An Author’s Two Cents: Interview with Picture Book Author Kathleen Doherty

It is fantabulous to be able to feature an author interview with Kathleen Doherty here on the lil’ol’bloggity blog today. She’s an author, reading specialist, educational specialist, and generally fun lady whose recent picture book, DON’T FEED THE BEAR, was reviewed here yesterday.

Lindsay: It’s great to have you here today! Since you’re a teacher, a reading specialist, and an educational specialist, and since your story DON’T FEED THE BEAR is filled to the brim with humor, can you talk a bit about how you think humor and learning relate?

Kathy: Thank you, Lindsay, for reviewing DON’T FEED THE BEAR. Using humor helped me add warmth to my classroom and create a comfortable atmosphere. It also made me more approachable. Sharing smiles and laughs put my students at ease. Some days I’d be called “Mom” by mistake. Picture book authors are naturally playful. When the teacher is energetic and animated, kids gets excited about learning. I wanted my students to love reading and become lifelong learners. I tried to make lessons fun, but meaty. I’d use an accent, act out a scene, or play a game. Sometimes I’d sing or sprinkle in a few magic tricks. But other days, I’d turn into the witch from THE WIZARD OF OZ: “I’m melting . . . melting.”

Lindsay: What were the biggest challenges and the most exciting moments you encountered in the journey of this book—from conceptualizing the idea to writing the story through to seeing it published?

Kathy: My journey of becoming a picture book author has been interesting. I had an agent who thought DON’T FEED THE BEAR was a cute story, but she didn’t think it would sell. So I was free to submit it myself. The same week she sold a manuscript to Peachtree Publishers, I miraculously sold DON’T FEED THE BEAR to an editor I met at an SCBWI conference. The editor and I worked well together and revisions went smoothly. It was wonderful to learn Chip Was—a Disney cartoonist—would be the illustrator. And recently DON’T FEED THE BEAR was reviewed by Kirkus and added to their recommended list.

Life is good!

Thank you so much for joining us today, Kathy, and sharing your great insight!

You can find more about Kathy and connect with her on her website:

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