Saturday, April 19, 2008

Louisiana Saturday Night with Children's Writer Angie Dilmore

We're breaking away from novel writing for awhile so I can introduce my new friend, Angie Dilmore. Angie and I are members of the local Bayou Writers Group and working on the conference committee to organize BWG's third writers' conference. Also, Angie and I target many of the same inspy publishers so when you order your copy of Daily Devotions for Writers, Angie is in there too.

1. Tell us what you write and where you've been published? I write primarily for the children’s magazine market, both fiction and non-fiction. I’m a regular contributor to Boys’ Life, and have also been published in Highlights for Children, Clubhouse, Clubhouse, Jr., Hopscotch, Boys’ Quest and others. I also write devotions and occasionally poetry.

2. What is your background? I spent 25 years working in hospitals as a respiratory therapist and am not currently practicing. I started writing seriously eight years ago and have had more success with each passing year.

3. What is your writing process? Do you outline or just sit and start writing? For non-fiction, I usually make an outline. For fiction, I generally get comfortable and just start writing.

4. What does a typical day look like for you? There’s no such thing as a typical day for me. Any given day might find me researching, writing, planning an interview, sending queries, investigating markets, or writing creatively off the top of my head. Every day is different and that’s why I love this business. I never get bored.

5. What is your favorite self-marketing idea? Meet editors at conferences. No guarantees, but sometimes it makes all the difference.

6. What is the biggest challenge you face in writing and publishing? Finding magazine markets for fiction. They’re mostly looking for non-fiction. And also trying to be patient and wait for editors to respond to a manuscript or query. That can be very frustrating.

7. What are the biggest surprises you've encountered as a writer? That I’ve actually had some success. Eight years ago, I wasn’t so sure if I could do it. And also that it’s a lot of work and requires dedication to learn and constantly strive to improve my craft.

8. How do you inspire yourself? I observe children in their everyday lives. And I remember myself as a child, what did I do, what was important to me. What are your sources of creativity? My 13 year old twin sons are a constant source of inspiration for me.

10. What is your proudest writer moment? Being voted “Author of the Month” by the staff at Highlights for my story “Stopping for Olympic Gold,” in the February 2008 issue. They sent me a wonderful letter and an engraved plate. I was completely surprised.

11. What's the best advice you were given about writing? Don’t send out a manuscript for consideration until it’s as polished as freshly-pedicured toenails. Rely on your critique partners for advice. And remember that the best writing is in the re-writing. Writers don’t just write. We re-write, re-write and re-write.

12. Who/what do you like to read? I read mostly children’s fiction. I especially enjoy historical fiction.

14. What are you currently working on? I’m stepping outside my comfort zone and working on a middle grade historical novel about a 15 year old boy in 1937 who lies about his age and joins the Civilian Conservation Corps.

Wrap it up, Angie. Anything exciting happening in your publishing world? I have several feature stories in Boys’ Life coming out this year. In August, there will be an article about the effects of organized sports on the environment and what these organizations and athletes are doing to combat these effects. In October, there will be a story on the consequences of global warming on wildlife and it profiles Lake Charles’ own internationally-recognized environmentalist, Jerome Ringo. Also, sometime this summer, I have a feature story coming out in Clubhouse on professional triathlete Chis Lieto.
Thanks so much, Jess. This has been fun.

Thank you, Angie. We want to hear from you again when you complete that historical novel. I think all my novel-writing friends will agree that writing a novel--no matter how many we've written--is a learning experience. It'll be interesting to hear your take on novel writing once you've finished yours. In the meantime, let's all subscribe to Highlights, Boy's Life and Clubhouse to enjoy Angie's stories. :)


Pamela S Thibodeaux said...

Wonderful interview!

Congratuations Angie.
Thanks Jess.

Anonymous said...

I am so proud to be a part of Bayou Writers Group. It's an inspiration for this unsure of myself writer to literally know such people as Jess Ferguson, Angie Dilmore, Pam Thibodeuax, Curt Iles and many other of the folks I read about and see on Jessica's blog.

Jess, you ask great questions. Great interviews.