Today I am sharing Diane Mae Robinson’s Answers to 5 Questions. Diane is the author of the super funny Pen Pieyu Adventures featuring Sir Princess Petra. You can read our reviews of Sir Princess Petra’s Talent and the latest book Sir Princess Petra’s Mission by clicking on the link.
About The Author:
My name is Diane Mae Robinson. I write fantasy/adventure chapter books for children 7 to 11 years of age, although, many adults like my books too. My current book, Sir Princess Petra’s Mission is the 3rd book in The Pen Pieyu Adventures series. The first two books of this series were published in 2012 and 2014. The series is a humorous fantasy/adventure based on Petra (the main character), Snarls (her dragon sidekick), and several other zany characters who all have a lot of fun during their whacky adventures. It’s important to me that the books also teach kids good values about friendship, kindness, and believing in themselves. The first two books in this series have won seven international awards and one provincial award.
I have several jobs, so my writing is limited to weekends. I work at a dental office, teach private art lessons, take on some editing jobs, and I’m a writing instructor at the Creative Writing Institute.
What does it mean to you to be called an author?
Diane- I am proud and honored to be called an author, mostly because my road to becoming a published author was such a long and hard road. After several years of college to learn the crafts of journalism, grammar, short story writing, and finally branching off into children’s literature, I wrote the first book in this series, Sir Princess Petra – The Pen Pieyu Adventures. Searching out a traditional publishing contract for the story took 9 years and 27 rejections before finally finding a home where it was published in 2012. Throughout this journey, I was determined to keep learning and perfecting the craft of writing for children, and mostly, not to give up on myself.
-Your persistence is a great inspiration.
What advice do you have for new authors, like me?
Take writing courses—keep learning the writing craft. Read, read, and read. Be brave, you will get many rejections for your work. Most importantly, never, ever give up on yourself. I’m so proud of you for starting out your own writing career at such a young age.
-Wow, thanks! I do appreciate all the great advice get in these interviews.
What is the first book that you remember reading?
Black Beauty. My grandmother gave the book to me when I was eight years old. It was the first very long book that I read. I thought the adventure was magical and I knew I would be forever drawn into the wondrous world of books. Oh, and I still have the book.
-It is on my reading list, my parents have mentioned reading and enjoying it when they were young.
If you could be friends with a character in one of your stories who would it be and what kinds of things would you do together?
Snarls, the dragon. In my imaginary world, we already hang out together: go for walks in the forest, ride horses, play with the dogs, discuss books, you know, regular dragon-author stuff. He is the one breathing down my neck when I write. He’s kind of bossy and he never gives up on trying to become the star of the series, which of course isn’t going to happen—I don’t think. Oh! Gosh! He just blasted me with spit and said, “Puuhhhhh! Bwahahahahaha!”
– I can totally see that happening. Snarls is an awesome character. I mean he is a dragon that carries around a resume.
Name three fun facts about you or your work.
- All of my inspiration for my stories and characters come about when I walk through my forest, thus, I call it my magical forest. I see images of characters and scenes in the tree bark—yeah, ummm, about that . . .
- Snarls, the dragon, wasn’t really meant to become as popular as he is—he gets a lot of fan mail.
- My next book, tentatively entitled, Grammar for Kids and Dragons, a humorous grammar book coming out in 2016, has the characters of The Pen Pieyu Adventures doing fun stuff in the example sentences. I poke fun at Snarls a lot in this book. Shhhhh, don’t tell him, he’ll be miffed.
-Great facts! I totally can’t wait to read your Grammar book.
Which of your current works in progress are you most passionate about?
I am extremely passionate about all the books in The Pen Pieyu Adventures series, but especially about this 3rd book released in January. The characters have become like real friends to me—friends who insistently jabber on and on about their next adventure and leave me no choice but to write their stories.
I am also passionate about my grammar book, but it’s more like tearing-out-my-hair passionate. Trying to write a grammar book that is fun and informative has not been easy.
– Scenes in bark? Characters jabbering about their adventures? Sounds like a wonderfilled life.
What or who inspired you to begin writing?
Reading and the places one can go in an adventure. It made me want to
write my own adventures.
-Write the books you want to read? Sounds like a fun time.
My Thanks to Diane Mae Robinson for taking the time to come up such great answers to 5 Questions. You can find her books at Amazon or Barnes and Noble