Today we are talking to children’s book author – Cori Doerrfeld. Cori has written some really amazing children’s books. One of her books, Good Dog, has already been released on August 7th, 2018 and she has two other books coming out next year, Wild Baby – March 2019 and Goodbye, Friend! Hello, Friend! – July 2019.
Please tell us a little bit about yourself and what made you want to become a children’s author?
I have always loved to draw, even when I was very little. For most of my childhood, I wanted to grow up to be an animator. When it was time for me to go to college, however, traditional hand drawn animation studios were being shut down and computer animation was taking over. I really wasn’t interested in learning to animate on the computer at the time, so for a while I wasn’t sure what I was going to do. I taught preschool and worked as a childcare provider for many years. I started writing and illustrating books for fun on the side. By chance, one of these books got picked up by an editor at HarperCollins. That is how I got my first book illustrating for a major publisher. This lead to editors wanting to work with me as an illustrator and an author. It has always been a learning process for me. I still learn something new with every book I create!
It is really cool to see how your hard work has paid off! So what was your favorite book growing up?
When I was very little, my favorite book was the original Barbapapa picture book. It is about a strange creature that grows in a boy’s garden. Barbapapa can change shape and is put into a zoo. Eventually, Barbapapa saves people from a fire and earns a place in everyone’s hearts. When I was older, I really liked Blubber by Judy Blume and the Ramona books by Beverly Cleary.
Please tell us about the importance of children’s literature and what it has meant to be a part of this industry?
Children’s books are important for many reasons. They serve as a bridge between adults and children to connect about common interests, life experiences, and difficult emotions. This is especially true when books are read aloud. It forces both the reader and the listener to focus on the same story and topic. And even if you simply read the same book as someone else, it still creates a shared experience that you both can benefit from. I think everyone can remember a book they read as a child that meant something to them. For me personally, every time I hear that a child is excited to read one of my books…or that one of my books spoke to someone’s soul I am so unbelievably grateful for what I do.
So, if someone asked you for same wisdom about being a children’s author, what would you say to them?
The best advice I can give for being a children’s book author is to just keep going. A big part of this job is being told no, feeling excluded, or wondering if you’re good enough. But, if you can get over your insecurities and just keep creating, eventually you’ll see your work go and be exactly where it needs to be.
So back to Good Dog, your newest book with HarperCollins, what was the inspiration behind the book? Tell us about it and where we can pick it up at?
I was inspired to write it after we adopted a funny little dog named Rufus from one of our local shelters. Having Rufus to walk, really made me see everyday all the good people and dogs in my neighborhood. Good Dog is about the honest goodness that is such a part of the dog/human relationship as well as what it simply means to be “good”. It can be purchased online, at local bookstores, and all the typical book retail outlets.
Finally, our last question, and it is a very serious question – would you rather be able to fly or walk through walls?
No contest. I would choose to fly! I still have dreams that I can fly. I’m sure it would be a lot colder and windier than I imagine, but I’m sure it would get me around a lot faster!
Awesome choice! Thank you so much, Cori for talking with us today. Be sure to check out Cori’s website – https://www.coridoerrfeld.com/. Readers can find Cori’s books at — https://www.harpercollins.com/search-results/?keyword=cori+doerrfeld. Thanks everyone and remember to like this site to see more interesting interviews as we continue to ask Questions to Inspire!