Saturday, April 21, 2012

Author Spotlight - DeeDee Fox on her Award Winning Book, The Ruby Red Slippers

What inspired you to begin writing?
I didn't always want to be a writer.  I studied art in college and had always dreamed of making a living as an artist.  But it didn't take me long to realize that it can be pretty difficult to make any sort of income that way.  Eventually, I began working for a newspaper as a graphic artist where I eventually became the assistant editor.  That was when I learned to love writing.  My boss at the time, the editor of the magazine where I worked, was truly my mentor in writing.  I learned so much from her about writing with feeling and breathing life into my words. 

What was the inspiration behind your award winning title, The Ruby Red Slippers?
I was actually in the process of working on a novel when my sister told me a story about my niece and her little friend.  The story gave me goosebumps.  I decided to take a break from my novel to write their story, which I also illustrated.

Who is your favorite author?
That answer is probably always going to change; but at present, I'd say my favorite children's book author is Geraldine McCaughrean.  I'm inspired by her use of the English language.  She truly has a gift for writing.

What is your favorite children's book?
My favorite children's book has always been The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles, by Julie Andrews Edwards.  When I was a child I had a voracious appetite for reading.  Her book pulled me in and got me caught up into it like no other book ever had.  I was enthralled and entirely delighted by it. 

Tell us a little about yourself:
I live in the beautiful Black Hills of South Dakota on a hobby farm with my husband and our youngest daughter.  --We have three older children, two in college and one who is getting married this summer.  I grew up in the city, so I still get a kick out of telling people we have chickens and cows and a barn and tractors. I'm madly in love with my husband and I'm so thankful for the life that we live.  I'd have to say I am truly living the life I've always dreamed of.

Do you have any new books in the works?
Yes, I am currently working on a children's chapter book entitled Marquise of Aviarra.  It is a book with a very special message for children about loving and respecting themselves for who they are.

What challenges do you face as an author?
I would say the biggest challenge is finding the time to promote my work, while still working on my writing.  It can really be a chellenge to find the time to write.  --And I LOVE to write.  But balance is the key and I'm still working on figuring out how to juggle everything.

Do you ever suffer from writer's block?

No - I always find it interesting that other people do.  I suppose there are times when I have to walk away from what I'm working on in order to give myself a fresh perspective on something.  But overall, I'd say that really isn't an issue for me.  - When I can find the time to write, the words just seem to flow.

Can you offer any tips on how to get published?
The biggest thing I would say is that becoming a published author requires patience and perseverance.  Get your work out to anyone who will see it.  Then be patient.  --Don't rush the process.  I can tell you that the wheels turn extremely slowly in this industry.  If you're not hearing back from people on your work, then maybe you need to develop your manuscripts a bit more.  In the meantime, keep writing and developing your style.  Some people can pull off the self-publishing bit, but I don't think that's for everyone.  And some people can be so eagar to get published that they fail to learn enough about a potential publisher.  There are publishers out there that can do a lot for you, but most will expect you to do the majority of promoting yourself. -- That can be a full time job.  So know what you're getting yourself into up front.  Ask around and do your homework before you sign on with anyone.

Any further thoughts you'd like to share with our readers?
I always like to point out that the model for my illustrations in The Ruby Red Slippers was my youngest daughter.  We had so much fun working together on this project.  It warms my heart to see her face inside the pages of this book which is truly very special to me.

LITERARY CLASSICS Book Reviews & Awards

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