Welcome to #TheQuickSixInterview with Apsara Baldovino!

Does it get more beautiful? Text and images unite in one powerful, heartfelt, hopeful and exquisite journey through the seasons and the circle of life in this beautiful new picture book, The Lucky Shack. And how ‘lucky’ are we to have the opportunity to share in its joys and triumphs with its creator, author Apsara Baldovino! This sparkling stunner is sure to become a treasure in every home (or shack). 🙂

About the Author

Apsara Baldovino writes picture books with humour and heart and is the debut author of The Lucky Shack, due for release in July 2023. Nature, the seasons, and the tiny wonders of our incredible world inspire her writing.

Apsara’s passion is to dream up memorable characters, experiment with perspectives and create books that will be treasured for years to come. She lives by the sea with her family, and dreams of new ways to tell stories with endless cups of tea.

Please find Apsara Baldovino at her website: https://www.apsarabaldovino.com/ 

And on Instagram

The Lucky Shack can be purchased via HarperCollins here.

WHO wrote, illustrated and published this book?

The Lucky Shack is written by me! (Apsara Baldovino), illustrated by the uber talented Jennifer Falkner and published by the fabulous team at HarperCollins Australia for their imprint Working Title Press.

WHAT is it about?

The Lucky Shack is about a little seaside shack who is lovingly cared for by its Fisherman – they live this beautiful idyllic life by the sea, until one day everything changes. The story takes the reader on a journey through the seasons, through despair and loss, it’s about connection and the power and beauty of nature.

What is your favourite part of this book?

It is so hard to choose a favourite part of the book as Jennifer created beautiful illustrations which give each part of the book a very different feeling.  If I had to choose it would be the interlude spread – The spread when Spring arrives, and buds appear in the Shack’s eaves which is followed by this gorgeous full bleed page of stars in which the Shack realises that it finally sees a path or a way out of its sadness and despair.  It’s a page as humans or for myself I connect with.  We all go through tough times in our life, no matter our age and often there are those small moments – the green shoots or the light in the cracks which can help lift us out of the state we are in and into a new state of being.  It is truly the turning point of the story.

WHEN did you begin writing this book?

I started to write this book on my last week of maternity leave. A lot of great ideas came to me during maternity leave – it was a wonderful open, creative space in time where I could care for my little one and for new ideas. 

When is its release / launch date?

5th of July 2023. Orders are available now from HarperCollins.

WHERE did the inspiration for this book come from?

My best friend Zena suggested I spend the last week of maternity leave with my family at her coastal house or ‘shack’ as she calls it.  In little moments of time basking on her deck in the sun, I would write in my notebook all the little beautiful things I could see around me – much like a journal.  A story started to unfold slowly. 

Her little blue home is situated in the most idyllic little spot around Pittwater in Sydney – surrounded by eucalyptus, small man-made jetties, little tugboats, hidden beach inlets – it’s truly magical. All I could think of that entire weekend is how this little place, this home is so lucky to spend every day surrounded by this beauty and how grateful I felt in that moment.

WHY is this book meaningful to you?

I am a believer in gratitude and a big believer in hope, so I wanted these themes to be the foundation of this story. I wanted to interweave the seasons and shades of colour to provide more depth in feeling and a deeper meaning to how they connect to the cycle of life.  I often wonder about that expression, ‘if these walls could talk’ – what story would they say.  A home is a very special place for most people – it’s their sanctuary, it’s their place of rest, or a hive of activity.  Our homes give us shelter and warmth and in return most of us fill our homes with life, laughter, and memories.  This story is all about those things – it’s the beautiful silent give and take of our sacred spaces.

Why would its message resonate with readers?

There are many layers within this book so it will connect with both young readers and older readers – for really young readers they will love the references to the colours, seasons and the feelings that the shack personifies.  For older readers, they will hopefully connect with journey of life – and most importantly the hope that there are better days when you do experience sadness, loss, or grief in any form.  It’s about the courage to ‘burst open your door to let the moonshine in’.   Gratitude above all is the ultimate message. If the readers who read this book feel happy and grateful after reading the story, that will make my heart sing.

HOW do you feel about the illustrations / cover design? How do they convey the feeling or mood you envisioned?

I am absolutely in love with the illustrations and the cover design.  Jennifer Falkner is a gifted illustrator who was able to transform what was in my mind and bring it to life in the most authentic ad beautiful way.  I had imagined this story being in watercolour and she was able to use her skills to create the most magical piece of art.  Each page feels different and evokes a different feeling.  There are these delicious ‘warm’ pages which make you feel warm and fuzzy and then her blue/dark pages evokes the sadness the shack is feeling.  As the story evolves, the colours lighten moving from hope to happiness.  I know it’s not often easy to personify an inanimate object, however Jennifer has been able to do this beautifully giving a ‘home’ or shack a lovable personality.

How have you promoted this book and how can we find it?

I am learning all about promotion – it’s all very new to me!  Definitely a whole new world –  I have finally created a new website apsarabaldovino.com so you can learn more there.  Plus, I have been promoting on Instagram.  I also feature as part of SCBWI’s success story and the CYA success story.  You can also find The Lucky Shack in all independent book stores from July 5th 2023 or order via this link too.

OTHER information or experiences you’d like to share?

I would love to say that the Kidlit community is super special.  I love meeting new authors, illustrators, and creators.  Everyone is so supportive and kind.  I really am very grateful for the journey I have been on.  I would also love to shout out to my incredible publisher Eve Tonelli and the HarperCollins team, my writers’ groups via SCBWI and CYA, and all the new friendships I am making through the CBCA.  Also, a special shout out to the super supportive Matt Cosgrove – a constant inspiration and Davina Bell who also loved this story too.

Thank you for sharing your absolutely stunning and heartfelt story with us, Apsara! It’s been such a pleasure getting to know you and The Lucky Shack! 🙂

#thequicksixinterview #theluckyshack #hope #courage #beauty #picturebooks

7 thoughts to “The Quick Six Interview with Apsara Baldovino on The Lucky Shack

  • Aga

    It’s a beautiful story with some amazing illustrations! Loved every page of it.

    • Just Write For Kids

      What a beautiful comment! Thank you. The creators are very talented! xx

  • Norah

    How delightful this book looks.

    • Just Write For Kids

      It looks stunning! I think it will be a treasure in many homes. x

      • Norah

        I agree. I heard Apsara talk about it at CYA on the weekend. She was delightful too.

        • Just Write For Kids

          That’s amazing! 🙂

          • Norah

            It was. 🙂

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: