At just eleven years of age Tara is a published writer. She is such an inspiration and living proof that even the nearly impossible dreams can come true – written by Tanya Collier, Editor of Tickle the Imagination
- We would love to hear a little about yourself and when/how you got started with poetry and writing.
I love writing, and I’m a passionate reader. I was reading novels before I went to school, and I’ve basically written poetry my entire life. Though, I did start writing poetry on holidays, with my dad, about my holiday destination, the Blue Mountains.
- What inspires you and your poems?
Sometimes its things I see and hear, like the sun rising and birds cheeping, or sometimes I develop phrases and full sentences in my head, at school or even when im out with friends.
- Published at 11! What a superstar, and such an inspiration to others! Can you tell us a little about how you were discovered and how it felt?
Thankyou – it feels pretty amazing. I was discovered by Renata Cooper from Forming Circles, through the After School Care that her son and I go to once a week. She was telling my Mum about Written Portraits, and my Mum mentioned that I loved writing poetry and Renata asked if I could send her some. I started sending her a few each week, and when she proposed the idea of a book, it seemed like a dream. I still can’t believe there is a book with my name on it!
- What steps were involved from being discovered to holding a book in your hands.
It was a long process – I needed to write at least 50 poems, and then the best from a two year period were chosen. We had lots of meetings with the publisher, where I learned how a book got published. We needed to find the illustrator, do the front and back covers, and work out which poems were going to be illustrated. It’s all worth it in the end. I can now proudly (and humbly) say I’m a published author, which is pretty cool.
- The illustrations in the book are lovely. Did you work closely with illustrator Michelle Harris to design the images for your book? What was that like?
We went to Canberra so I could meet Michelle, and we spent a couple of days with her. We went through a few poems I wanted illustrated, but she made the decisions based on what she was inspired by. My Mum calls her a beautiful ‘interpreter’ as she really did bring my poems to life.
- Do you have other creative hobbies?
I like biting my nails! Ha ha. Seriously, I like writing stories and other forms of literature. I love taking photo’s and editing them creatively, and I like making movies with my friends.
- What’s next for Tara Finn?
I hope that there is a full shelf of books with my name on them one day! I’m going to high school next year, and I’ve just started writing a novel…
You can read the full article in the September issue of Tickle the Imagination pages 136-141.