In my opinion, books are the best accessory.
. I absolutely adore watching the talent that is Debbie Ridpath Ohi. She is a generous sharing author and illustrator who has the most creative way of looking at the world. Such a fantastic person to get to know. I first heard about Debbie a few years ago and enjoyed following her multiple Facebook pages in addition to Twitter and her blog. I adored the book she illustrated with Michael Ian Black and am so excited that Naked! is being released soon! I’ve been anticipating the book for around a year now, can’t wait! I contacted Debbie to see if I could be part of the book release celebration for Naked! and was quite honored when she said “yes”… Thrilled and honored to be a part of celebrations and ALSO get to know Debbie through this interview quite a bit more!
Without further ado, here’s the interview with the fantastically talented Debbie Ridpath Ohi!
What was your favorite childhood book memory?
Are there any authors or books that you liked as a child that you still read now?
Have you read any children’s literature books recently?
What was a favorite genre you read as a child? How have your tastes changed as an adult?
Do you still have any of your books from when you were a child?
Are you in a writers group? If so, has it helped you?
Do you have a key writing tips for kids?
Don’t talk down to them. Kids are smart and savvy.
Do you have a new book being released in the next year? :)
In 2014, I’ll have eleven (!!) books coming out with my illustrations. One is NAKED!, a fun picture book written by Michael Ian Black and illustrated by me (Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers). I illustrated the covers of seven Judy Blume classics being reissued in middle grade format by Atheneum/S&S: Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret, Deenie, Then Again, Maybe I Won’t, Blubber, Iggie’s House, Starring Sally J. Freeman As Herself and It’s Not The End Of The World.
How do you feel about the development and growth of the e-Book industry?
I know others will disagree, but I like ebooks. Yes, there is the tactile pleasure of handling a print book, the rustle of pages, the feel of the paper etc. that can’t be matched by ebooks. Lending print books is far easier than lending ebooks. From a practical standpoint, though, I like ebooks because they don’t take up physical space and I can therefore get more of them without having to face the reality that I have way more books than I can possibly read in a lifetime. :-)
I also love the idea of being able to easily carry my personal library with me, wherever I go. Whenever I was going away on a trip, I used to spend an embarrassing amount of time agonizing about which book(s) to take with me. With ebooks, I don’t have to make a decision — I just take them all!
Did you always plan on a writing/illustrating career or if not…?
What truly influences you as a writer/illustrator?
If you weren’t a writer/illustrator, what occupation would you be working in?
Did any teacher or mentor specifically influence you in your career?
*Do you have any favorite topping you like on your pizza?
Sentences to finish if you don’t mind:
The best advice I’ve received for my profession was….
The habit I never break for my writing/illustrating practice is…
If someone had told me…
Why do people always assume…
…that networking and using social media came easy to me? I’ve had so many writers and illustrators say to me, “Oooh, you’re so lucky that you’re so good at social media and talking to people at conventions and so on. I’m way too shy / quiet / insecure.” To be clear: I am an introvert. It was *very scary* for me to leave my cozy and safe office cave to start attending writer/illustrator conventions and meet people in person at first. What I found: that it wasn’t nearly as horrible as I expected, and I even had FUN. I so wish I had started going to conventions and trying to meet others in the industry earlier in my career.
Debbie, you forgot to ask me… What am I working on this coming year?
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