We were so very fortunate to have found Anna Kondratova when we searched for the style of artwork that Renee Cybul wanted for her recently published children’s book, Middle Me.

Anna lives close to Moscow — yes, the one in Russia! She recently selected a few questions we provided so that you could get to know her.  This was very fun for us!

What is your very first memory from your childhood?
I was only a few months old, lying in my bed and thinking about something very important… but later I forgot what it was.

What subject did you like least in school and why?
I hated history at school, my textbooks seemed boring. When I finished school I discovered living history and reenactment, and fell in love with it.

If you had bread and unlimited ingredients, the sandwiches that you would pack for your family outing would be… what?
Sandwiches with avocado, white cheese, and raspberry. 

What ocean, forest, region, or country would you most like to visit?

  • For an ocean, the South Pacific Ocean, sailing on a yacht.
  • For the forest, an old forest with moss and ferns, looking like from a fairy tale.
  • For a region, the state of Alaska because the northern nature is amazing.
  • And for a country, I’d like to visit Australia, because I haven’t been there yet.

Recently, you vacationed at a sleepy seaside town in Turkey. On a hot, sunny day at the the beach, your beverage of choice is what?
pint of pineapple shake, without ice. Love its bright yellow color and fresh taste. Two pints I think…

If you could visit anyone in Heaven, who would it be and what would you talk about?
My father. I would ask him if he is happy there, and what can I do to make him feel better. I would also like to know if he has met his parents or friends there, and if he can play his violin there.

What is the best gift you ever received?
My father gave me a graphic tablet for my birthday when I was 16. I used it to become an illustrator. Later I bought many professional graphic tablets, but that one still works, and I would never get rid of it. 

If you just found out that you have an unexpected one hour of free time all alone, what would you use it for?
I would paint a watercolour portrait of my friend’s cat, which I have promised half a year ago and haven’t found time for yet.

P.S. Here’s a secret! Anna has a degree in literacy from a university in Russia. While we were in the process of publishing this book for children, she was playing with the original text of Middle Me, to see how she might translate it into Russian and still keep it in a rhyming verse. One day her mother stopped by her apartment and asked about the illustrations Anna was working on. Anna’s mother, Maria, has translated Middle Me into Russian already! Leave a comment below (in English, please) if you think the Russian version of the book should be published!

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Do YOU have a book that you have been working on? Do YOU want to become a published author like Renee? Let’s chat!