What's Your Story- Dee White
Every story has a beginning, a middle and an end- but within that are sentences pages and chapters, new beginning and new endings all the time. I keep saying We Are All Made of Stories and it's true! I find people's stories endlessly fascinating and am so pleased to be able to share their stories with you too. Some time ago I approached prolific Australian Author and all around talent Dee White to share her story, and then a few things happened, (like 2020!)
I'm happy to share Dee's story finally. Enjoy!
I’m the author of more than 20 books for children and young adults, but some of my books like my recent release, Beyond Belief are being enjoyed by adults too. I’ve always loved writing for kids and teens because they are so open to new information and thinking. And I love it when I go to schools and festivals and meet enthusiastic young readers who are so honest and authentic in how they respond to my books. As writers we put so much of ourselves into our work so it’s wonderful when readers connect with our books. I love travelling and I’ll go pretty much anywhere in search of a story. I spent a month in Paris researching Beyond Belief and this included a tour of the sewers.
It takes a while to find your voice and what works for you as a writer. I love variety. I love writing whatever I’m in the mood to write. I don’t like to be restricted. I’m happy to work to a brief, but usually I’ll be working on something of my own choosing at the same time. I love delving into books like Beyond Belief on serious topics and doing everything necessary to walk in the shoes of my characters. But this takes quite a toll on me emotionally so if I start to feel overwhelmed, I transfer my attentions to something much lighter that draws on different kinds of emotions, often humour. While I was working on Beyond Belief, I was also working on Eddy Popcorn’s Guide to Parent Training which hits the shelves in May.
I started writing Eddy’s story when my son was eleven or twelve (he’s now twenty-one) and I drew on his humour and dry wit as inspiration for Eddy. (My son is still very funny). I also drew on memories of me at that age and the things that bothered me about my parents.
Eddy Popcorn’s Guide to Parent Training has lots of illustrations by the amazing Ben Johnston and they’re really funny. He’d never even spoken to me, but somehow he seemed to see inside the inner workings of my mind and capture Eddy perfectly. Eddy was always Eddy in my head but he didn’t have a last name until I was doing the SCBWI Nevada Mentorship program in 2013 and was travelling with a dear friend, Mina Witteman from the Netherlands and we had booked to stay at a golf course near Lake Tahoe, but never got to play golf because the course was covered in snow. The resort where we were staying had 24 hour free Popcorn … and I was scooping myself out a bucket when I had the epiphany that Popcorn was the perfect surname for Eddy.
The End - which is always a new beginning!
I’m currently working on Eddy Popcorn’s Guide to Teacher Taming which will be out with Scholastic Australia next year and I also have a couple of historical fiction works in the pipeline … The Explorer’s Niece, about an epic journey undertaken by explorer Hamilton Hume’s niece and family after her father was murdered by bushrangers. This story is set in Australia in the 1840s. My other historical fiction WIP is set in Leeds during WW1 and has a working title of Canary Girl and it’s about a twelve-year-old girl working in a munitions factory. And because I like to step outside my comfort zone and try new things, I’m also working on a paranormal thriller movie script.
Check out Dee's webpage at https://www.deescribe.com.au/ for all of her exciting and multitalented offerings ( she's also a writing coach, did you know that?) Thank you for sharing your story Dee.
That's it for now, I'm working on a new podcast episode ( you didn't know I'm doing a podcast ?) and a few other exciting projects.
Stay safe, talk to you soon and remember - #weareallmadeofstories