Longtime New City resident Carol Roth postponed her dream of being a children's book author until her own kids were grown. Now a grandmother, Roth has no regrets about having been a stay-at-home mom and forging a new career as a writer relatively late in life.
Roth was born in the Bronx and moved to Forest Hills, Queens, as a child. She received her B.A. and M.S. in early childhood education from Queens College, and briefly taught kindergarten in Valley Stream, Long Island, until her daughter was born in 1970. She took an extended "time out" to raise her daughter and son, born four years later, but always knew she wanted to return to early childhood education.
After living in New City for 39 years, Roth and her husband, Mark, recently moved to Old Tappan, NJ. Roth will read from her book All Aboard To Work -Choo Choo at 11am on February 17 at the Tappan Library. Roth's ninth book, Will You Still Love Me? comes out March 1. It speaks to young children about how their relationship with their parents will - or will not - change when a new sibling comes along.
Q: When did you begin writing children's books and how did you get started?
When my kids were in high school and I had more time on my hands, I thought I'd either go back to teaching or do something else. I always loved children's books. When I was at Queens College, one of the required courses was children's book writing and I loved that. When I was deciding what to do, I saw an ad that Rockland Community College offered a course in this. I decided to try my hand at it and I just loved the class. I had a wonderful instructor who guided us on how to construct a story and what to do with it after you write it. The hard part is getting published.
Q: What inspires you?
You get some of your best material from your real life situations. My first book was about two little pigs, inspired by growing up and sharing a room with my sister. She was a slob and I was very neat. It was called Whose Mess Is This? It came out in 1988.
Q: Do you make any money from writing or is this a labor of love?
I made a small amount of money from my first book. I got a flat fee and there were no royalties involved, but I took the offer because it was a way to get published, and to be able to say you are a published author is a big help when you send out your manuscripts. Now I get an advance and royalties based on sales. I can make money from this, but in order to make a living out of writing and rely on it as a living, you have to be really, really successful. It can be years between the time when one manuscript and the next get accepted. Rejection letters come quite often, but you can get lucky when your manuscript strikes something in someone and it's just what they're looking for.
Q: What advice do you have for aspiring authors?
I would say that you really have to love writing and have faith in what you do because it's hard to face all the rejection letters that will come. The manuscript for my next book was completed in 2002 and I got rejection letters left and right, but I had faith in that book and I kept sending it out. I'm glad that I did. If you have faith in something, don't give up. Whenever you get rejection letters, you have to realize it's just someone's opinion.