Interview with Expat author - Homa S. Tavangar
A mother of three, Homa S. Tavangar has spent her career helping governments develop globally oriented programs and advising businesses on how to thrive abroad. She has lived in the Middle East, East and West Africa, South America, and throughout the United States.
1. Why did you move abroad?
I lived abroad multiple times for studying and work, in Lima, Peru and Nairobi, Kenya. With my children we lived for a short time in the Gambia, West Africa, staying with expat family there and getting a taste of what life in such a different country would be like. It served as a great jump-start to my writing.
2. How do you make a living? Are you a fulltime writer?
I am a full-time writer, speaker/trainers in schools building global competency, companies interested in inclusion and diversity, and I also consult for organizations working on global citizenship and global education.
3. How did you start the process of writing a book and get it published? Did you go to a publisher? Self-publish?
Growing Up Global was published by Ballantine, a division of Random House. See attached for more about what got me to write the book.
4. Did you blog before writing your book?
Yes, I wrote a blog that became quite popular chronicling my family’s experience in the Gambia.
5. What is your perception of the expat book market? Or is there a niche you consider your book to be part of?
My book is targeted to parents who hope to raise children who will thrive in a globalized world.
6. What is your favorite part of the book?
The whole book was a labor of love, but I would say that including a chapter on how to talk to kids about various belief systems and building bridges across faiths was a very important chapter to me. It sort of feels like the elephant in the room no one wants to talk about when it comes to global citizenship.
7. What was the most difficult part to write?
The chapter on foreign film recommendations for families – I though it would be the simplest, but it ended up being the most time-consuming since we reviewed every single film in the chapter – and there are many!
8. Besides your book, what book should everyone read?
I’m interested in getting a full picture of the sort of people we want to raise and the world we’d like to live in; so books like Creating Innovators, How Children Succeed, Half the Sky and building a better understanding of lesser-known faiths.
9. What advice would you give to other expats that want to write a book?
Only embark on this process if you know you are committed to it!
10. What are you working on now? Do you have plans to publish another book?
I just finished The Global Education Toolkit for Elementary Learners, which will be out Feb 2014 with Corwin and I have a chapter in Mastering Global Literacy (Heidi Hayes-Jacobs, editor) out in Nov 2013.
Homa Sabet Tavangar is author of Growing Up Global: Raising Children to Be At Home in the World (Random House/Ballantine Books). Find more information about Homa and her book on her website www.growingupglobal.net, facebook page www.facebook.com/growingupglobal, and Twitter @growingupglobal.