I’m so happy to share my interview with author, writing professor, and generous force for literacy from picture books to YA, Denise Vega. I met Denise through our local SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators) where I’ve learned so much from her presentations. Denise is an inspiration to the writing community and I’m only one of her many fans. Her book, IF YOUR MONSTER WON’T GO TO BED, illustrated by Zachariah Ohora won the Crystal Kite Award, praise from readers, and glowing professional reviews. You haven’t read it yet? What are you waiting for? Go order it now!
Denise has generously offered a double prize! See, I told you she was generous. One lucky winner will get a copy of IF YOUR MONSTER WON’T GO TO BED and a Picture Book Fast & Lite Critique: Fast Full ($75 value.) Comment on the blogpost to enter the giveaway.
What were you like at the age of your target audience?
I remember being imaginative and creative. I played a lot of made-up scenarios with my sister and friends, everything from mermaids in the sea to wolves in the forest to pretending we had horses and galloping around the yard! And I drew and painted a lot. The picture of me is from an art class my parents enrolled me in when I was five.
What inspires you?
As a writer of children’s books, I’m inspired by the experiences of others and their kids. I’m also inspired by writing workshops. There’s something about hearing tips about craft or why an author/agent/editor/illustrator liked a particular book that gets my creative juices flowing. Even if the craft tip is something I already know, hearing it again gets me excited about working on new or existing projects. And when I hear someone point out something specific in a book that resonated with them, I wonder if my stories have that same something.
What’s something you hope readers take away from your book?
Fun and laughter along with an ah-ha moment if possible. Years ago, I participated in a story time with two other authors, both of whom had rollicking, interactive books. I shared GRANDMOTHER, HAVE THE ANGELS COME? which is a lovely book but quite serious. I left there thinking: “I want to write a book that is really fun to read-aloud and creates interactivity with listeners.” It took a long time, but IF YOUR MONSTER WON’T GO TO BED was the result of that desire. And it’s also a story of perseverance!
What’s next for you?
I have a few picture books in various stage–one out on submission and others almost ready or in the drafting stage. I’m also writing the first draft of a new middle grade novel and it’s been really fun to return to that category! I’m also very interested in health and nutrition and have been immersed in some programs to educate myself. I’m excited to share my love for healthy eating and cooking with people of all ages, but especially kids, through books, classes and workshops.
To learn more about Denise, her books and her writing opportunities:
Twitter: https://twitter.com/denisevegabooks @denisevegabooks
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/denisevegabooks @denisevegabooks