Author Spotlight: Danielle Dufayet

March 1, 2019

Today we are excited to feature debut picture book author Danielle Dufayet! Danielle is the author of YOUARE YOUR STRONG, illustrated  Jennifer Zivoin (Magination Press Mar. 19, 2019). 

Be sure to enter to win a copy!

Tell us about yourself and how you came to write for children.

I’ve loved writing since I was eight. I used to write poems. I also love art (I’m an artist and both my parents were artists) and I love children, so I thought why not combine all these loves into one great profession?

Congrats on your debut picture book, YOU ARE YOUR STRONG. Tell us about it and what inspired you.

I was inspired by 3 things: I was going through an emotionally challenging time (leaving a long, unhealthy marriage). A close friend asked me one day how I kept so strong through the ordeal. Soon after, I saw the movie Room, where 5 year old Jack (kidnapped and held hostage in a room with his mom) says that his long hair is his strong (and doesn’t want to cut it). I thought that was beautiful and it got me thinking about what my strong is and what other people’s strong is – it’s different for everyone.

Was your road to publication long and windy, short and sweet, or something in between?

My road to publication was a long, hard, lonely, frustrating, and windy road! There were just enough sweet spots in between the hard spots to keep me going. I’d cling to any feedback that gave me hope I’d someday reach author status. But, overall, I knew if I didn’t quit it would happen someday – it just had to!

What projects are you working on now?

 I am currently working on a very simple “I Love You” manuscript and another one about how we are all genetically connected; and, a few other ideas brewing. A lot of my time has shifted, however, from writing to marketing.

What advice would you give to aspiring authors?

Develop a “No matter what” attitude…and you know the rest (read, write, revise, critique, go to conferences, etc.) And, become as objective as you can. This will help when you get rejected and when you revise your manuscripts.

What is one thing most people don't know about you?

My mother and I once went before Clint Eastwood (mayor of Carmel) and proposed an outdoor sculpture garden in Carmel (they had a special designated fund of a million dollars to invest). We had the uncontrollable giggles right up to the time we had to speak. No, we didn’t get the deal –they built a public bathroom instead.

Where can people find you online?

Danielle Dufayet (Doo-fye-yay), first generation American from France, was born in Yonkers, New York. She started writing at the age of eight. She is a professional fine art artist and has had her works in galleries up and down the California coast.

Danielle has a B.A. in English Literature and a M.S. in Psychology. She was always drawn to the beauty and simplicity of picture books and attracted by their powerful psychological impact on young minds. She believes that books are magic little gems that can change one’s life.

Danielle lives in sunny San Jose, not far from her two children and two grandchildren. If she’s not writing, she can be found listening to Bossa Nova while painting in her studio. She may be reached

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  1. Thank you, Sylvia, for this opportunity! xo

  2. I am really glad I read this article, because until I read about her inspiration from Room, I didn't understand the title. Now I want to read the book!

  3. The title, YOU ARE YOUR STRONG, is unique and catchy. I look forward to reading your debut book. All the best Danielle.

    Suzy Leopold

  4. This sounds like an important book for all ages. Congratulations on your book and thank you for sharing your talents with us.

  5. Nice! I never did see that movie though-looked too scary! LOL. Can't wait to read your book! Congrats!

  6. I'm sure the picture book will be as inspiring as the author's own backstory. Congratulations!

  7. This looks like the perfect book for young children.

  8. Hip, hip, hooray! I'm so grateful to be a winner of Danielle Dufayet's book YOU ARE YOUR STRONG.

    Thank you.

    Sue Leopold


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