Are you young?

Yes.

Can you answer some marketing questions for me?

My first podcast, Brain Burps About Books answers tons of questions. You can subscribe to it by going here. If you want to know more about craft, listen to my second podcast, Writing for Children by subscribing here. For that show I also have transcripts in the show notes that also have lot of links to resources and places to submit your writing. You can go here to check that out.

When do you work?

I write from 9-5 every day, and never look up. Before I make dinner, I clean the house quickly and easily with my children helping me without complaint.

Yeah, right. You didn’t actually believe that, did you? I do try to keep it to regular work hours but if I’m at a difficult part of a manuscript, I can easily fill my day doing PR, email, school visit prep, etc. On the other hand, if I’m cranking on a story, the house will be a wreck and my kids will have mac and cheese until their innards are glued together and they’re begging me to feed them something green (and they are not referring to the foods molding in the fridge due to the fact that I haven’t had time to shop or clean out the refrigerator).

In 2015 my husband Jerry and I took over the almost 50-year-old Institute of Children’s Literature and its sister school, Institute For Writers (formerly Long Ridge Writers Group). Check it out here!

Is your office messy or neat?

Every six months or so I try to clean up. I keep it neat for a while, but when I’m really zooming on a project, the fur flies and I’ll look up and it looks like a hurricane hit.

What I’m saving up for is a self-cleaning studio.

How do you play the trumpet?

I don’t know. (This was asked at a large assembly by a curious, and apparently, musical first grader. I was not talking about musical instruments at the time.)

Best feature of your office? Worst feature?

Being over our detached garage, the best part is it’s far enough away from the house to have privacy and quiet, but close enough to get snacks.

The worst feature is that I’m close enough to the house to get snacks. Plus, I have no walls so there is no place to hang stuff! That is, the walls only go up about 2.5 feet, then angle up to a point because that’s the roof.

Pajamas or dressed?

Duh! what would YOU wear if you were alone in YOUR studio all day long?

No, actually I like working out, showering, then dressing in the morning to get me going for the day.

That was last week. I was motivated to get dressed last week. Today I am actually wearing pjs. For real. Pink flannel ones with little snowmen on them. Don’t tell anyone.

Internet a distraction or a tool?

Both! On the subject of working for oneself and getting distracted, people always say to me, “Wow, you must be so disciplined!” I’d love to claim to be that righteous, but it’s more that I am compelled to work, so it really doesn’t take much discipline. Now, if someone said I had to work on, say, math all day, THAT would take some discipline.

Music or silence? What’s playing now?

I was just listening to Richard Thompson. Now I’m onto John Kale. I stream WFUV a lot. When I really need to concentrate, that is, when I’m writing – books, or email or articles or any other kind of writing – I don’t listen to music, as I need to hear the words in my head and music is an interactive thing for me. I don’t like it as background because I’m too involved in it. However, when I’m doing art or brain-free work, it’s on 24/7.

Do you have any pets?

I was never a dog person. In 2007 we rescued a Havanese whom we named Mango. I was stupid in love with that dog. He died suddenly November 2016. We got a new puppy in spring of 2017 and named him Ollie. As Mango used to hang out in my studio, now Ollie comes with me every day, too.

What is the oddest, most unexpected item, on your desk? I always want to know that.

Oddest and most unexpected are two very different things so I’ll pick three things and you can decide which is odd and which you didn’t expect.

Item #1: A framed antique postcard I got while working on a Japanese commercial in 1980 which starred the late movie star, Paul Newman. He was supposed to be pretending to write on the postcards. They belonged to me, so after the shoot I went and collected them. It wasn’t until later I saw he’d actually written a note on it, to his wife, Joanne Woodward.

Item #2: Three antique children’s alphabet blocks: one ‘S’ and two ‘H’s. They were a gift from my first editor on I Hate To Go To Bed! Get it? The letters spell “SHH.”

Item #3: A heavy plastic dentist’s model of a mouth – just the gums and some very disgusting teeth. There’s a metal hinge that allows the mouth to open and close. Someone from a dental school sent it to me after I published Mabel the Tooth Fairy and How She Got Her Job.

Q: What were your favorite books growing up?

A: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The Magic Finger, Harriet the Spy, Caps for Sale, The Story About Ping, Just-So Stories, An All-of-a-Kind Family, Hello Elephant … I could name a million!

When did you know you wanted to be an author?

I never decided I wanted to be an author – but I’ve always been a writer. I kept a journal growing up until I was in my 30’s. It never occurred to me that I could ever be a published author. I never met an author until I was an adult so I never thought of it as a career choice. Authors were ethereal to me. When I realized I could make a career of this thing I’d been doing since my childhood, it seemed too good to be true. Creating is a physical necessity for me, just as eating food, or sleeping is. When I don’t create, whether it’s writing or artor food or movies or podcasts, I get very cranky.

Is Katie your real name?

Yes, my name is really Katie Davis, though I was born Kate Ilenna Freedman.

How old are you?

None of your beeswax but older than I think I should be.

When is your birthday?

January 4, and I don’t believe in that grownup “oh, no presents for me” stuff.

What is the square root of 10,468?

Only kidding. No one ever asked me that.

What is your Angel Policy?

You may use my art for stamps to create handcrafted items for sale, but ONLY if you hand stamp the images and your products are not mechanically produced. The stamp may only be used to create products sold in craft fares and markets and not over the Internet or in permanent shops.

You must include the following on all crafts produced with my art:

Artwork ©Katie Davis, www.katiedavis.com

If you use my art on cards, please include the following on each card:

Image used with permission

©Katie Davis

Children’s Book Author/Illustrator

Visit www.katiedavis.com for more art

If you create and sell over 25 items with the same image, you need to contact me to arrange a licensing deal in order to pay me for the art you are using.

Please take note: My policies are not designed to inhibit the creative output of crafters and in fact help protect the hand stamping business, by ensuring that stampers who want to sell their hand crafted products can do so without the fear of competing with mass produced versions of the same image.