Readability Author Deb Skog spoke to Readability about what inspired her to become a children’s author and shares her favorite books and writers!
We would love to know who or what inspired you to become a writer?
I have loved writing ever since I was a little girl. I really enjoyed creative writing and especially putting together poems. Being a kindergarten teacher for so many years I loved reading so many stories to my students. That’s where I got my inspiration to become a writer from.
I saw the joy on their faces as they became enthralled in the book I shared with them. I loved being able to read aloud with them repeating rhymes together as we shared book time on the rug.
One day I said to myself, “I can do this! I want to do this!” Believing in yourself and having family to support your dreams was the best inspiration for me! Being a Snowbird for the last several years has also really inspired me to write both of these books right on the beach during the winter months! Now that was inspiration!
What is your favorite children’s story?
My favorite children’s book was called “The Boxcar Children.” It is about four orphans who run away and set up a home in an old vacant caboose in the woods. The simple descriptions and writing made the story so easy for the reader to use his or her imagination as they experience their adventures.
It’s a book that I actually read out loud to my students every year when I taught elementary school. It was written by a first grade teacher named Gertrude Chandler Warner. She wrote “The Boxcar Children” because she had always dreamed about what it would be like to live in a caboose or a freight car just like the children did in the book. It started out as one book, and is now a popular series with many books.
Still to this day it is one of my favorites.
Who is your favorite children’s book author and why?
I’d have to say that my favorite children’s book author is Stephen Kellogg. I actually got to meet him in person. He wrote one of my favorite books called “The Island of the Skog.” I always loved that book because it had my name in it. I met him at a library, and I got his special autograph and got to take a picture with him with my book!
That really made an impact on me wanting to become an author. I always thought it was so special to have a book with my name in the title, especially one that is such an interesting story. I also found out that he came up with the title of that book by using an abbreviation of his own name.
Share with us a quote or motto that brings you inspiration or motivation?
I have always been a very spiritual person and my faith has always been very important to me.
My life verse is from the Bible, Philippians 4:13. I can do anything through Christ who strengthens me.
I have both of these verses written on the “about the author” page in my two books. My faith has always carried me through hard times and good times in life. Becoming an author has been such a blessing and I have God to thank for it!
Where do you find the inspiration behind the ideas for your books?
Besides teaching, I have spent the last 16 years working at one of my dear friends’ pumpkin farms. It is really quite the big deal. It is called the Goebbert‘s Pumpkin Farm. With over 400 acres it is quite the set up.
Besides a pumpkin patch and apple orchard there are rides, mazes, haunted houses, slides, farm animals, and many other things to do. I have been a dedicated friend and employee of the Goebberts for many years. Not only did I work in the market but I ran the school tours.
I wanted to be able to share the joy I saw in many children’s faces as they came to visit the farm. I wanted to write a fun keepsake that they could take home and experience night after night even when they left the farm and their visit was over.
My first book “The Pumpkin Eating Dinosaur” was written about our famous dinosaur that actually eats pumpkins. I’ve always been prone to poetry so I made sure that there was a fun rhyme that repeated throughout the book: “Chomp, chomp, chomp, roar roar roar, it’s the pumpkin Eating Dinosaur!” It was a great hit!
It was followed by my second book “A Day at the Pumpkin Farm,” which actually was told through Happy Jack’s eyes. He is our giant 2500 pound silo that stands over the farm. By using many rhymes he goes around and talks about what he sees at the farm. It was easy for me to write about what I have known for so many years. There are lots of fun things at the farm and, as a writer, I have more ideas in my head for a few more titles to come from my pumpkin farm series!
What do you want the audience to know about you that would compel them to want to read your book?
I think one of the things you will know most about me after reading my books, is that
I love life and I don’t take it for granted!
Being able to find joy in anything you do is a gift!
I say yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery and today is the present and that’s why it’s a gift!
I always try to be a positive influence on everyone in my life. I think my books portray the fun, magical and enjoyable experiences that so many get every Fall when they visit the Pumpkin Farm. To be able to share that with all my readers is just priceless.