Monday, June 29, 2009

AUTHOR INTERVIEW - DEBE BRANNING

Shari: Debe, please tell us a little about yourself. (Family, location, interests, etc.)
Debe: I live in the Phoenix, Arizona area with my partner Kenton Moore. We have three Labradors that keep us busy. My children are grown and I have two grandsons that live in Omaha, Nebraska. I retired from the DMV last year and now I have way too many hobbies, activities and interests! How did I ever manage before? Besides writing, I collect celebrity dolls (I own about 460 dolls), I am an adult Girl Scout, I go to Jazzercise 3 times a day, I am on the board of directors of the Pioneers’ Cemetery Association, I travel all over Arizona collecting ghost stories and do paranormal investigations.


Shari: How long have you been writing for children?

Debe: I have been writing the Chickolet Pigolet series of books for over 30 years. I have friends who are school teachers that use to read the “raw manuscripts” to their first and second grade readers and the classes urged me on to write more.

Shari: Is Chickolet Pigolet: The Bribe of Frankenbeans your first book? What a delightful title! Where did the idea come from?

Debe: Chickolet Pigolet: The Bribe of Frankenbeans is my first children’s book published. I have recently submitted a second one “Murmur on the Oink Express” and waiting to hear if it will be published. Chickolet Pigolet is really ME in my crazy life. Many of the events in the stories are adventures I endured in the past.


Shari: Do you write in other genres? Tell us about your other writing please.

Debe: I have also written “Sleeping With Ghosts—A Ghost Hunter’s Guide to Arizona’s Haunted Hotels & Inns” which is basically a travel guide that tells you which rooms to stay in if you want to encounter a ghost on your vacation! Many people carry it in their car along with their maps! I also write a column for Examiner.com on Arizona’s Haunted Sites. I am divulging about 15 years of my ghost hunting secrets for the readers.

Shari: What are you working on now? Do you have something we can all look forward to?

Debe: I am working on “Dining With the Dead—A Ghost Hunter’s Guide to Arizona’s Haunted Caf├ęs and Restaurants”……..”Gracie’s Diary”—a historical fictional novel about early life in Bisbee, AZ………Re editing 4 more titles in my Chickolet Pigolet series………always working on the Examiner.com column, and I am also doing a monthly column for a new paranormal magazine “Spirits of Cochise County.”
Shari: Have you taken any writing courses? What?

Debe: I have taken courses in Writing For Children several years ago. Recently I have been taking various courses in writing and journalism at Central AZ College.

Shari: How do you write? Do you outline? Do you use any special techniques to flesh out a story?

Debe: Let’s say, I talk to myself quite a bit while I am driving. If I like how the conversation sounds I immediately pen it out. Usually I know exactly where I am going with a fictional story. I write most stories in a notebook and transfer the magic on to the computer later. I often let friends read a few chapters to see if it draws their interest.

Shari: What is the best writing advice you ever received?

Debe: Write the stories as though the words were pouring out of my mouth speaking to a group of friends.

Shari: What is the hardest thing about being a children’s writer?

Debe: I think the hardest thing about being a children’s writer these days is making the parents understand how important it is to take time to read to the children or let them read to you. I try to write stories that inspire or teach a valued lesson so the parents or grandparents keep looking to see when my next book is coming out.

Shari: Do you have a special writing space? What would we find in your space?

Debe: At home in Mesa, I work in the room with the 460 dolls as my audience. There are books and reference material everywhere and I know exactly where to find every project. Other people look in here and think, “oh my!” In Bisbee, I have a cozy spot on the screened porch with a view of the mountains.

Shari: Do you have a writing companion? (pet?) Tell us about him or her.

Debe: Hmmmm…occasionally my dog Tanner comes and lays by my feet when the afternoon is getting long and he thinks it is time to stop and play ball with him.

No comments: