September 2, 2016
Today we are pleased to be feature debut author, Kate Dopirak in the author spotlight. Kate's book, YOU'RE MY BOO is out this month!
Be sure to enter the Rafflecopter below to win a copy of YOU'RE MY BOO.
Tell us about your background and how you came to write for children.
I grew up in a home where books and art were valued. My mom took my brother, my sister, and me to the Bookmobile often, and my sister and I played library in our attic. My dad had endless piles of things he wanted to read for work and for fun. When we asked homework questions, my mom pulled the dictionary and encyclopedias from our family room bookshelves and read to us.
I was also blessed with wonderful teachers who encouraged me to read and write. Later, teaching elementary school introduced me to children’s literature in a brand new way. As I read to my students, my appreciation for kids’ books grew. Once I had my sons, I couldn’t resist the desire to write for them.
Congrats on YOU'RE MY BOO! Tell us about it and what inspired this story.
My sons inspired YOU’RE MY BOO. It’s my love letter to them – my silly goose love letter.
How long did this story take from first draft to publication date?
I wrote a draft of YOU’RE MY BOO when my youngest son was a baby. He’s about to turn nine. I know that seems like a loooong time, and it is. But a lot happened in those years: I joined SCBWI; I became part of a writing group; I attended writing workshops and conferences; I signed with Adams Literary; and I kept writing and writing and writing.
Tell us about your other picture books coming out.
SNUGGLE BUNNY will hop into spring 2017, thanks to Cartwheel/Scholastic. It’s about a young bunny who doesn’t want to get out of bed and soon finds himself with a lot of company. I can’t wait for readers to snuggle in with Cori Doerrfeld’s adorable characters.
TWINKLE, TWINKLE, LITTLE CAR is an automotive twist on the classic, from Beach Lane Books/Simon & Schuster. It’s currently being illustrated by Mary Peterson. I’ve had a sneak peek at the art and it makes my engine purr!
What projects are you working on now?
I’m all wound up about a new picture book my agent has out on submission. It’s fiction with some nonfiction elements, and it’s different than anything I’ve done previously. Fingers crossed!
What advice would you give your younger self? Is it the same you would give an aspiring author today?
Yes! Surround yourself with good people. I’m lucky to have a group of writing friends and critique partners who are super supportive but also 100% honest with feedback. They make me a better writer and a better person.
What is one thing most people don't know about you?
I’m a terrible speller. One November in my elementary classroom, I decorated a big board with a big turkey. A parent of one of my students pointed out my big mistake:
Gooble! Google!Oh, the embarrassment! Thanks goodness for spellcheck and my family. I ask how to spell words ALL THE TIME.
Where can people find you online?
My website is katedopirak.com, and I’m @katedopirak on Twitter.
Kate Dopirak loves walking her puppy, watching her sons play sports, and convincing her husband to share a cheese plate instead of wings. She also loves to write for kids. Kate is a teacher, a reading specialist, and the Assistant Regional Advisor for Western Pennsylvania SCBWI.