Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Mudpie Interviews...Artist BZTAT on Oh My, Mia Meow! Children's Book

Meows from Mudpie!

Today I'm so excited to be interviewing Artist BZTAT about her sweet kitty Mia, the feline star of her very own children's book, Oh My, Mia Meow!, which is currently in the fundraising process through an Indiegogo campaign.

Mia is a very clever kitty who has many important lessons to teach children, and we're really looking forward to seeing her book come to fruition. Please help us spread the word!

Mudpie: Thank you so much for taking the time to chat with us today! Could you start by telling us a little about your sweet Mia and how she came to become a part of your family? 

BZTAT: You are welcome! Thanks for asking me to talk with you and your readers!

Mia Meow is a small tortoise shell cat. She will be 3 years old next month. I met her as I was trapping a colony of cats for TNR (trap/neuter/return) in a neighborhood in Canton, OH. Her mother, Patches, is a beautiful calico cat who has had several litters, and the colony consisted of a number of her children of various ages. Mia and 2 other kittens were the last litter, and they were about 4 weeks old when we first started trapping.

We trapped and neutered some of the older offspring first. We waited to trap Patches until the kittens were old enough to be weaned. One of the kittens developed a severe upper respiratory infection and sadly, he had to be euthanized. The other one was very friendly, and as soon as he was old enough, he was adopted by a local family.

Mia proved to be a little bit harder to catch. Trapping is a difficult process, and you don’t always catch the cats in the preferred order! We ended up trapping Patches before Mia. Thinking we would catch Mia on the same day, we took Patches to the clinic to make sure she didn’t get pregnant again. It took 3 more days to catch Mia! I felt so bad having her out there without her mom or brothers. Taking that extra time to catch her bonded us together, though.

Mia had a family interested in adopting her, but she was a bit skittish at first, and they backed out. I fostered her with the intent of socializing her for adoption, but I fell in love with the little sprite, and she has been with me ever since.

What made you decide that she would be the purr-fect star of a children's book?

Although she began her life as an outdoor cat, Mia has turned into a great house cat. Even so, she loves to sit in the windows and “chase” the birds and squirrels that she sees from inside. I always get the sense that she is longing for adventure, even though she is happy with her home. The story for the book is inspired by this sense of adventure that I see in her.

The book, though, was not only inspired by Mia. I got the idea for the book from working as a teaching artist with preschool students in an arts integration program. Last year, I started painting pictures and telling stories of Mia Meow to introduce art lessons with my students. The kids LOVED the paintings and they loved hearing stories about Mia! After seeing how much they loved her, I decided to make the book so that many more children could enjoy her story.

What do you hope kids will learn in Oh My, Mia Meow?

The story is simple and fun, yet there is an important, underlying message to it. The message is that our power is in our creativity and our imagination. The story teaches children that they can overcome obstacles with creative thinking and imaginative resourcefulness. It is a very important message. The jobs of the future will require creative thinking skills, yet so much of our educational programming for children strips away creativity. We are not properly preparing our children for the careers that will be available to them someday. My hope is that Mia Meow will teach them to be curious and creative at a young age to help them prepare for the future.

How can we all help to support this project?

There are several things that you can do to help. First of all, you can contribute to the Indiegogo Campaign that I have running currently to raise funds for the book. By contributing to the campaign, you can preorder copies of the book and get other perks as well. If you want to support the campaign but don’t have a young person around, you can donate books to schools or other organizations.

You can also help spread the word. Share with others who may have an interest in supporting the campaign, and share about it in social media. And don’t just share once, share often! Share why it is important, too. There are so many crowdfunding campaigns out there these days, people need to hear why this one merits their attention.

Back to Mia the kitty, as a tortie myself I know a little about tortitude. How does Mia flaunt hers?

Oh my…

You see, the name of the book is “Oh My, Mia Meow!” for good reason. Mia never fails to astonish and amaze! Tortitude is a sassy flair of independence and fun, and Mia flaunts that every chance she gets!


Indiegogo Campaign: http://bit.ly/MiaMeowFund 
Mia Meow Website: www.miameow.com
Mia Meow Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mymiameow  
Mia Meow Twitter: https://twitter.com/MyMiaMeow 
BZTAT Twitter: https://twitter.com/BZTAT 
BZTAT Studios Website: http://bztatstudios.com/

Book Trailer:

Photos used with permission: Artist BZTAT


Anonymous said...

This looks like an adorable book!!!

Hannah and Lucy said...

What a great book for children to enjoy.

The Menagerie Mom said...

I love the message behind this book. And the artwork is amazingly adorable! I am so glad you shared this with us, Mudpie! Thank you!

Unknown said...

Love the artwork and the message. The world needs more curious, creative people. And more tortitude!

pilch92 said...

I love calicos , that looks like a great book.

Dragonheart, Merlin, Devi, and Chloe said...

That sounds like a great book!

Thank you so much for celebrating my 10th Birthday with me! Purrs, Dragonheart

Three Chatty Cats said...

This looks so cute. We know a thing or two about tortitude in our house too!


Wow what a terrific sounding book and another great interview Mudpie.

Robin said...

Such an adorable book! I love how much color and personality the illustrations have. I hope her crowdfunding efforts pay off! Kids will love this book.
-Purrs from your friends at www.PlayfulKitty.net

The Island Cats said...

What a great book! Thanks for interviewing BZTAT, Mudpie.

Unknown said...

Thanks for the great interview, Mudpie, and thanks to all for the great comments!

Momma Kat and Her Bear Cat said...

Stunning illustrations! I can't think of a better way to teach kids "soft" skills than by making the "star" an adorable kitty cat. Okay, okay. Maybe that was MY childhood, but I can't be the only one?!?!?