I've been extremely fortunate to illustrate a book that was written by a truly gifted author, Dotti Enderle. (and I'm really lucky because I'm going to illustrate another of hers later this year)
Dotti has a wonderful wacky sense of humor and her writing absolutely sparkles.
As the last stop on her blog tour, I asked Dotti the tough questions.
Joe : How long does it take you to go from idea to final manuscript?
Dotti : LOL! Sometimes years! But for picture books, I generally get the idea, hear the alliteration and start writing. Of course, that’s just the first draft. I’ve learned over the years that is distance is my friend. I have to put something away for awhile to be objective. But I like it when I’ve put so much space between readings that I’d forgotten most of it, and think, “Wow…I wrote this?” But then sometimes it’s “Ugh…I wrote this?” (sigh) Distance is my friend.
Joe : Please describe for us your writing process - do you work from an outline, do you fly by the seat of your pants and then revise, etc.?
Dotti : I’ve done both. Mostly I’m a pantser, but my current WIP is a YA that I’m writing from a 28-page, 15,500 outline. The novel has five main characters, and I needed the plot outline to keep from digging myself into a hole. But I’ll admit, the writing process hasn’t been fun. Writing from an extensive outline takes away the mystery and surprises from writing blindly as I usually do.
Joe : When you were a child did you want to be writer when you grew up? (or at least when you got older since the jury is still out on whether or not you have ever grown up)
Dotti : Yeah, they’re definitely still deliberating! Yes, I wanted to be a writer when I was younger. I didn’t think I’d ever have the patience to write a novel though. It seemed so daunting. But when I wrote my first novel back in 1999 (published 2002), I just took it one scene at a time, and eventually I got there. I still take it one scene at a time…in both my writing and my life.
Joe : What writers do you most admire?
Dotti : Kimberly Willis Holt, Kevin Brooks, Jeanne DuPrau, Scott Westerfield, Ally Carter, and many more. I invite you to read their books rather than elaborate.
Joe : If your publisher told you they would agree to any marketing idea short of a Super Bowl ad, what would you request?
Dotti : Why not a Super Bowl ad? I’d behave myself. No ripped bras. No streaking. Just me holding up my book like a Campbell’s soup can, saying, “Holy cow! You gotta read this book cause my publisher just spend like a bazillion dollars on this Super Bowl ad!” But then again, if I’m wearing a pair of Levis and swigging some Bud Light at the same time, maybe the publisher wouldn’t have to pay so much.
Joe : Name 5 items that you would bring with you if you knew you were going to be on a desert island for 3 months.
Dotti : Jared, Jensen, Jake, Jesse, and…uh…I guess some food. (All my fantasy guys have J names. Even Johnny.)
Thanks Dotti! Make sure you check out Dotti's latest book Grandpa For Sale published by Flashlight Press.
Also see Dotti's other interviews by clicking on these links.
Cats and Jammers Studio
Elizabeth O Dulemba