Author Spotlight: Lori Degman and a Book Giveaway

KIDLIT 411 is lucky to interview the fabulous children’s author, Lori Degman. Lori's new picture book is Cock-a-Doodle Oops! has just been released and we are raffling off a SIGNED copy to one lucky winner! Thank you, Lori for agreeing to this interview and for being featured in our AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT!

What were you like at school? Can you tell us a little about yourself and your background?

I grew up in a northern suburb of Chicago with my mom (my parents were divorced), brother and two sisters (one is my twin).  I had undiagnosed ADD - I had all the symptoms but they didn't really know about it back in the day. This made school very difficult for me - I had a very hard time paying attention in school and getting my homework done. So, I was not the best student. I was (still am) a very slow reader but I've always liked writing.

Do you write full-time or part-time?

I am a teacher of deaf and hard of hearing children and I do that full-time, so I don't have a lot of time to write. I get most of my writing done in the summer and do a lot of editing during the school year. My goal is to be able to be a full-time writer!  

Do you ever get writer’s block?

All the time!  sually I get stuck right after I get the idea for a story. I have a hard time figuring out how I can make the story different and unusual enough to make it stand out from other stories. I have a ton of works in progress and when I have a big chunk of time to write, I'll open a bunch of them on my laptop at the same time. I'll start working on one and, when I get stuck, I'll move on to another until I get stuck, then another . . .  That works well for me - probably because of my ADD brain!

What is your favorite quote?

My favorite writing quote (at least for this very minute) is by Groucho Marx: "Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend.  Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read."  

What is your favorite film and why?

It's A Wonderful Life is my favorite movie (me and a million other people!). I love it because it feels very real to me it has a wonderful message about the true meanings of success and wealth.  Plus, I LOVE Jimmy Stewart!!

Can you tell KidLit411 something that no one else knows about you? A special pre-writing ritual, or a ritual you have when you're finished writing? 

When I'm having difficulty focusing on my writing, I color in my 30-minute Mandalas coloring book. It's a great way to calm my brain! You can find them on Amazon!

Thanks so much for sharing your creative process with us, Lori! Thanks for the tip on a Mandalas coloring book!

Lori Degman is a teacher of Deaf/Hard of Hearing students by day and a writer of picture books by night, weekend and school holiday. She lives in a northern suburb of Chicago. Her debut picture book, 1 Zany Zoo was the winner of the Cheerios New Author Contest and a mini version was distributed inside 2.2 million boxes of Cheerios. The hardcover was published by Simon & Schuster in 2010. Ms. Degman's second picture book, Cock-a-Doodle Oops! was released by Creston Books this month.

You can find Lori: (website)
Lori Degman, Children's Book Author (Facebook)
@LoriDegman (Twitter)

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  1. Love this book... I heard it read on a video story time that I found online. Fun, fun, fun!

  2. HUGE congrats to Lori, master rhymer! I saw just the first stanza on Susanna Hill's blog and...swoon! Can't wait to read the whole thing. Thanks for the great interview. I love the coloring idea.

  3. A queen of rhyme with a colorful process! Love it :D It was fun to hear you read Coock-a-Doodle Oops! - via video post - from your book launch party. My special PB collection has a spot ready for Coock-a-Doodle Oops! right next to 1 Zany Zoo! ;)

  4. I heard Cock-a-Doodle Oops! read on-line. What a fantastic story, filled with lively and clever language. It's going to be a huge hit!

  5. Love the quote you shared. Great humor! I enjoyed getting to know you more, Lori! I have your book on my to-read list.

  6. Such a great book by a great author! Thanks so much for being featured in the Spotlight, Lori! :D

  7. Love this book! Already own it, but would love a signed copy to give as a gift!

  8. This is me all the time: "I have a hard time figuring out how I can make the story different and unusual enough to make it stand out from other stories." I just love Lori's story! It's so inspiring to know what she went through to succeed.

    Thank you for this interview and giveaway!

  9. Excellent, interesting interview! Great questions and answers! Thanks for the tip on how to squeeze writing into a teaching schedule. That may work better for me! I have been waiting for summer to swing around for a LONG time, and always complain that I never have time to revise. (I'm in great need of a good night's sleep!) Is it possible to OVER-write and then never revise? The magic formula may be: Write lots in summer, but revise little bits all the time! Thanks for the inspiration, Lori! I'm going to try it your way!!! You are amazing all around! (My students and I would love a signed copy of your book!)

  10. Love the book and your journey as it unfolds Lori. Thanks for sharing.

  11. YAY, Lori! But do you now give a little box of Cheerios away with you book. Sorry - had to throw that in!

  12. Congratulations on Cock-A-Doodle Oops!, Lori! I have only heard wonderful things about this book and look forward to reading it. So great to get to know you better in this interview.

  13. Lori, I love your book and your tips about writing when we are stuck. I also have many manuscripts in various stages...maybe I'll try opening a bunch at once so when I'm stuck I can move on to the next one :)

  14. Congrats, Lori! I feel like I've been waiting for this book to come out for forever. Of course, I'm sure it feels longer for you. All the best!

  15. Lori Degman's story is amazing! P.S. I also have a Mandalas coloring book!

  16. Nice interview! Glad that you've found a way to make things work for you.

  17. I'm playing catch-up today so I'm a couple of months behind. I love your books, Lori, and own both of them. You're such a talented rhymer!
    Thanks for the Interview, 411 :-)


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