Being this book was too harsh and emotional and real for me too finish. I thought I would contact the author too see where her inspration came from. I was shocked she complied. Then again I do help run the group she is featured in. Also I will add the questions to the author Q&A within our gtoup Book Review Program.
Welcome everyone to Q&A with Dixie Goode!
I want to thank Dixie for taking time to answerer several questions! Due to some unforeseen circumstance I sent Dixie a list of questions. Being the trooper that she is, she was very understanding. She answered each question and I missed the interactions between each one and one day hope to give it a real go at an interview filled with banter.
1. What inspired you to write your book, Duffy Barkley is Not a Dog?
I always knew I was meant to write, I started telling myself stories before I even knew what words were. I wrote poems and outlined stories on every scrap of paper that came my way and yet, I cheated myself by letting life get in the way. I only wrote when I had a deadline, an assignment to fill, or when I was writing long Holiday letters to copy and send out en-masse.
Then I began telling my stories to my kids, until there was a young handicapped boy named Duffy Barkley, already living and breathing in the air with me. And then I heard about two extremely helpful on-line sites, one being NaNoWriMo, and they changed my life from, "Someday" to "Do it Now!" Flylady.com, was mainly a site where I was encouraged to give up perfection and just bless my home with 15 minutes at a time. What can you do in 15 minutes a day? Create a warm, welcoming home out of Chaos, and write a novel in your spare time. Learn to Finally Love Yourself (FLY) as you do it. And in bursts of inspiration and the willingness to just jump in where I was, my first dream of a book became a real thing that can be found on-line and in stores and held and hated or loved and has begun a life without me.
2. What sparked the idea for your novel?
I started thinking of the stories we all love. They are different but they are all the same in one thing, Harry potter, Narnia, Cheers, Lord of The Rings, Friends, MASH, Star Trek. The addictive stories we beg for more of, have the kind of friends where you felt safer and more included than you had ever felt at home, friends you had always wanted, who made you look around with a lump in your throat, wishing you could stop time? They were a group of imperfect, overwhelmed and harassed people who became winners because they didn't have to face the overwhelming odds, alone. Even in the face of dark wizards, popular girls, bad hair days or War, they had each other's back. When one of them had a weakness, another had a strength to balance it out. When one was a jerk, someone else saved the day, and forgave them eventually.
So I started realizing I needed to develop characters we could love, before creating the world for them. Then I walked into a Big Dog Outlet store and there was a wall of "Punny" T-shirts about Hairy Pawter and the Goblet of Fur, Or The Sorcerer's Bone. I was amazed that an author could be popular enough to be infiltrating the public mind like this, and thought I'd love to have the Big Dog shirts make fun of my character.
That is when I started to dream of a boy, with Cerebral Palsy, who walked with crutches and so had a kind of 4 legged gait. He was 9 years old and named "Duffy Barkley" but he definitely was not a dog. He , survives tragedy in the form of a school shooting in which his younger sister is seriously injured. Falling into a new world, he regains his health but finds himself the focus of historic prophecy. While trying to deny his place in their prophecies he discovers his own abilities & changes his life & that of others in both worlds. He enjoys being physically strong but must give it up to save the villain, and find his way back to save his sister, Izzy. I told the stories to my little boys and they kept growing and adding detail as the boys grew too.
3. Which comes first; the character's story or the idea for the novel?
In this case just the character, the idea that there was a boy who could be made fun of on a Big Dog T-shirt.
4. How did you start writing?
I always wrote, I wrote big loopy lines of scribble that I believed were cursive and cornered people to sit and listen to me read aloud, when I was a preschooler in a world of Grandparents and great aunts and few other children.
5. What is your writing routine?
I don’t write in order, I write what I’m thinking of, and if nothing comes to mind, I scroll through the document until something catches my eye and work there. I am currently writing an Oregon Trail, time travel book with the first 11 chapters and the last 3 completed but about 7 in the middle just a paragraph or outline done. I write like crazy in November for NaNoWriMo and edit and add the rest of the year. I'm a teacher, so writing has to fit in the cracks of time around the paying job.
6. Do you outline?
Not always, but for some stories, when the ideas come really fast, and I would forget them long before I could get them all written down, then YES. An outline is a great idea storage device.
7. What is your favorite part of the book(s)?
Duffy is bullied, and is handicapped and the only person at his school who really sees him is his little sister. When the school bully turns the gun from Duffy and shoots the sister, and he is sent to live with a great aunt, The aunt's farm is completely based on the Great-Uncle's farm I loved to spend summers at, where my grandmother grew up. I loved reliving the sensory things about the farm.
8. What was the hardest part to write in the book(s)?
Not in the two Duffy books, which flowed easily for me, but in the one I am working on, and have been working on for 12 years, Double Time on the Oregon Trail, which is about two 15 year old girls, 150 years apart, travelling the same routes, and sometimes able to open the lap desk they both use and see the contents, including a journal, that the other girl had in that wooden box at the same place in their journey. I have outlined everything extensively, and my mind wants to be done, but there is a middle section that is unwritten even thigh I know exactly what goes there.
9. What do you wish was different about the book(s)?
I love them, and yet, I know that if I had a big budget, the publicity and the editing could be so much more. I wish I could give them the kind of launch into the world that the big publishers can.
10. What are the author's favorite books?
I love so many books! There are several I have carried with me forever, that I reread and have become part of me, I love Mere Mortals, by Neil Ravin, Ghost Bot by Iain Lawrence, Watership Down, the Once and future King, Ender's Game, all Harry Potter Books, Trixie Belden Mysteries, Books by Kris Radish, Jim Butcher, Jodi Picoult, Tamora Pierce, Timothy Zahn - All The Thomas Covenant books, clan of the cave bear. I can't stop. Can we just say, Book addict?
11. What advice do you have for someone who would like to become a published writer?
Nowadays? Just do it. Everyone has a story worth telling, and it will be meaningful to some other people in this world. But when you put yourself into it, make it the best you can. Don't do it halfway and then say, "Hey! I'm a writer." Tell the story only you can tell.
12. If you could have dinner with one person, dead or alive, who would it be and why?
My Dad. He died young, and I'd love to tell him about my life now. The writing, yes, of course, but even more, my babies are young men now and he would be so proud of them.
Where you can find author Dixie Dawn Miller Goode?
Amazon link: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B004458ES2
Cover Image: Goodreads has both not in a look inside at http://www.goodreads.com/author/dashboar...
Twitter link: http://twitter.com/#!/pandorasecho
Twitter # 2; http://twitter.com/#!/DuffyBarkley
FB Fan Page 1: none
Author Blog: http://duffybarkley.blogspot.com/
Blog # 2: http://echo-echosvoice.blogspot.com/
Book Genre: Fantasy/Young Adult
Book Trailer: none
createspace book 1 https://www.createspace.com/3450238
" " book 2 https://www.createspace.com/3649425