Currently, Ms. Stallings serves as a high school vice principal. Her education stems from a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology from Montclair State University and a Master of Arts Degree in School Administration and Supervision from Saint Peter's College. In addition to her children's books, she is also working on a motivational book for women titled Bouncing Back from Rock Bottom: How to Regain Control of Your Life.
A mother of three, Tiffany Stallings enjoys running and cycling; she is currently training for the 2017 Paris Marathon where she hopes to not be last. For more information, you can follow her on Facebook as well as Twitter.
1. How did your experience as a parent and educator prepare you to write books for children?
I know as a parent and as an educator that young children love to read stories about story characters that they can relate to. I want my readers to be able "step into the minds" of the characters and be able to empathize with them. I kept this in mind as developed my characters.
2. In basing your main characters, Gigi and Mimi, on your own daughters, where do you find the balance between describing what happens in real life and shaping a fictional story in your books?
When writing Mommy Works Too Much, I centered the book on one actual statement that my daughter made, "Mommy works too much." The rest of the story is completely fictional. When writing books for the Gigi and Mimi series, I want the books to carry the essence of my children; however, all other events and characters will be fictional. I want the message from each of my books to be universal for all children.
3. How did you come up with the idea to do a series of ten books, and what are some examples of topics we'll see in the books?
There are 10 universal topics I would like to cover with The Adventures of Gigi and Mimi book series. The first book is about entrepreneurship. I plan to write about topics such as being a good friend, a sibling going away to college, and having pride in one's self. I want my books to spark a conversation with children and their parents. Additionally, all of my children's book titles will come with a 2nd classroom edition that will include a language arts literacy supplement.
4. Would you tell us a little more about your first book?
The idea of Mommy Works Too Much! is about a little girl that cannot quite grasp the idea that her mom must work many hours as an entrepreneur. I got the idea to write this book over 2 years ago as I worked late one evening. My oldest daughter sent me an email that stated, "Mommy, you work too much." I jotted it down because the statement made me feel very guilty about the amount of time that I spent working.
5. What has been the most fun for you in writing and publishing your first book--and what has been the most challenging?
The most fun aspect has been seeing the feedback and anticipation from potential readers about the book. It certainly has been exciting to see that an idea that I jotted down on a sticky note over 2 years ago – is now an actual book that people are looking forward to reading. I love when an idea comes into fruition!
The most challenging aspect has been learning the technical components of putting a book together. Once I wrote the story down, I had to ask, "Now what?" It has been a fun yet challenging journey of learning about graphic design, book layouts, editing, marketing, and self-publishing.