Tiara Schwarze-Taufiq enjoys documentaries and international cuisine. She's also a published author and illustrator—at the ripe old age of 8.
The Greenleaf Elementary School student made her authorial debut in late August with the publication of The Adventures of Oinkers and Pinky, a short chapter book chronicling the hijinks of the titular twin pigs.
“I’m very, very, very proud of her,” said Brigitta Schwarze, Tiara’s mother.
Schwarze, however, wasn’t always so supportive. When Tiara announced that she wanted to write a book, her mother initially was discouraging, out of concern that Tiara wouldn’t be able to find a publisher.
Tiara promptly resolved the issue by consulting Google. She discovered KidPub Press, a publisher specifically for child authors. Tiara emailed KidPub in the spring of 2011 and just a few short months later, her book was available in print.
She's even made a little money from royalties, though maybe not enough to make a living just yet. Her first check from Amazon.com was for $4.65.
But Oinkers and Pinky was well on its way to becoming a full-length book long before Tiara contacted KidPub. She began writing the story last year, spending an hour on the project every day after school.
She finished the manuscript over the summer and is now contemplating possible concepts for the sequel. Tiara hopes to see Oinkers and Pinky eventually develop into a series.
“You can write about anything you’d like,” Tiara said, when asked to explain her favorite thing about writing.
Evidently, Tiara is an authority on the subject. Michelle deKam-Palmieri, principal of Greenleaf Elementary, praised the book for its character development, complex sentences and complete storyline.
Verbally, Tiara has always been ahead of the curve. She said her first words at four months old, began kindergarten when she was four and currently participates in the Young Scholars gifted and talented program.
“Tiara is a student with a lot of energy for learning,” deKam-Palmieri said. “Her enthusiasm is contagious.”
When she’s not penning her latest volume, Tiara can be found participating in workshops at The Loft Literary Center or typing the latest installment of “Tiara’s Writing Hotspot,” a blog she started to promote her book. On her blog, Tiara reviews restaurants, recounts her excursions and occasionally chimes in on social issues.
Her other hobbies include art, photography and videography, particularly stop-motion. She is also interested in international travel and foreign cultures.
When she grows up, Tiara hopes to be a traveler, veterinarian and, of course, author.