Barbara Ann Mojica, M.A. S.A.S., S.D.A is a historian and retired educator. Her education career spans more than forty years serving as a teacher, special educator, principal, and school district administrator. Barbara writes monthly historical articles for the Columbia Insider under the banner “Passages.” Using the whimsical Little Miss History character to narrate her book series, Barbara hopes to educate, entertain and inspire children to learn about historical people and places. Little Miss History’s antics make reading nonfiction a fun-filled adventure for all ages. She firmly believes, “If you don’t know your history, you don’t know what you’re talking about.”
The Little Miss HISTORY book series has garnered more than two dozen awards including B.R.A.G. Medallions, International Book Excellence Awards, International Readers’ Favorite Awards, Eric Hoffer, and Independent Author Network Awards
What inspires you to write?
After retiring from a long career in education, I wanted to combine my love of history with my passion for teaching. In recent years the study of history and civics has been sorely neglected. My mission is to make learning about history fun and exciting. My motto is, "If you don't know your history, you don't know what you're talking about."
Tell us about your writing process.
Because I write nonfiction, my writing process first and foremost involves lots of research. I am definitely not a seat of the pants writer. After I complete extensive research, I compose the first draft on my computer. I write for the six to twelve age group. My books are picture books so I must edit the text until I am left with the essentials written in an easy to read format. Generally, I visit the historical site and take photographs. Then my illustrator takes my script and adds thumbnails for each page. We discuss the layout and design. Sometimes the illustrations change parts or sequence of the text. I edit the text with the illustrations. Then I add a glossary to explain difficult or technical terms. My publisher uploads the book. Before that happens, I have written a synopsis, blurb, Amazon description and researched categories and keywords.
Who are your favorite authors?
Some of my favorite authors are Pulitzer Prize winners like Margaret Mitchell, Pearl S. Buck, and Harper Lee. Contemporary favorites include James Patterson, John Grisham, Clive Cussler, and Steven King.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
In order to achieve my mission to make children aware of their historical heritage, the best option was to publish my Little Miss HISTORY Travels to…book series. My husband is an artist and illustrator. He came up with the idea to design a cartoon-like career to narrate my books. Little Miss HISTORY is based on a younger version of myself. I traveled extensively and enjoyed hiking. The rose-colored sunglasses reflect an optimistic outlook on life. The oversized boots are a tribute to my father who had huge feet. My character is a funny version of myself narrating historical adventures.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I think that the publishing world will continue to evolve as technology changes. There are many advantages to e-books. They are portable, cheaper and save trees. But I still love to hold a book in my hands. Statistics indicate children prefer print to ebooks. I enjoy walking into a bookstore or library and spending time exploring.
Self-publishing affords almost anyone the opportunity to express themselves. While that may appear to flood the market, the discriminating reader is able to find pearls of wisdom among the thousands of books published each year.
What genres do you write?
Nonfiction, Juvenile, History
What formats are your books in?
All information is provided by the author and is presented as it was submitted so you the reader get to hear the author’s own “voice” in their interview.