Yesterday, I reviewed Jodi Moore’s When a Dragon Moves in. Today, she answers my questions..
Author name: Jodi Moore
Author website/social media:
Tell me a little about yourself:
When I was a toddler, my mom worked outside the home (like many mothers do), but each night, she’d bring home a book for us to share. Early on, I learned to associate books with love. I started “writing” stories as soon as I could hold a crayon. Now I’m so excited to have my own books I can share with others!
My husband and I have two talented (now grown) sons. We share our home in central PA with a dove who loves to coo and laugh (yes, doves laugh!) and is a very patient listener when I read my stories aloud to her. Over and over.
My favorite things are (not necessarily in this order): my family, friends, connecting with my readers, books (reading, writing and adopting), theater, music, dancing, traveling, animals, the beach and chocolate.
When you were my age, did you like to read?
Oh yes! I don’t think I was EVER without a book. Library day was my absolute favorite day of the week.
What was your favorite story?
This is a hard question – I had so many. Of course I loved anything Dr. Seuss (I still do!) And I remember having a huge book filled with Disney stories. In elementary school, I read anything I could find featuring animals (especially horses.) I devoured the MISTY OF CHINCOTEAUGUE series. I also loved ISLAND OF THE BLUE DOLPHINS.
In addition, there was one story that affected me in a way none other had before. DON’T TAKE TEDDY is about a young boy who is trying to protect his older mentally challenged brother from being sent away to an institution. I think I read it in third grade and the characters have lived within my heart ever since.
How do you get your ideas?
In so many ways! I use my imagination, I observe the world around me and I talk to other people. Books, movies and television also inspire me.
I got the idea for WHEN A DRAGON MOVES IN during a day at the beach with my husband. Larry and our boys always loved building sandcastles together. The first time we had to go without them (they had just left for college), we were sad, but Larry brought our sand toys anyway. Of course he soon had a lot of little helpers! One of the kids pulled a piece of seaweed out of the water and placed it in the doorway of the castle. Larry said, “That looks like a dragon’s tail. Our castle is so cool, a dragon moved in!”
And I thought…what a great idea for a story!
The sequel, WHEN A DRAGON MOVES IN AGAIN, is a fun look at sibling rivalry and brotherly love. Of course I had our own two sweet sons in mind when I wrote this!
Is it hard to write/illustrate a book? It is, but it’s wonderful and worth it!
My stories often play out like movies in my head and I have to find the right words so my readers can see it too. Or sometimes a character comes into my heart, and I have to work hard to find the right way to tell his/her story. I have one story that I’ve rewritten over 100 times, and it’s still not right. Yet. ☺
Do you have a favorite among the books you have written/illustrated?
Admittedly, I don’t. My books are like my babies. I love them all!
What author do you really like right now?
Again, such a tough question, as there are so many talented authors and powerful books out there! Each time I read something, I seem to have a new favorite.
But some authors make me race to the store whenever I hear they have a new book, such as Jacqueline Woodson, Laurie Halse Anderson, Gary Schmidt, Chris Crutcher and Garth Stein, to name a few!
What advice do you have for a kid who wants to be an author?
First, read, read, READ! Then dream. Explore your world. Play! (Even grownups have to remember to play if they want to be authors.) You have to experience life to have something to write about.
Then write, write, WRITE! Consider keeping a journal or diary. That kept me writing every day. And they’re so much fun to read afterwards!
Finally, no matter WHAT your dreams are, no matter WHAT you want to be when you grow up…don’t listen to the “no”-it-alls. Your dreams matter. Your words matter. YOU matter! Only you can tell your own story. And the world needs to hear it.