Welcome to Creative Kids Tales, Anna Fienberg.
One of the perks of having a website for children’s authors is being able to speak to those authors you and your children have grown to love over the years. This month I interviewed a family favourite, Anna Fienberg. My children have grown up with Tashi, and the opportunity to chat with Anna was too irresistible.
Anna Fienberg was born in England in 1956 and moved to Australia at the age of 3. Her mother, Barbara Fienberg was a teacher-librarian who appreciated the importance of sharing her love of books with her family.
Anna has fond memories of spending Sunday mornings snuggled up in bed and shared in her family’s story-time adventure.
She had no particular aspirations to be an author when she grew up; however, the need for her to write absorbed her from the age of eight.
Originally studying psychology, Anna worked as a Counsellor until an incident with a particularly troubled patient saw her change professions.
Anna received her Bachelor of Arts from Macquarie University before travelling to Europe where she lived for a year before returning to Australia.
She focussed on writing and secured the best job in the world, working for School Magazine (NSW). As an editor Anna wrote reviews, articles and stories continuing to fine tune her creative talents. A story she had written for School Magazine as a series went on to become her first book in 1988, Billy Bear and the Wild Winter.
Winning her first CBCA award in 1992 for The Magnificient Nose and other Marvels, Anna has continued to win many other honours including, the 1993 Victorian Premier’s Award and also the Alan Marshall Award for Children’s Literature for Ariel, Zed and the Secret of Life. In 2000, Anna received a CBCA Honour Award for Borrowed Light, which was also chosen as the 2001 American Library Association Best Book for Young Adults. In 2003, she picked up the Aurealis Award for best children’s short fiction for, Tashi and the Haunted House. Anna has gone on to be an Aurealis Award finalist on four other occasions.
In 1995 Tashi, her most recognised work was released. Collaborating with her mother, Barbara Fienberg and Kim Gamble the award winning Tashi series has been translated into 16 languages. There are over 17 titles in the series with more to come.
Other books to her credit include Wiggy and Boa, illustrated by Ann James and released in 1988. The Nine Lives of Balthazar (1989, with Donna Gynell), Power to Burn (1995), Dead Sailors Don’t Bite (1996 with Ann James), Pirate Trouble for Wiggy and Boa (1996 again with Ann James). In 2001, The Witch in the Lake was published and in 2002 Horrendo's Curse was released.
Anna has always loved reading and that passion translates in her work. Her stories capture the hearts and imaginations of all who touch them. Not only has she written for pre-schoolers through to teenagers, Anna has also written for magazines Women’s Day, Lucky and Cosmopolitan.
Currently living in Sydney and with over 40 books to her credit Anna is undeniably living a writer's dream.
To find out more about Anna and her Tashi series of books: www.tashibooks.com
Some of Anna's books