An Interview with Deborah Dian: Author of The Mayor and the Garbage: The Teen Who Saved His Town
Interview with Deborah Dian
Deborah Dian is the author of 5 books, two of which are fictional books for children.
She's graciously agreed to talk to me about her popular, "The Mayor and the Garbage: The Teen Who Saved His Town", a fun story with an important message.
Read on for the interview and then pick up a copy of this book for each of the children in your life.
What inspired you to write "The Mayor and the Garbage: The Teen Who Saved His Town"?
I originally wrote "The Mayor and the Garbage" for my own children. When they were young, I used to write stories and books for them in order to help them learn about topics that I thought were important. Later, I decided to have it published so other parents could inspire their own children to think more deeply about environmental issues such as water pollution and over-flowing landfills.
Two events inspired me to write it the way I did. First, I was impressed when Brian Zimmerman, an 11 year-old boy, became the honorary mayor of Crabb, Texas. He wanted to improve conditions in his community and he became an international success, even attending a mayors' conference in Paris, France. His life made me want to inspire my own children, so they would realize that no one is too young to do great things.
Second, in the late 1990's, a tire fire burned for more than a month in an illegal dump in Dallas. The runoff water was later found to be contaminated by high levels of benzene. Clean-up of this environment disaster eventually amounted to an estimated $21.1 million. Many people around the world have no idea how risky it is to be lax in the way we dispose of common household items.
Which age group did you imagine as your readership while writing this book? Would it be mostly recommended for children, tweens or teens?
I originally wrote this book when my own children were ages 8 and 12. In the original version the main character, Mike DiMaggio, was only 12. However, despite the inspiration of Brian Zimmerman, I thought many readers would be skeptical of a 12 year-old mayor, so I raised his age to 15. I recommend the book for tweens although, based on some of the 5-star Amazon reviews it has received, some parents have read the book to younger children ... and they have enjoyed it.
How long did it take you to write the book?
It took me a few months to write it the first time ... using a typewriter, not a computer. When I decided to have it published last year, it took me about two months to update it, edit it and rewrite it on my computer.
Your main character, Mike DiMaggio, is a 15 year-old boy. If you could turn back time, what advice would you give yourself at that age?
If I could give advice to my 15 year-old self, I would say that life gets better as you get older. At age 15, I was insecure and self-conscious. As an adult I have become increasingly more self-confident and happy with the life I have lived.
Will we be seeing more of Mike? Do you feel his story is complete or might this book be the beginning of a series?
Although I haven't started anything, yet, I have thought about having Mike attack other issues that can affect rural areas ... such as how difficult life can be for rural children who live a long way from school, making it tough for them to participate in after-school activities. In addition, they often have inadequate access to healthcare and other services. Drugs have also become an serious problem in formerly tranquil rural areas. I will have to do more research, but I think these are timely topics for our young mayor to tackle.
Do you write strictly for children or have you written any books for adults?
The only fiction I have written is for children. In addition to "The Mayor and the Garbage," I have written a short story called "The Parrot Trap" for parents to read to their children as a way to start the conversation about Stranger Danger. It has questions in the back to help parents know what to say.
I have also written three non-fiction books for adults: "Your Guide to a Fabulous Las Vegas Wedding," "Romantic Budget Wedding Ideas," and "Dangerous Lies We Tell to Children and Ourselves."
Get the Book Here!
What is your next writing project?
Will you be writing anymore fiction?
My largest, on-going writing project is my blog: Baby-Boomer-Retirement.com. I started the blog when I began planning my own retirement and, now that I am retired, I share what I have learned with other Baby Boomers. It fits nicely with my position as the official "Retired and Loving It" contributor on Squidoo.
Now that I am retired, I have much more time to write, so it is quite possible that there will be more books, both fiction and non-fiction, in my future.
How can readers discover more about you and your work?
Another Childrens Story from Deborah Dian
Last updated on September 5, 2014
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