Enjoy reading about this talented KidLit author!
When did you decide to become a writer and why?
After I turned 50 several stories came to me in a short period. I decided that I wanted to illustrate them to show children simple drawings that they could recreate easily.
How long does it usually take you to complete a book?
It takes me about four months to illustrate the story from beginning to editing to publishing.
What is your editing process like?
Editing the story and illustrations takes me much longer than it does to do the original. When you are debuting your book with teachers, you want it to be perfect! I use a professional editor, especially since I have no grammar skills at all! I also have someone that makes sure the pictures are in sync with the written story.
Do you have a particular time to write?
I am very fortunate that the stories come to me quickly, even the rhyming. The illustrations I do in short sets, usually doing many pages in a few days, taking time off, then another short spurt.
How has your product evolved over the years?
The first year that I reached out to schools in fall of 2014, I read to about 300 students, in the autumn of 2015 I read to over 2000 and in total over 10,000 in the last few years. This year I have schools calling me to set up readings. I have parents and schools that buy the books and the Wally and Warren stuffed animals. Wally and Warren have been featured in an Elementary school yearbook on the “Kindergarten Rocks” page and have had over a thousand children download books in just a few days on Amazon. Wally and Warren are also proud to be on Barnes and Noble.com; we have no idea how that happened, but we are very proud! I am a self-published author, so I didn’t even know that was possible.
What have you written and can you tell us a little about it?
I have eight books in The Adventures of Wally and Warren book series. The Adventures of Wally and Warren book series are tales of friendship weaved into stories that teach valuable life lessons to children in fun rhyming fashion while they fall in love with Wally and Warren along the way.
Is there anything you are working on right now that you would like to share?
The Halloween Surprise was released in September. It introduces children to a scary tale in fun filled rhyming fashion and introduces them to geometric shapes and of course, it’s all about friendship.
Any advice for aspiring authors?
I have been fortunate to know already that I have inspired several writers to achieve their goals in writing. My goal with this series has always been to inspire many young readers to write and illustrate their stories. In fact, I leave the brush strokes in my simple drawings so that young readers can see that they can do this too! My #1 tip – Finish your book – So many authors get stuck in making their story and then reworking and reworking, only making it different, not better. JUST FINISH IT ALREADY! I help students who have a story with pictures by making it into an actual book for them, just like the Wally and Warren books.
Give us an insight into your main character.
– Wally and Warren are the quintessential polar opposite duo. Wally, the penguin, is the adventurous one that is always getting into trouble while Warren the polar bear is the one that tries to keep Wally out of trouble. They not only entertain but they also teach kids valuable lessons while they observe this opposite polar friendship.
Thank you so much for joining us Lise. It has been my privilege to share your stories here for Picture Book Month. If you would like more information you can visit Lise at the links listed below. As always, thank you in advance for comments! Lise or I will get back to you lickety-split! See you all next week. ~Carmela
Barnes and Noble
You can find Carmela Dutra at: http://carmeladutra.com/