Thursday, May 26, 2011

Giveaway, Blog Tour and Interview

I'm very excited today that Donna L. Peterson has dropped by for an interview. As a writer I'm always interested in an author's process and journey toward publishing.

The Misadventures of Phillip Isaac Penn is fast paced and will keep you laughing all the way through. I reviewed Peterson's book on April 21st. You can see the original review here.

So lets get to it, shall we?
1) Why do you write for children?
  I used to make up stories that I thought might help children at our elementary
school to deal with whatever difficult situation they were encountering.  I noticed that the humorous stories helped to make the message more entertaining, and therefore the students related better to the subtle lesson they'd learn.  I soon realized that getting children to laugh over their own shortcomings (and those of others) helped clear up a lot of problems, along with defusing some anger issues at school. 
2) Tell us a little bit about yourself and how you became a writer.

  I've been writing short stories since I was 7 years old.  I was quite shy when I attended elementary school, but my teachers all enjoyed the stories I'd write, and would often share them with the class.  I went on to attend college, and I always took extra writing courses.  To this day I attend evening classes at a nearby college, just for the fun of it.   One of the side jobs I enjoyed most was when I wrote a humor column for a local newspaper.  I've also written freelance stories for different magazines.  I've spent the last 12 years working full-time at an elementary school  here in Idaho.
3) How did you come up with the concept for Misadventures of Phillip Isaac Penn? 

He is a combination of many children I've known over the years.  He started out starring in the short stories that I used to make up to help our elementary school children solve their own problems. 

 4) Tell us about your process.

 I always flesh my stories out in a spiral notebook first.  That usually means that I write down the problem, and the types of characters who will be involved.  I even give them some special characteristics.  Then I start writing what will happen, without caring about punctuation and grammar until it's ready for its first edit.  Once I enter my chapters on the computer, I start the editing process.  I must edit, and re-edit at least a dozen times before I'm satisfied with how it reads.  Getting the right voice and painting a picture for the story is very important to me.

5) What does a typical writing day look like?

I wish I had a "typical writing day".  Until summer vacation, I work full-time for Park Intermediate School.  The only writing time I have until then, is squeezed into my weekends.  I look forward to when I can dedicate more time to my writing career.

6) Where is your favorite place to write?

  In the summer I prefer either writing in my spiral notebook in my backyard, or by a lake, river, or ocean on a camping trip.  In the cooler months I'm in my boring office, plucking away on my computer. 

7) What did or do you find most challenging in creating the story and getting it published? What do you wish you would have known?

 Since my stories tend to create themselves, writing has never been much of a
challenge for me.  But keeping my stories in the correct tense and character's voice is my main concern.  My publishers at Cedar Fort have all helped guide me through the  publishing process and have been so helpful, that it has not been a difficult process at all.  I guess I wish I'd known how much fun this would be, and I would've done it a lot  sooner!

8) What is the best writing advice you have ever received?

Even though this is so very cliche', the best advice I ever received was: "Write what you know and enjoy best."

9) Are you working on a new project? Can you tell us about it?

Yes.  I've decided to write another book with some more of "Pip's" adventures (or mis-adventures).  This will have different situations and many new characters along with the main characters from the last book.   I'm also still writing my "Great American
Novel".  Ha!  But, I seriously have been working on a book that will be a completely different genre for a more mature age group. I love history and mysteries, and I'm a sucker for romance.  This book will have all of these aspects with a dash of humor and  a lot of adventure thrown into it.
10) What advice would you give others that write for children?
  It's important to write about subjects that children can relate to.  And, whenever possible use humor.  Children love to laugh!!!

Thanks, Donna we really appreciate the time you took to answer our questions. 

Check out the entire Virtual Book Tour Schedule.

Interested in winning your own copy of this awesome book? Here's what you do.
1) Comment on this blog post.
2) Use the tweet button at the top to re-tweet the post.


  1. I definitely think this is something I could share with my kids at school...thanks so much for sharing this book!

  2. What a lovely interview. I start all my stories off in spiral notebooks too. I find it works best for me. :)

    Good luck on the WIP! And thanks for the tips!

  3. Great interview! Congrats to Donna! I've been hearing marvelous things about PIP (oh, but I love that nickname) and think he's got a great future!

  4. Just got the galley for this, really looking forward to reading.

    Glad to have found your blog, too. And LOL on the So I'm Fifty! too :O)

  5. I was here yesterday but couldn't leave a comment for some reason. Anyway, great interview! I am so, so, so hoping PIP does well! :-)


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