More About the Author
I've always been a storyteller, a singer of nursery rhymes, a twister of truth. The oldest girl in a family of seven kids, I used my survival skills as a storyteller to keep my younger siblings from maiming each other in poking wars. I loved books and I'd read for hours. And I would 'live' in those stories. If the hero suffered, so did I. I once roller skated around our block twenty-eight times in a snow storm, mentally fighting the elements in the Yukon. I froze my butt off, but let me tell you - it was perfect suffering!
As an adult, I read to my twins often. Then because of a nagging need to do something creative, I began to write. I learned to submit my writing to children's magazine publishers, ever conscious of the postage money I was sure I was throwing away. But the challenge was there! The Yukon (and now the publishing world) needed to be tamed - to heck with the suffering or the cost of a stamp!
I sold my first story to Highlights for Children, then many more to that magazine, to Jack and Jill, Scholastic and others. I sold three picture books: A Hat for Lily, and In A Window on Greenwater Street, to Steck/Vaughn, and The Way The Tiger Walked, to Simon & Schuster. I was a published author! But I didn't feel like an author. At least I had the publishers fooled. Not one of them called to tell me it was all a huge mistake.
I left all these glories, and doubts, in the early '70's. Life called me in different directions for the next thirty years. We now had four daughters and schools that introduced us to that annoying word tuition. I went to work part time at various jobs - preschool, nursing home, medical clinic, hospital. I quieted my creative demon in snitches and snatches of small projects until 1997, when two amazing things happened. My daughter, Stacy DeKeyser, started to write, and I was introduced to this new, alien thing called a computer.
I had EMAIL! Stacy lived in Atlanta and cyber channels smoked with our back and forth messages about writing - she asking questions about my long ago experiences, and me, trying to remember. She introduced me to online writers' groups and after a few short months, I was drawn back into the world of writing.
My first picture book, On a Wintry Morning (illustrated by Stephen T. Johnson) appeared in the bookstores in October 2000. New books are reviewed and the reviews can be good or bad. If the reviewer writes: "Would someone please shoot this writer," that's bad. If the book is given a 'starred review,' that's good. On a Wintry Morning received two starred reviews (lucky me!) and also won the Archer/Eckblad Award for the best picture book to be written by a Wisconsin author in 2000. I was astonished. The book has a simple, rhyming text about a daddy and his baby daughter spending a wintry morning together. How appropriate is that, having watched my husband help raise four daughters?
With the help of my daughter and my writing friends, I think I'm becoming a good writer. In addition to a good number of picture books, I've written a series of five easy-to-read Cork and Fuzz books. It's been an interesting and pleasurable journey.
And why do I write? I can't give just one reason. But I think what comes closest to being the most important reason goes something like this. Close your eyes and imagine you hear a child laugh. Then imagine that you are the one who made him laugh. Can you feel that inner glow?
Please visit my website: www.dorichaconas.com