks)

To celebrate the arrival of I Want to Be a Rock Star to the Story Mama shelves, we have 2 copies to give away!

To enter, comment on this blog and tell us what type of music your children love how they go about enjoying it.

Terms and Conditions

This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.

Entries are open from 15th of February through to Friday 23rd of February.

Winners will recieve a copy of I Want to Be a Rock Stary by Mary Anastasiou valued at $20 mailed to them.

Prize is not redeemable for cash.

The winners will be chosen by Story Mama founder Debbie Hatswell. No correspondence will be entered into. This is a competition based on skill. To enter submit your answer in the comments section of this blog. 

Last update: Feb 23, 2018


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