Please welcome award-winning author Deanie Humphrys-Dunne. Deanie is a talented and inspiring person who did the impossible to reach her goal. I’ll let Deanie tell us about herself and her books.
Thank you, Deanie, for coming today to share your new book with my readers.
Please tell us something about yourself.
First of all, thank you so much for inviting me for an interview, Janice. It’s always fun to spend time with you.
I’m a children’s author with 5 books published; My Life at Sweetbrier; A Life Changed by Horses is a brand-new juvenile non-fiction book about my life on our family’s riding school and the decision my dad made to change my life. My goal is to inspire children to reach for their dreams because you can do most anything. The other fictional books are; Charlie the Horse, Charlene the Star, Charlene the Star and Hattie’s Heroes, and Charlene the Star and Bentley Bulldog. These stories are told by the endearing animal characters. The books all share positive messages for children and my gifted sister, Holly Humphrys-Bajaj, illustrated them. These books have won a number of awards and recognitions.
When did you know that you wanted to be an author?
When I was a little girl I liked writing stories, but I never expected to become an author. My parents always said I should try it, but I thought it was a silly idea. I never had the confidence to try it until I completed two courses with the Institute of Children’s Literature. One day I had a strong intuition to. Once I tested it out, I loved it and haven’t stopped since. 😊
What process do you need in order to write?
Once I get an idea for a story, I start writing it. I never get things right the first time, but I keep improving the story until I think it’s ready to publish. It’s so easy to become anxious about publishing stories. I tend to want to hurry up, but I’m learning to revise and revise until the story seems ready. It’s infuriating to find a mistake or something that could be improved after I submit a book for publishing.
How do you come up with ideas for your stories?
There are different ways. Sometimes I get an idea and sometimes something happens to create the idea. For example, last spring we bought an older lawn tractor. It’s so cute with huge headlights, like cars have. I thought it would make an adorable picture book so Holly and I are working on it.
What projects are you currently working on?
Well, as I just mentioned, we’re working on a picture book and also a sequel to that one. I’m not sure what else we have coming up, but we are excited about the picture books, because they are the first for Holly and me.
What do you expect to accomplish in 2017?
I would love to have the first picture book published, but Holly may not have time to finish the illustrations until next year. Also, I hope my new book, My Life at Sweetbrier-A Life Changed by Horses, is a success. We’ll be working diligently to make that happen.
What hobbies do you have when you are not writing?
I love spending time with my family. But also, I enjoy watching equestrian events, figure skating competitions, and baseball games. As a former voice student, I love music and singing as well. Finally, I’d say I like to read and review children’s books for other authors.
What is your target audience for your book?
The target audience is eight to twelve-year-old readers. I think it’s best-suited for them, but that doesn’t mean readers of other ages would not enjoy it. We hope it is a book that will motivate many readers to follow their dreams. I have always felt it’s important to remind children it’s okay to struggle with something, but if you keep trying, you can overcome many things, regardless of what you are told by others.
Please share your books with us and a synopsis of each.
My Life at Sweetbrier-A Life Changed by Horses: Is a true story of a little girl whose single passion was to become a champion horseback rider. But the problem is, her parents were told she would never walk, let alone ride. What will happen next? What does her dad do that changes her life? Will a failed racehorse and a handicapped girl become a winning team? This is the author’s true story of her journey. Even if Deanie prevails, will she find exactly the right horse to help her win?
Charlie the Horse: Charlie is a young horse with big dreams. He wants to become a famous racehorse like his dad, Charles the Great. But will Charlie have the talent to succeed? What will happen when he doesn’t feel like racing? What if he has problems on the racetrack? Charlie’s amusing tale is sure to inspire and entertain young readers.
Charlene the Star: Charlene the Star is a beautiful red horse who comes from a family of famous racehorses. But what happens if Charlene doesn’t like racing? Will she become a model instead? Young readers will be delighted to read this story about a young horse who doesn’t fit in. They may be surprised about Charlene’s amazing talent.
Charlene the Star and Hattie’s Heroes: Charlene the Star and her friends are looking for something exciting to do in their spare time. Hattie, Charlene, Wooliam, and their animal friends choose to start their own company to help their pals. They all work together and find creative ways to solve problems. Young readers will be amused by this story, which shares good advice on teamwork, friendship and helping others.
Charlene the Star and Bentley Bulldog: Charlene the Star makes new friends in this exciting adventure. She hopes to win a special award for jumpers. She must learn important things if she wants to reach her goal. Does she succeed? How does Hattie react when she sees the headline in “The Gazette?” Why is Cherish so afraid? Your child will be fascinated with the amusing adventures of Charlene and her friends. Children will be entertained and learn important life lessons.
What advice would you give prospective authors?
I would encourage prospective authors to follow their dreams and passions. If writing is your passion, pursue it. Try not to dwell on the people who tell you you’ll never succeed, because they only offer an opinion. Learn all you can about writing. You might consider joining a critique group. I’m part of one and they’re very helpful.
Is there anything else you would like to share?
I’d like to thank all of my readers and fellow authors like yourself, who continue to encourage me and support my efforts. Nothing would be the same without you. Thank you again for featuring me and my books.
It was a pleasure to have you, Deanie! I wish you all the best with your books.
Here is my review of Deanie’s book, My Life at Sweetbrier-A Life Changed by Horses:
This is a new edition of this book which has more chapters added and photos of the author’s life. A wonderful story of a life full of determination and perseverance.
If you are looking for an inspirational and unforgettable read this is the book for you. This book will bring you to tears as you read about this inspiring little girl who learns never to say no to her dreams. She was born with a handicap and her parents were told that she would never walk. With a surprisingly strong will and determination to do what her sisters could do, ride horses and win championships, Deanie learned to ride. She found it very difficult and had to adjust many times to falling off her horse and getting up again and again. She never gave up and finally she did succeed and became a championship jumper.
This is quite a feat for this little girl and through her trials and tribulations she teaches children and adults that perseverance pays off. If you want to live your dream then you must work hard even if you at first fail you must keep trying and never give up. By not giving up you will be rewarded with success and a wonderful feeling of accomplishment. Deanie is a remarkable woman who has inspired me by her example. She is a talented and creative author of five books and continues to pursue her dreams in being a very successful author. I think she is well on her way to success for nothing will keep her from obtaining her goal.
This is an excellent story for middle school and high school students to encourage them to pursue their dreams and, proving by Deanie’s example, that no obstacle is too great.
I was given a copy of this book and I chose to give an honest review.
Thank you, readers, for stopping by. Please check out all Deanie’s books to see how inspiring she truly is.
Blessings & hugs,