Sunday, June 7, 2009

Meet Donna Shepherd, author of Dotty's Topsy Tale

Today on the 4th day of Bounding for Books Blog Tour, my guest is Donna Shepherd, inspirational writer and author of numerous picture books for kids. In this tour, she's promoting her latest, Dotty's Topsy Tale as well as her upcoming, Poodle & Doodle. Donna has started a fan page on Facebook. If you'd like to become her fan, click HERE. Visit her blog at Topsy Tales.

Welcome to my blog, Donna!

Tell us 5 unusual things about yourself.

I grew up next to an Indian mound. Mom took us to the park around the mound all the time when we were little.

When I was in first grade, another girl was named "Donna" so I changed her name for her.

I can write backwards with my left hand.

I can write forward with both hands.

I can write forward and backward at the same time with my left and right hand. (and I've probably exhaused the odd facts about my writing right there!)

If you weren't an author...

If I weren't an author, I'd do my 'other' stuff - sing, teach, and speak. Singing has always been an important part of my life. I wanted to be a professional gospel singer at one time many...many years ago.

You write because...

I write because I either feel called to with my inspirational writing or I'm having so much fun I can stop with my children's writing. I didn't write until a few years ago and now I can't imagine how I lived without writing.

Tell us about your last children's picture book and what inspired you to write it.

My little Angel is a 12 lb. prissy poodle, and Sadie is a 75 lb. Labradoodle. They do NOT get along. I wrote an interview for your Pets and Their Authors blog from Sadie's point of view. Mayra, YOU were the one who said, "Why haven't you written about these two funny dogs?" so I wrote a children's book from Angel's point of view. I figure children would identify with the underDOG - pun intended.

In the story, Sadie has had a sex change and is called Scruffy. With four dogs around here most of the time, I had lots of opportunities for research.

I just heard this week the illustrations for Poodle and Doodle are complete and the book should be out soon. Check out the progress at Oodles of Fun -

What would you say to those people who think picture books are easy to write?

Hmmm....I guess I'd advise them to try it sometime. I'm always amazed at the amount of time it take me to write a couple hundred words, and then revise said words at least a hundred times.

Leave us with some words of wisdom....

Like every other writer I know, I’d like it said that I made a difference in some way, that my writing encouraged, entertained and brought laughter to grownups and children. So, every day I put one word in front of the other. It's the only way you or I will ever accomplish our goals - whether it's a magazine article, a children's poem, or a novel. Keep writing.

Take a peek at Donna's Dotty's Topsy Tale...

Dotty's Topsy Tale, the newest in the Topsy Tales series written by Donna J. Shepherd and illustrated by Kevin Scott Collier, features Dotty, a pink hippo that doesn't quite fit in. With help from her best friend, Chizzy, she finds she can be happy with herself no matter what her color. The book introduces a purple baby hippo, Violet, to gently explore the topic of discrimination. Suggested age for readers: 2-5.

What reviewers are saying...

Dotty's Topsy Tale is a book that has all of the features our family looks for when shop for books. and is published by a great Christian publishing company that caters to families with younger children. It is highly recommended as a self-esteem booster and affirmer for kids and is part 2 of a sequel. It delves into the topic of discrimination and supports community-building values and living by a higher standard.

It espouses the value of change -- we don't always have to live the way we were raised to live, especially when that was based in untruth or ignorance. These are much needed topics of discussion for children to understand while they are young and developing a foundation for their character that will carry them through the rest of their living years in this world. In the face of all of the infamous leadership failures we've all witnessed in recent years, high-quality character development really needs to be at the top of the list of priorities for all educators in public, private, and home schools. Bravo, Donna! The illustrations are stunning due to Kevin's use of contrasting and complimentary colors. Our oldest is an aspiring artist and really enjoyed the pictures. This is our official review as we have added this book into our homeschool curriculum for 2009.
- Donna Johnson,, JKidsCrew Butterfly Homeschool Journal


Watch the trailer!

Don't forget to leave a comment for a chance to win a print copy of my picture book, CRASH, on June 15th. I'll announce the winner here on my blog.

For a chance to win a copy of Donna's book, leave a comment on HER blog at:


Jennifer Gladen said...

Great interview Mayra. Donna I loved those unusual facts. You renamed the other Donna, huh? :) Your creativity was already showing.

Donna J. Shepherd said...

Thanks, Mayra for hosting me. Yes, Jennifer, the other Donna was not too happy. She had to keep that name until I moved. lol!

Joy said...

I like the 5 unusual facts you've been collecting on this tour. Okay Donna, how did you change the other Donna's name?
Love the book. Dotty is a very loveable character.

Joy Delgado
Illustrator and publisher of bilingual children’s books

Donna J. Shepherd said...

I went around the table asking names. When she said "Donna" I said, "Well, we can't have two. What's your middle name?" When she replied 'Faye,' I promptly said, "From now on, we'll call you Faye." And for first and second grade (until I moved), she was Faye.

Here's a link to a devotion I wrote about it:

Shari Lyle-Soffe said...

That is a riot! Obviously you are a take charge person. I wonder how Faye feels about that today?

Love your book and look forward to Poodle and Doodle.


Margot Finke said...

Mayra, you did it again - showed us a side of an author that we had no clue about. I also love the covers of your books, Donna. Perfect for the text.
FREE: A Link to me reading any Autographed picture book you BUY from my website.

Joy said...

What a hoot Donna! Only a very confident child could pull off something like that. I really like your devotional about it. Great story and the end is a wonderful truth.

Joy Delgado
Illustrator and publisher of bilingual children’s books

Donna J. Shepherd said...

Thanks, everyone!