Words on a Limb Interviews Lisa Dalrymple

Lisa Dalrymple has lived with chickens in South Korea, a cat in Scotland, swam with sharks and a gecko (in her shower) in Thailand, swam and fished for piranha in the Amazon River – but she has never EVER shared a home with a polar bear. Between all her adventures, she’s also made some time to write several inspiring children’s books, including the award winning Skink on the Brink.

She lives with her husband in Fergus, Ontario, Canada. They have three energetic and imaginative kids who it would be only right to credit as co-creators of many of her children’s stories.

Skink on the Brink won the SCBWI Crystal Kite Award for Canada 2014 and has also been nominated for a Rainforest of Reading award in Grenada. A Moose Goes A’Mummering, her next book, is due to be released in October 2014.

We caught up with busy Lisa, if only to put her under our Author’s Spotlight. Let me tell you, we enjoyed it. Here’s Lisa!

About writing …

When did you first realize you wanted to become a writer?
I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember, so I don’t actually recall a time before I knew it was something I wanted to do. I do, however, recall the first time I submitted to a publisher. I was twelve and it was a middle-grade adventure story à la Nancy Drew or Trixie Beldon. I sent it to Grolier, the encyclopedia people, to ask if they would be interested in considering it for publication. Needless to say, they weren’t. (However, they did send me a very nice rejection letter.)

What book(s) has most influenced your writing?
As a reader and as a writer I go through phases. I often get so involved in another writer’s world that I find myself starting to write in a similar manner. I have to remind myself to step away in order to find my own voice again. Even then, there continue to be times when I hear in my own writing the influence of writers I’ve previously (and still) adore, like Margaret Laurence or Daphne Marlatt–or even as far back as Roger Hargreaves (of Mr. Men fame.)

When and where do you prefer to write?
At the risk of sounding like a difficult artist, I do need complete silence, with no distractions, in order to be able to write. As luck would have it, we live in an old house, with poor insulation and 3 incredibly energetic (read: loud) children. Needless to say, I just have to write whenever and wherever I can find a moment–which isn’t really often enough. As luck would also have it, however, I do tend to be able to write in just about any physical location. I actually have an old shelf, pulled from a bookcase, which journeys with me from room to room–to front porch, to front seat of our van, to anywhere else that I may be able to hide, curled up with my laptop on my knees.
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