Name: Vicky M. Van Dan-Pletsch
Hometown: Delavan, Wisconsin
Dorrance Publishing (DP): Describe your book in 10 words or less.
Vicky M. Van Dan-Pletsch (VDP):
- Books Can Take You Anywhere: Let your imagination go!
- Too Cool Dazzle: To be kind is to be cool!
- My Toy Box: Open up a toy box, and let the fun begin!
DP: What made you want to write your book?
VDP: I taught our two boys to read at the age of three. When they entered school and ordered books through various companies, I was not pleased with the poor quality of books. I informed my husband that I could write better books. His response was, “Then why don’t you?” Challenge accepted!
DP: How long did it take you to write your book?
VDP: Each book took about three days to complete, from start to finish. I have written 14 other books, with the hopes to have them published.
DP: How do you choose the names of your characters?
VDP: Books 1 & 2 have many cultures and ethnicities represented as the book’s characters. With so much racism and hatred in the world, I wanted many cultures represented: White, Hispanic, African American, Asian, Eastern, as well as both boys & girls.
DP: What do you do when you have writer’s block?
VDP: I am a music teacher who taught in public school for 37 years, retiring in 2017. I still teach privately from my home music studio, on various instruments. I am also involved with the local community band, clarinet choir, Habitat for Humanity, Special Olympics, Relay for Life, The American Legion, and church organist/pianist which all keep me busy with the community. I keep busy with our landscaping, baking, cooking, writing more children’s books, craft projects, & working on my second degree blackbelt in taekwondo.
DP: What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why?
VDP: Book 1 (pages 29 & 47), as those involved the musical instruments in a band and the symphony/ballet/concert. Book 2 (page 39) that shows Too Cool Dazzle when he finally understands that kindness comes from within, not from what you wear, and when his heart grows in size. On page 45, the boy who had asked for his silky blue tie in the very beginning gives Too Cool Dazzle a huge hug, after Too Cool Dazzle gives him his silky blue tie. Book 3, the last page which includes all the toys throughout the book. Children can find each of the toys and name them.
DP: If you were stuck on an island and had to have one person from each category with you, who would they be and why:
a. One character from your book:
VDP: Book 1 (page 27) would be our oldest son, who is a meteorologist. He could predict what we would do in weather situations. Also page 47, as our other son plays the saxophone, so there would be music. Book 2 (page 23), the friend giving Too Cool Dazzle some advice would be my husband, as we are always conversing about various topics. Book 3 (pages 66 & 67) would be either of our two granddaughters, as this is what their rooms look like after we are finished playing.
b. One fictional character:
VDP: I would choose Santa Claus from “Books Can Take You Anywhere” (page 9) because I absolutely love Christmas and everything to do with Christmas!
c. One famous person (living or dead):
VDP: Deceased, it would either be Chopin or Beethoven as I admire their music. Living, it would be the Pope!
DP: Besides writing, what are your other interests?
VDP: I enjoy being with my family (especially with our two granddaughters), listening to and playing all types of music, baking, cooking, working outside in our landscaping, eating chocolate (especially dark… yum), making crafts, playing the piano & my clarinet, reading, writing books, and working on my second degree blackbelt in taekwondo.
DP: Do you keep a journal?
VDP: No, but I do have a special book of various book signings/presentations/workshops, and a scrapbook of those signings/presentations/workshops. The special book contains signatures and dates of guests who have visited my booths or tables at past signings/presentations/workshops. The scrapbook has newspaper clippings, articles, and brochures of events.
DP: How did you celebrate the publishing of your book?
VDP: With all three books, I made many phone calls to family & friends and posted it on Facebook. Then we celebrated outside, with our favorite beverages, around the blazing fire pit, listening to tunes, and watching the stars.
DP: If your book was made into a movie, who would play the main characters?
VDP: Book 1 would have many stars and characters of different cultures & ethnicities and I’d have to think on that one. Book 2, Too Cool Dazzle would be played by either Michael B. Jordan or Denzel Washington. His friend would be either Tom Hanks or Matt Damon. Of course, there would be others to ask as there are many cultures and ethnicities represented in this book too. Book 3, the child would need to be a young actor or actress, possibly Timothee Chalamet or Giselle Eisenberg.
DP: What did you enjoy most about working with Dorrance Publishing?
VDP: I was very impressed with my first overall phone conversation/interview with Mrs. Barbara Ennis, along with my two assigned project coordinators, Melissa Weisberg and Raquel Ponce. All of these ladies have been helpful with any questions or concerns throughout the process in publishing all three of my books.
DP: Five favorite books of all time?
VDP: How about six? “The Giving Tree” by Shel Silverstein, “The Grapes of Wrath” by John Steinbeck, “Flowers for Algernon” by Daniel Keyes, “The Little House” by Virginia Lee Burton, any Berenstain Bears books, and any Dr. Seuss books.
DP: One sentence of advice for other writers:
VDP: Never give up on your dream or passion to write!
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