Live life! And
the only way is by being creative!!!
Metal lives in Greece, on the island of Corfu. She is an EFL teacher (MAEd
-Applied Linguistics), book reviewer and freelance writer. Liana is also
an artist. Her paintings along with her kids’ book, The White Snail, can
be found at several shops in Corfu town. Anna Arsenis from Alfa Greek
Australian Magazine contacted Liana who found time to share a little of
her current work with us.
Liana thank you
for your time in having this online interview. Can you please tell us a
little about yourself?
Thank you Anna! As a mother of two, I spent most of my time raising a
family and working full time as a Language teacher while painting and
writing in my free time. When my kids grew up I decided it was high time
I followed my dream to become a writer. I have self-published e books
and two print books for my students, and a great number of my articles
are both in print and online magazines. I started by writing children’s
stories and educational material, and then created e books of both
fiction and nonfiction. My articles, reviews and e books can still be
found at my older sites
http://lianametal.tripod.com and at
http://liamet.tripod.com (now I
use only my blogs).
How did you get
started as an author?
I have been writing children's stories for as long as I can remember; I
was in the primary school when I used to create comics with my own
characters. At a time I thought that would be my future career. But I
had to work in another field first, as a Language teacher, to find my
way back to my first passion. I have never stopped working with kids--a
job that I've always enjoyed greatly-- all this time, and they were my
inspiration, along with my childhood memories. Working in my own
Language school in Corfu, I gradually realized my long-awaited desire:
to write children's books. Thus I started creating books more than ten
years ago and distributing them to my students. The kids encouraged me
and even helped with the activities that I also created for them. So,
finally, I got The White Snail published by a local publisher and
promoted it myself.
What is your
latest book, about?
The White Snail’s basic theme is self-esteem that develops from early
childhood. The hero of this story believes that he is not equal to the
other snails just because he is different. This story is about the
differences among people or peoples generally. It caters not only to
young kids but also to adults, parents and teachers.
The White Snail is BILINGUAL: GREEK/ENGLISH, so it caters to a wide
audience worldwide. It is the first of a series of books that aims to
encourage children to read stories, while at the same time learn about
nature. At the end of each book there are educational activities.
This series also aims to highlight some of the small miracles of nature
that we usually take for granted. The White Snail encourages the reader
to notice snails closely and learn some facts about them via the
educational activity at the end of the book.
you to write your book?
My students…I have been watching the kids’ behavior in class all these
years so I wanted to focus on a quite usual problem, self- esteem. Also
I wanted to make kids learn about nature and love all the creatures. I
have written stories with spiders and frogs, ants and crabs, whatever
attracts my attention! Every single species is important!
What would you
like readers to know about you?
My beliefs about kids; kids are very important since they are the
citizens of the future; ultimate care for kids and moms should be top
priority of every nation. Also, I am nature aware; that's why I mostly
use small, insignificant-for-most-people animals in my stories. I
believe that every single live species is worth mentioning and noticing.
Do you have a
specific writing style?
Third person, clear and simple I would say…and I love dialogue.
How did you come
up with the title?
Mm…as far as I can remember I was watching a tiny white snail strolling
on a lettuce leaf of my salad! Garden snails are brown so the little one
was different and so cute! So, the main character was created and helped
me make up the story.
Is there a
message in the book that you want the readers to grasp?
Every human being is unique and important, and nature is our environment
and we should protect it.
have promoted the book and read it with the children in the classroom...
Did they enjoy it? Is it possible to share with us some of their
We all enjoyed it…After each reading children drew snails and some of
them even invented their own stories, they made a snail comics story,
drawing bubbles and adding the words. The very young ones loved painting
snails in various colors.
Can you include
your favorite part of the book so our readers can have a 'taste' of the
It’s a tiny book, so there isn’t much text to include, but here is a
‘He sees a small raindrop. It is crystal clear, like a mirror. He
looks inside, and there he suddenly sees himself.
"Oh," he says, "that's me! And this is my white home!"
He thinks for a while, then he says:
"I don't like it. I don't like my white home! I want to have a brown
one, like all the other snails in the garden!"
And from this day on, the white snail is sad.
"How beautiful the other snails are! And I am so ugly!" he says to
himself over and over again.
Every time he looks at his white home he becomes very unhappy.
But one bright day, he has got a bright idea!
"Wow!" he says.’
Read more about the book here
What books influenced your life most?
Classics, like Little Women, Pollyanna, and eventually Chocolate
If you had to
choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
Roger Hargreaves definitely!
What book are
you reading now?
Greek Mythology…once more! I want to get inspired and create a series of
Do you see
writing as a career?
If it is combined with illustrating, yes…For me these two go together. I
definitely enjoy creating children’s books!
Can you share a
little of your current work with us?
I am currently having radio shows about eco problems on the island,
especially the lake area which is a precious wet land that needs
protection, please visit
http://ecokerkyra.blogspot.com to get a taste of the lakes. This
means writing long texts about the environmental problems…
My recent work news usually appears on my art blog
What does being a writer mean to you?
Getting a message across…and at the same time, feeling alive during
every new creative challenge I encounter. Is there anything better than
spending the day in a productive way that gives you joy and
satisfaction? For me, there is not! So, I would tell you this: let
yourself be creative! It’s highly rewarding!
You are also an artist. Recently you held an art exhibition. Can
you tell us a little about your work?
Well, my first art endeavors date back to age six or seven when I was
trying to copy Disney cartoons and other pictures from magazines. In the
years that followed I used oil colors and a variety of mediums to depict
nature. Now I work mainly in acrylics and pastel. Acrylics are vivid and
allow me to give the impression I wish, especially in space images.
My art keeps evolving …from Corfiot scenery to cartoons and abstract…At
this time I am fascinated by the galaxies, so my recent display was a
trilogy: The Universe through a telescope, Cartoons and Corfiot
landscapes. The cartoons included mainly mermaids, one of my favorite
themes. More on my blog
What is your
Live life! And the only way is by being creative.
Liana thank you for your time. Would you like to add something?
Yes, thank you. The bilingual White Snail book is only available locally
at the moment. It might be possible to order it via a local bookstore, I
guess, if anyone would like to get it. I can be contacted via email
However, The White Snail is included in Storytime, (English only)
available at Amazon.
Also, for comics’ lovers, I have written Summer Love, a love story set
in Greece, which is an e book here
I write as Liana Metal (author)
Thank you so much for hosting me!