Author Interview with Marti Dumas
Whenever I ask authors why they write for kids, I always get a different answer, but many times, the answer revolves around the writer wanting to share their stories with children that they know. My latest author interview with Marti Dumas shows how children inspire the books that are written with them. Dumas is a teacher and mother of two who writes for her students, son, and daughter.
Having this built-in audience can keep an author motivated and makes them even excited to share their work. As a result of this motivation, Dumas has published two books and shows no signs of stopping soon. Her website (www.martidumasbooks.com) reflects her teaching background and how her children inspire her. The site, for lack of a better word, is adorable as well as useful and easy to navigate. Other authors can take notes on how to put together a professional, polished site from Dumas that is both informative and fun without being overly self-promotional.
Check out my interview with Dumas below, and be sure to check out her books on Amazon!
Audio Versions of the Books
1. How many books have you written and where can you buy them?
I had to stop to think about that question for a second. Lol. I’m one of those weirdos who writes books and leaves them sitting on computer flash drives and floppy discs (for those of you old enough to know that that is!), so I have actually written 5 books, but only been brave enough to try to publish 2 of them— "Jala and the Wolves" and the first in a series of illustrated chapter books that came out just this past weekend, "Jaden Toussaint, the Greatest Episode 1: The Quest for Screen Time".
2. What famous books can you compare to your own?
Jala and the Wolves has a very classic fairy tale feeling. People have compared it to "The Chronicles of Narnia" and "The Secret Garden", although I’d never be that bold.
"Jaden Toussaint, the Greatest" has a totally different tone. People have compared it to the "Fly Guy" books and "Horrible Harry" because of the humor and illustrations.
3. Why do you write for this particular age group?
I am a teacher and a mama who reads to and with children all the time. The thing I like about writing for elementary school kids is really getting to dive into their perspective. It’s an amazing world filled with wonder in things that adults often find ordinary. I like getting to live in that place where everything is a new puzzle to explore, but the best part is when I actually get to read it with my children. That’s where the real magic happens.
4. How autobiographical are your books?
The ones that are published both have characters that are anchored in reality—"Jala and the Wolves" is based on my daughter, "Jaden Toussaint" is modeled after my son—but the stories themselves are entirely fiction.
5. What’s the best compliment that you’ve ever received about your writing?
That’s a great question! I think one I enjoyed the most was when someone said "Jala and the Wolves" read like a Hindu fairy tale just because it was so unexpected.
6. What has been your greatest moment as a writer so far?
I think it actually happened yesterday at the book release party for "Jaden Toussaint, the Greatest". There were all these kids there who were really into the storytime part, and afterwards were getting their pictures taken next to the poster of the book cover. Then, as if that weren’t enough, a librarian at the event came up to me and said that this is a book that she has been looking for for years, something modern and funny that bridges the gap between little kid books and big kid books. I was really excited about that because that’s exactly what I hoped it would do for my son and kids like him.
7. Where do you get your covers?
I work with a wonderful artist name Marie Muravski for the art, and then I pass the art work on to a pair of graphic designers who hone it and make it work for the cover.
8. What is a subject/character/setting you would like to tackle?
The series I’m developing now is "Warrior Faeries". It’s about a group of 10-13 year olds who live in our world but, because of some bits of faerie DNA from distant ancestors, are sucked into turmoil in a parallel world controlled by faeries.
9. What is next for you?
There are 2 more books in the "Jaden Toussaint" series coming out in October and the "Warrior Faerie" books will be in full production before the end of the year. I’m really excited about both.
10. End with a quote.
“One sees clearly only with the heart. Anything essential is invisible to the eyes.” - Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince