Saturday, August 9, 2014

World of Writing, Interview

-- World of Writing -- 

Yep, time for another World of Writing Interview... today we are featuring Connie Dunn - an author, speaker, and book writing coach. She writes both fiction and non-fiction. You can find more about her at or at or Her latest book is When Panda Was a Boy: a Collection of Stories on Gender Identity for K-8 and you can read more about it at Connie lives in Franklin, Massachusetts with her wife, Joyce, a tiny Chihuahua, Rusty, and a plus-size cat named Sophie.

Q: When did you consider yourself a writer?
A: I began to consider myself a writer when I got my first poem published when I was in high school. I actually began writing in elementary school, and my mom kept them all! I started out writing poetry, and then I did some storytelling when my children were little, which led me to writing children’s stories. I also became a freelance writer, writing for magazines and newspapers, and doing developmental editing for a couple of book publishers.

Q: What is your profession and educational background?
A: I have a degree in Marketing and Small Business Management, but I have pretty much been a writer for most of my working life. After being a freelance writer for about 30 years, I went into being a professional religious educator, because I was already volunteering in that capacity and was writing children’s stories and curriculum. Now that I have retired, I’m focusing on publishing and teaching others how to write. And though I have a degree in marketing, it does not help in the ever changing world of online marketing, so I have to keep taking courses, watch webinars, and listen to teleseminars to stay up-to-date.

Q: What is the important role that writers play in today’s world?
A: With publishing getting easier and easier with e-books and on-demand printers and publishers, writers can respond to some of the world’s current problems in a timely manner. For example, my book When Panda Was a Boy can be considered rather controversial, but it is also a timely topic that needs to be addressed. While traditional publishers did not want to publish my book, I was able to use my experience as an indie (independent) publisher. I did all the illustrations in quilts and had them professionally photographed, which just couldn’t have been done a decade or so ago!

Q: What is your mission?
A: My mission with When Panda Was a Boy is to get it out to the widest market possible. This is a book that helps GLBTQ (gay, lesbian, bisexual, trans – transgender, transsexual, and gender neutral – and questioning) children and youth see themselves in a story. It also helps parents and other adults learn how to communicate better with GLBTQ children through the role model adults in the stories. One reason that I began writing these stories is that I met teens who had been thrown out of their families after coming out as GLBTQ, and that tugged hard at my heart strings! I also know that young children begin exploring their gender identity, but most parents guide their children toward stereotypical gender roles, which can lead to kids’ self-worth and possibly depression and suicide.

Q: Where do you get your plot concepts? (who/what is your inspiration)
A: Life provides us with all the inspiration we need for writing, there are plot concepts brewing everywhere, including Facebook. It isn’t uncommon for folks to have their relationship fights online these days. Add in friends’ comments, and well you probably have enough for a book. After all, you really only need a problem that is either big enough or small enough to cover in a book or series of books. 

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