About Dori Durbin:
Dori Durbin grew up most of her life in a small town in Michigan. After earning a BA in English and a secondary teaching certification, Dori taught high and middle school English and Science classes for ten years. She obtained her Master of Arts degree in Social work with an emphasis on Community Services.
After an illness, she switched gears and began her career as an certified personal trainer and fitness instructor. She also began to pursue her passion of being and artist and author. She currently still lives in Michigan with her amazingly smart and talented family: husband, son, daughter, three pleasantly pampered indoor cats, and her old Great Dane.
Dori teaches youth art and participates occasionally in art shows. She has additionally taken courses with Make Art that Sells (Lila Rogers), Story Teller Academy (Arree Chung), art classes, participates in a few of the gallery and special event shows the Little Blue Mushroom (Kristen Balouch). She hopes to continue to learn about writing and illustration for children– and owning many cats!
What inspires you to write?
Where do I find my inspiration? I am actually a people watcher anywhere we go. Oftentimes, it’s from watching people, hearing funny conversations, silly kid antics, collaborating with other authors, and finally experiences with my own childhood and/or my children’s experiences that truly inspires me. it just takes on little ”spark idea” to get the ball rolling. i also love the feeling of accomplishment when a printed book is in the hand of a laughing child…
What authors do you read when you aren’t writing?
So many are children’s book authors and illustrators! Kate DiCamillo, Chris Van Dusen, Anthony Browne, Ashley Spires, Roald Dahl, Madeleine L'Engle, Katy Hudson, and my very FIRST favorite author was Margaret Wise Brown— author of “When the Wind Blew.”
Tell us about your writing process.
I have an Idea Journal.
When I’m at my most productive is when I write or sketch in it everyday. I start with a “spark idea” or sketch and then grow it out by asking “why questions”… Why is Little Cat feeling Left Out? Why doesn’t Dog see it? Why doesn’t she ask for help? Then I look for humorous or incident heightening situations… What is comical about feeling left out? What makes it more/less painful? I’m an illustrator too, so I usually end up sketching scenarios and then selecting my favorites visually too. Although it all sounds linear here it’s really not. There are numerous restarts and redirects for sure! I also utilize my critique group, friends, and family. I usually have to walk away from the story for a bit and come back. Having a fresh perspective is really helpful for me!
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
Hmmm… interesting. I don’t think so… I mean I definitely fall into their world but I feel like I’m more the director calling “cut” than speaking to them? I ask questions like, knowing she’s a bit feisty and proud what should she do now?
What advice would you give other writers?
Don’t write to be perfect— it’s too hard to perfect your work and be ready to show others. Be open to collaboration— for its through others our work is refined. Don’t give up your soul— collaborating doesn’t mean your voice, passion, and vision should be lost. Keep it, it’s yours. Create for others— create for you. Sometimes it’s one piece, and sometimes it’s two. The best things come when you persevere through the “ugly” parts of creativity… trudge through and you’ll be delighted with the results. Just keep writing.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
Both my books have been self
published— this second time I used Ingram Spark due to their wider distribution. I also used fellow author Vicky Weber’s marketing plan as well as hire editor Robyn Katz. I’m so grateful I utilized both ladies! Perhaps one day soon, I would LOVE an agent/editor/marketer… but that’s after I wrote in my journal… 😂.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
Post Covid I’d say technology will still be the way. My kids textbooks are on-line, college classes on-line, e-book sales are sky rocketing… it’s such a tech-heavy
world right now that I see more and more accessible self-publishing it publishing platforms in the future!
What genres do you write?: Children’s fiction/ picture books
What formats are your books in?: Both eBook and Print
All information in this post is presented “as is” supplied by the author. We don’t edit to allow you the reader to hear the author in their own voice.