Can you briefly describe the type of writing work you do?
As a job (a wonderful job) I write stories for school readers, fiction and non-fiction, and stories for trade picture books. As a hobby I write poetry.
You are well-known for your funny picture books, but you also write serious ones: do you have a preference?
I like writing both crazy and serious. I have so much fun writing fun stories. But I think my best writing is in the serious stuff like Sea Secrets and Colour the Stars. I like the emotional connection and the feeling of poetry in the serious stories. The fun books just pop up in my head and won’t go away. I’m happy for them to keep popping up!
Do you have a favourite book, among the ones you have written?
Favourites come and go – often the new story is the favourite for a while. But I always come back to Sea Secrets, and stories like Keeping Cloudy a Secret.
Ross Kinnard has illustrated several of your books. How does that relationship work? Do you work closely on the books you produce, or do you each stick to your own area of expertise?
I rarely send Ross any illustration briefs. I trust his interpretation and we seem to be on the same wave length. I wait excitedly to see what he comes up with in his first roughs. Then we chat about it and we go from there.
Is there any part of the writing process or writing life that you struggle with or find hard?
The last edits! So nerve-wracking. I’m always nervous of missing something or getting something wrong. Thank goodness for good editors!
Can you give us a hint about the next project you have in the pipeline? What can your followers expect?
It’s another fun book, with Ross again. But next year there’s a book coming that’s quiet and gentle.
Dawn will be appearing at Word Cafe Raglan on Saturday 15 August 2015, 3.45pm-4.30pm in the Raglan Town Hall.