1.The Lucky Penny is your first book. I see that you're working on another project. Please tell us a little about your new book and why you chose to write it.
My upcoming book will be about the stellar advice that my dad gave me when I was stuck in my own life. The working title is How to Pet a Sometimes Ornery, Sometimes Joyful, and Sometimes Just Confused Dinosaur--or How to Channel Your Emotions. I realize that there are so many people who need practical wisdom and my dad spoke about: why positive thinking doesn’t always work; why a catalyst can never be removed from a formula; why relationships are like bridges/streets; why disappointment is so immobilizing, etc. My life condition elevated because of his insight. I can’t wait to inspire others in the same manner. I’ve been on both sides of the coin, so to speak.
2.What is most important to you about your writing?
Nancy, my motivation behind writing is always to touch hearts. When I was with companies and had a big budget, I could impress with a spectacle. It took a big challenge in my life to realize that what really matters is the connection and love we share with each other. You will find that everything that I am working on now is in alignment with what Mother Teresa said, “We can do no great things--only small things with great love!”
3.What do you like least about writing?
In reality, I am not a writer per se. What I am is a storyteller. It is so easy for me to create a produce a theatrical experience. Even composing music comes easy. There are so many stories that I can’t wait to share. It’s just a matter of priorities for now.
4.I see that you are also an artist. Does your art influence your writing?
YES! Here is an interesting story that not too many people know. When I first started my art career (even though I’ve been an artist my whole life), I was told to paint my angst on canvas. I was assured that this would bring in the greatest fiscal rewards. It was impossible for me to do. What I wanted to capture was bliss. I lived a real life filled with disappointments, it was time to concentrate on my bles
sings. My artwork has really resonated with a lot of people and is selling even in this market. What I’ve learned is that you MUST be true to yourself.
5.What advice can you give to aspiring writers.
I would caution anyone to write because they think it is lucrative. Although this is cliche and we already know this, as Joseph Campbell said: “Follow your bliss.” If you have a burning passion and have a voice that needs to be heard, the world will conspire to help you! However, if you write and yet have seri
ous doubts about your message, then your journey might be to simply believe in yourself again. Either way, jump in and write. Life is about experimentation and if you listen, you’ll find your way.
6.You have started a Ning group. Can you tell us a little about it? Why you decided to do it? What success you've had in using it? Any suggestions for someone interested in starting a ning group?
Originally, I started the Ning group to promote my book and to promote the VBT writers group. Yet, I was called to change directions. I decided to create a place to exchange inspirations and encouragement. My vision is that someone, somewhere needs to hear just the right words and a group of writers, if they write from their hearts, can inspire that person. I’m sure it will evolve as I go.
As far as success using it, I have heard from all of you and the connection is growing stronger. In this instance, that is the success I am looking for. Since my artwork is taking off in such a big fashion, I am considering creating another site to promote it. I just want the process to be organic.
I don’t have any specific suggestions for someone interested in starting a Ning group, but to have a vision of how and why you want to connect to others. I’d be happy to guide anyone who is interested.
Deborah's Book "The Luckiest Penny"
What inspired you to write The Luckiest Penny?
I wanted to remind myself, children and everyone else that life has its ups and downs. Yet, we have a choice. Either we can stay in a box and avoid life's disappointments--or we can jump into life. Obstacles will appear and here is where self-worth comes in. . .The only way to believe in ourselves is to keep on standing back up!
Why did you use 1943, pure copper pennies, as your main characters?
If you have a 1943, pure copper penny in your purse it could be worth $83,000 or more. Can you believe it? A lowly penny, that was made by mistake during WWII, is very valuable. When I was stuck in bed with a misdiagnosed, life-threatening illness, I felt pretty worthless. When I heard about the 1943 penny, I found my metaphorical hero!
What is your goal?
This book was written to give children a healthy set of values that will assist them on their journey in life. I want them to remember what is really important so that they don’t get discouraged by life’s roller-coaster ride.
What is the theme of The Luckiest Penny?
The book’s genre is a fable/allegory. There are a couple of central messages in the book: why experience is more valuable than money; how love makes us all whole, and why it doesn’t matter how much something costs but what it is worth to us.
Could you tell us about the illustrations?
The illustrations by Ernest Socolov, transport the reader into the alternative world of a penny who is tarnished and yet loved!
You said that you are going to be producing musical productions.
YES! An all original, musical interactive production is being created and produced for The Luckiest Penny. The show should be ready in November 2009! The original songs are fun and yet meaningful. I will be working with foundations, schools, fairs, etc. to perform the production and then talk about what it means to us.
Could you tell us about your background?
I have an extensive thirty-year marketing/entertainment career in which I have been in the corporate sector; a creator and producer of children’s musical productions; a public speaker; an author, and of course, an award winning artist.