Coffee and Conversation with Bobbie Pyron

Happy Friday Everybody!

Can you believe how time flies?!

It was just yesterday that we were wrapping up the regional spring conference. Now registration has already begun for our two-day summer conference “Creating Sparks:  Kindle the Fire of Imagination”.  I hope you all are getting your registrations in and polishing those critique submissions.

Before we go any further, I wanted to send out a gentle reminder about the May Mid-Grade Madness and I do mean gentle. Some of you may be hyperventilating and having neurotic fits like me concerned over the idea of writing 20,000 words in just 72 hours, while others are thinking that we bloggers are a trio of loathsome lunatics tad overzealous in our expectations. Please, please don’t stress. This is a writing exercise to inspire you to get out the rough draft of that gem of an idea mid-grade. Don’t get too wrapped up in word counts and the thought that if you don’t finish you have failed. Just go for it and write!

Now it’s time for a chat with author Bobbie Pyron! You were introduced to her Wednesday when Laura kicked off our Eight-Week Conference Challenge Series with the first challenge “Voice or Point of View?”

Bobbie thinks of herself as a librarian who happens to write. She’s worked for over twenty-five years as a librarian, connecting readers with books. Her first book, The Ring (Westside Books), was published in 2009. Her second book, the award-winning A Dog’s Way Home (Katherine Tegen Books/HarperCollins) was published in 2011. Her new book, The Dogs of Winter (Arthur A. Levine Books/Scholastic) is due out in October. Bobbie lives in Park City, Utah with her husband, three dogs, and two cats.

Now that Bobbi has settled into the cybercafe comfy chair with her favorite coffeehouse beverage, Chai tea

And her favorite snack

“…anything salty, like chips, peanuts, popcorn.”

Let’s get started! First, what was your favorite book as a child?

No surprise here: Lassie Come-Home, by Eric Knight. I still love that book so much I have a whole shelf of different editions! I’m a Lassie Geek!

When did you decide to be a writer?

When I was about nine years old, I decided writing books would be so amazing—even better than being a cowgirl or a mermaid.

What advice for beginners do you wish you would’ve followed?

Relax and just enjoy writing. Don’t be in such a hurry to get published. Once you’re published you never truly write just for yourself again.

What is your favorite writing how-to book, techniques, and websites that have helped you improve your craft or provide inspiration?

I’m not big on reading how-to books, but I do have two favorites: Annie Lamott’s Bird By Bird and Stephen King’s On Writing. Those two are indispensable.

I love both of these books! So, where’s your favorite place to work?

I’m very lucky to have my own little office in my house.

How were you inspired to write your current release?

Two things inspired me to write A DOG’S WAY HOME. One was, of course, my own dogs. I have three—two Shetland sheepdogs (the breed of the dog, Tam, in the book) and a coyote mix. I’m so intrigued by the inner lives of my dogs and by my sheltie’s loyalty. The other inspiration were the classic dog adventure stories such as Lassie Come-Home and The Incredible Journey that I loved so very much as a kid. I like to say A DOG’S WAY HOME is my personal love letter to those books.

This is a beautiful cover! What is your favorite line from this book?

“Tam loved the moon because he loved the Girl.”

If you followed the career path you chose for yourself in high school, what would you be doing for a living now?

I’d be a psychologist.

If you could sum up your best advice for new writers in only four words, what would they be? 

Follow your north star!

Time for the lightning round—no more than four words per answer!

Do you . . .

Outline or wing it? Wing it.

Talk about works-in-progress, or keep it zipped? Talk my head off!

Sell by proposal or completed draft? Completed draft

Prefer writing rough drafts or editing? Writing first drafts

Dread marketing/blogging or love it? Kinda dread

Read Kindle or traditional books? Traditional all the way!

And finally, what’s your favorite:

Time to work? Morning, not too early.

Music to listen to while writing? Whatever fits the story

Writing tool? Cup of hot tea

Pair of shoes? My hiking boots!

Guiltiest pleasure? Reading PEOPLE magazine

Line from a movie? “Wuv, twoo wuv..” from “The Princess Bride”

Thanks so much, Bobbie, for dropping by. We all are looking forward to seeing you at the conference!

Have a wonderful holiday weekend fellow writers and illustrators!

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About Susan Mannix

Susan worked as a biomedical research editor for the Department of the Navy for fourteen years and has been a member of SCBWI since 2007. She writes young adult and middle grade novels. When she isn’t writing, she spends her time doing all things horses, including attending her teenaged daughters’ many competitions. Susan lives in Maryland on a small farm with her husband, two children, an adorable black lab, two cats, and three horses.
This entry was posted in Interviews: Authors. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Coffee and Conversation with Bobbie Pyron

  1. Thanks for this wonderful interview. I was a huge fan of dog books (Lad a Dog, The Dog on Barkham Street, 101 Dalmations–the actual novel, not the Disney movie and spin-offs) as a kid and so it’s great to learn how Bobbie was inspired by and follows in this tradition.

    And, Laura, I just read and loved your “Just Flirt.” A sassy summer read, indeed 🙂

    • Laura Bowers says:

      Aw, thanks, Mary! I needed a pick-me-up now that I’m prepping for next week’s challenge. You put a wonderful smile on my face! 🙂

  2. Pingback: Coffee & Conversation with Christine Peterson! « As the Eraser Burns

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