Robert Vescio lives in Sydney and is a published children’s author. He writes picture books and short stories.
Robert has worked in the publishing industry for over 12 years as a photo editor and production manager. He enjoyed sourcing photographic material from world-renowned photographers the ilks of Mario Testino, Annie Leibovitz, Patrick Demarchelier, Steven Meisel and Jean-Baptiste Mondino just to name a few.
Robert has won awards for his children’s writing, as well as being an author on the NSW Premier’s Reading Challenge list. Robert’s aim is to enthuse and inspire children to read and write and leave them bursting with imaginative ideas.
Tell us more about your new book.
Bigger Than Yesterday, Smaller Than Tomorrow is an entertaining tale about a child who craves independence but also longs for the security of Mum. Hannah isn’t afraid to go on an adventure, as she is bigger than yesterday. But when night approaches, Hannah isn’t as big as she thinks. This is a fun ‘big girl’ story about missing Mum – no matter how big one is.
Bigger Than Yesterday, Smaller Than Tomorrow is a playful story that explores themes of family, love, independence, security and adventure. Kathy Creamer’s illustrations are bright, warm and fun just like Hannah in the story. This story will appeal to younger readers who feel important about growing up but will come to appreciate just how good things really are at home. Illustrated by Kathy Creamer and published by Little Pink Dog Books.
Pre order your copy now: https://littlepinkdogbooks.com/2018-book-list/a-squiggly-line/
Who or what inspired you?
My creativity is fuelled by many things such as books I’ve read, people I’ve come into contact with, art and my kids, of course.
I never know where my stories will take me. This mystery is what creates the excitement I need to stay inspired. Embracing the freedom to change things along the way helps every choice I make in my writing. By doing so, I open myself to a world where anything is possible.
I’m also inspired by the idea of creating something that is positive and brings happiness to people. It’s inspiring to know that I can make a difference in someone’s life through my stories.
What has been your journey up to this point?
My picture books to date are as follows:
– Bigger Than Yesterday, Smaller Than Tomorrow (2018 – Little Pink Dog Books)
– Finn and Puss (EK Books)
– Eric Finds A Way (Wombat Books) listed on the NSW, VIC and QLD Premier’s Reading Challenge 2018
– Ella Saw The Tree (Big Sky Publishing)
– Jack and Mia (Wombat Books) listed on the NSW Premier’s Reading Challenge for 2017
– Barnaby and the Lost Treasure of Bunnyville (Big Sky Publishing)
– Marlo Can Fly (Wombat Books) listed on the NSW Premier’s Reading Challenge for 2015
– No Matter Who We’re With (IP Kidz).
I have more picture books due to be released soon.
Two of my picture books Finn and Puss and Eric Finds A Way have been shortlisted in the 2018 BILBY Awards.
Many of my short stories have been published in anthologies such as Packed Lunch, Short and Twisted, Charms Vol 1, The Toy Chest and The School Magazine NSW.
I’ve won awards for my children’s writing including First Place in the 2012 Marshall Allan Hill Children’s Writing Competition and Highly Commended in the 2011 Marshall Allan Hill Children’s Writing Competition.
I am also a Books In Homes Role Model and I enjoy visiting schools.
What are you working on now?
I am multi-tasking at the moment working on four new picture books with three different publishers (2 with EK Books, Little Pink Dog Books and New Frontier). All due to be released in 2019.
I am working with some amazing editors and illustrators (Cara King, Andrea Edmonds, Demelsa Haughton and Nicky Johnston, respectively). It’s busy but exciting at the same time. To see your words come to life is gratifying and fun. I can’t wait to share them with the world.
As a child, what was your relationship with books?
I grew up reading Winnie the Pooh and went on many great adventures.
But my absolute all time favourite book is The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Opening a book is very similar to opening a wardrobe and being transported to another world.
You could say that I’m a BIG kid at heart – a bit like Peter Pan. I don’t think I’ll ever grow up!
What is the most important thing about what you do?
For me the most rewarding part about being a picture book author is sharing my stories with children. Not only do I create fans for my books, but it’s great to see how I can make a difference in a child’s life.
I enjoy visiting schools because it connects kids to books and gives them an appreciation of the process involved in creating the books they love. It’s a much more powerful way than simply reading them.
I love picture books because of the way they express emotions and ideas in simple ways.
Picture books invite engagement – a connection. That’s why I enjoy writing picture books because it supports an adult-child conversation. The pictures help to initiate a discussion with young children and express their feelings.
What are the challenges you face in this industry?
There is always that fear of who you are. If you want to be a writer, you must call yourself one. Be brave. Believe it. Become it.
Time is another factor. It’s not about finding the time it’s about making the most of the time you have. Find the reason to finish.
I believe if you can conquer these challenges then it will lead to productive writing.
What advice can you offer to aspiring authors?
Read, read, read.
Practice, practice, practice writing.
The more you write the better you will be at it. It’s okay to make mistakes as this will show you where you went wrong.
It’s important to write from the heart. This will show your reader that you are passionate about your work and reach out and move them in some way.
Seek out constructive feedback on your work. Send your work out to be assessed. Take suggestions seriously, and learn from them. My writing is far better for it. It’s important to get feedback from people in the industry. I would recommend this to all writers. Before submitting a manuscript, make sure your work is polished. After all, publishers are professionals and we must show respect in how we present our work to them.
Competitions and anthologies have been very helpful in shaping my career as a writer. I wouldn’t be in the position that I’m in now had I not plucked the courage and submitted my work to these events.
If your work is of a high standard, sooner or later it will get published. There are no guarantees, of course. No one likes rejection. Believe me, I’ve received my fair share. But rejection letters only fuel me even more to improve my work. I keep all my rejection letters in a folder. Why? Because this is a constant reminder of my commitment to my writing. It’s what keeps me going.
Be determined, and don’t take no for an answer. If your story comes back with a rejection letter, don’t take it personally. GET IT IN THE MAIL TO ANOTHER PUBLISHER.
What is your definition of success?
Live the life you truly want and deserve. Don’t settle for second best.
Be kind. Be wise. Be wide-eyed and full of wonder. Be giving and respectful.
These factors will make you a better person and put you on the right path to be truly successful.
What is your ultimate goal?
To make my readers think.
When I write, I’m writing for a reader. I want to arouse their imagination. I want to strike a chord and provoke them.
If I write creatively on what I know and believe then I’ve achieved the ultimate goal – writing from the heart.
Contact Robert Vescio
Name of latest book: Bigger Than Yesterday, Smaller Than Tomorrow, Illustrated by Kathy Creamer, published by Little Pink Dog Books)