November 23, 2012

Interview with Children's Author Dimity Powell

It's with great pleasure to be interviewing children's author and friend Dimity Powell about her debut book, P.S Who stole Santa's mail? 

When did you first know that you wanted to be an author?

At some point in Year 9 I think. Composition English assignments were my favourite subject (after Biology). I revelled in exciting openings and poignant, clever endings. It was all the middle bits that needed working on! I never really sat down and said, ‘This is what I want to be.’ I just really enjoyed composing tales, mainly of adventure and mystery and usually involving horses. I’ve kept every story, and mock book I ever produced. From time to time, I pull them out for inspiration and a really good laugh. I actually wanted to be a vet or librarian but couldn’t work out how to combine these two, so studied Hotel Management instead.

What are the greatest obstacles you've experienced on your writing journey?

Timing. Having the greatest idea in the world is not going to get you anywhere if someone else released a book along similar lines last week. I find that very frustrating but par for the course.

What do you love most about writing books?

Knowing that they will be read…I hope. I want kids to get lost in stories like I did as a kid; to feel safe, inspired, challenged, and enlightened. Stories are the key to learning and understanding.

Do you have any tips for writers about the writing process or the path to publishing?

Act like a sponge and absorb as much information as you can. Establish yourself within a writerly community be it online, in a writers’ group or by attending festivals to network. Not only will you meet wonderful people but the experience you gain is worth volumes. And embrace each rejection as emphatically as each small success. Remember, your ship will never come in if you don’t send any out. So, just keep writing…

You visit many schools to share your love of reading and books. Why is this important to you and how do the children react?

When I was just 8 years old the late Colin Thiele visited my primary school. I sat, front row centre, at the feet of this amazing author, completely and utterly enthralled by his every word. It was like listening to royalty, only better. Here was the man behind the stories and the worlds in which I dwelt for hours and hours. I adore any time I spend at schools with children whether it’s simply for a reading, a workshop or part of a festival. It often involves a lot of hard work, but the rewards are the looks on the children’s faces, their probing, quirky questions and their undiluted fascination in you. You’re their royalty especially if they are avid readers. 

The discovery that authors are living breathing beings, not just the name under the title of a book, is a marvellous one for most kids. It makes their involvement with what they read far more personal and tangible; just like meeting Colin Thiele did for me. I think I gain more from conducting writing workshops with kids than they do from me. There’s no finer feeling than when a child approaches you and tentatively asks to share their writing with you.

When do you feel most inspired to write?

I’d like to say every single day but that’s just not true, although I want to write nearly every day. Getting one’s debut novel over the line has consumed most of my creative mojo and all of my time this year. I do still get sudden wonderful urges to write, especially when I can clear enough head space to allow the ideas to swirl around, uninterrupted, and amalgamate into something worth jotting down. This often happens whilst I’m driving. A habit I may have to curb…That said, once I begin writing, I am nearly always inspired to write on and on.

What advice would you have for anyone wanting to write a book in your genre?

Read! Books from that genre especially but also anything else you have time for. I do not know how anyone can write for kids without having a clue what they actually like to read. I like to hang out in libraries too and watch what kids borrow or talk about with their mates. Also, ask them questions about what they love to read, why, what would they like to change or see more of.


In conjunction with this blog tour, you can go in the draw to win one of three copies of the book PS: Who Stole Santa’s Mail.  Send the answer to this question: 'What do you think Santa wants for Christmas?' 
to  In the subject line put, PS: WSSM entry.

The competition will close at midnight on November 30th 2012. All entries will be assigned a number, and that number will be put in a draw. The winners will be notified by email. The book can be purchased at your local bookshop. If it is not in stock, ask them to order it for you. A signed copy can also be purchased from

Here are the dates for Dimity's blog tour so jump onboard and don't forget to enter in the competition for your chance to win a copy of PS: Who stole Santa's Mail?

Kids Book Review 17 November

My Little Bookcase  18 November

Sheryl Gywther  19 November

MPA Australia 20 November

Kat Apel 21 November

Elaine Ouston 22 November

Renee Taprell 23 November

Alison Reynolds 24 November

Buzz Words 25 November

Christine Bell 26 November

Dee White 27 November

Jackie Hosking PIO 28 November

Alphabet Soup 29 November


DimbutNice said...

Tickled pink to be part of this tour with you Renee. Thanks for all the probing questions! A joy to answer. Look forward to sharing more with you on the weekend ;-)

Mary Preston said...

A great interview thank you!!

DimbutNice said...

So pleased you enjoyed it Mary!

Unknown said...

My pleasure Dimity. Thanks for inviting me to join your blog tour! Sienna and I are really looking forward to coming along to your book launch tomorrow and doing chrissy activities and most of all buying and reading your book!

DimbutNice said...

It will make me so so proud to give it to her :-D