Q1. Tell me about yourself.
A. I am a retired elementary teacher turned author. For the majority of my life, I worked with children, but I never thought I would write books for them. I’m happily married, and my husband and I enjoy camping in the Florida State Parks. I lead a book club in my community of Orlando.
Q2. What are your favorite books to read?
As a child, I loved The Boxcar Children series. As a teacher, I laughed at the antics of Fudge in Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing with my class. Now, I always have my kindle on my nightstand. Three of my favorite books are The Nightingale, A Land Remembered, and The Shell Seekers. I like books with engaging main characters who overcome hardship.
Q3. When did you decide you were going to write a book?
A. My husband encouraged me to write a children’s book in 2015. Since I loved writing poetry, we both envisioned a rhyming picture book. After meeting with editors and agents at conferences, I discovered they were more interested in early reader chapter books. So, I wrote one.
Q4. Tell me about your book.
A. Buddy the Beagle on Blueberry Street was released by Elk Lake Publishing in 2019. In
August of 2020 Return to Blueberry Street was published. Both books are about our pet beagle, Buddy. In 2013 Buddy suffered from a herniated disk that paralyzed his hind legs. The first book tells the inspirational story of his recovery from a beagle’s point of view. As most people know, beagles love their treats. In Return to Blueberry Street, Buddy leads his canine companions on a mission to track down the bandit who steals their doggie treats. I plan to continue the Tails of Blueberry Street series next year. My target audience is aged six to nine.
Q5. How long have you been writing?
After I retired from teaching in 2013, I began writing seriously. An amazing book that changed my life is The Creative Call by Janice Elsheimer. This book encourages anyone interested in the arts to seek God to discover their creative purpose. I learned I had a talent for poetry after sharing my work with friends. My poems have been published in various magazines and can be viewed on my website.
Q6. What advice would you give other authors?
A. Most authors know the value of critique groups. I am a member of Word Weavers International. This organization helped me develop the writing skills I needed to succeed. Recently I joined SCBWI. I am continuing to grow through their digital workshops and marketing assistance. I advise anyone seeking traditional publication to not give up if your work is rejected. You just need to connect with the right person who loves your writing. Deb Haggerty of Elk Lake opened the door for me. I am represented by Michelle Lazurek of WordWise Media Services.
Q7. Did you go to college to be a writer?
No, I graduated from Ohio State University with a degree in social work. I worked as a social worker for four years before I married. Fortunately, my husband had a good job and I could stay home and spend quality time with our children. After volunteering in their elementary classrooms, I decided to go back to school to become a teacher. I feel my educational and work experience taught me the importance of teaching positive values to children.
Q8. What is your favorite coffee?
I brew my own cup of joe in my kitchen and add French vanilla cream. I don’t frequent coffee shops by myself, but if I’m meeting a friend, I would choose Dunkin Donuts.
Where can people find you online?
Elk Lake Publishing Inc. https://www.elklakepublishinginc.com/debbie-burton/
Amazon links: Buddy the Beagle on Blueberry amzn.to/3hTqRtA
Return to Blueberry Street amzn.to/2QgUIAI
Barnes and Noble links: Buddy the Beagle on Blueberry Street bit.ly/2RVrUP6
Return to Blueberry Street bit.ly/34KzZOi
author, poet, blogger