Deborah Paggi is a writer who spent several years working in the children’s publishing field. After working with libraries, parents, and children’s book authors, she was inspired to set out on her own author’s journey. Her passion for storytelling focuses on a deep curiosity about the wonder and beauty of the world around her. Dear Sun, Dear Moon is her first picture book, which captures the power and brilliance of the magical things occurring in the sky above. She has been an avid reader her whole life and is thrilled to be writing books for children. Deborah has a Master of Arts in English and is an active member of the California Writer’s Club (Redwood Writers) and the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. After raising three active and energetic sons, she now lives a quieter life with her husband, chocolate lab, and ragdoll cat in northern California.
Describe Your Desk:
My desk is fairly organized so files, paper, and of course my favorite office supply ever invented, sticky notes, are everywhere I can think to stick them.
What's the Story behind your latest book?
I have always been fascinated by the skies above. I am bewildered and awestruck by the moon, stars, sun, planets and all of the other celestial bodies floating around us all the time. I often start writing by asking, “What if…” Dear Sun, Dear Moon started when I asked myself that simple question: “What if the sun could actually communicate with the moon?"
What is the greatest Joy of Writing for you?
I have been writing my whole life. I find it thrilling to jot down an idea and see it transformed into a story, into another world.
What are you working on next?
I am currently putting the finishing touches on another children’s book about a young girl who just cannot seem to get to sleep. While she lies awake night after night, her whole family serenades her with their sleeping sounds symphony. She hatches a brave plan and strikes off on her own to finally catch her zzz’s and get some sleep.
What is your writing process?
I am an early riser, so I find the quiet corners of creativity in the early morning hours. When my children were young, it was the only time I had to myself. Now, the habit has formed. I creep downstairs and start the coffee, curl up on my couch with a thick blanket, a dim light, a ticking clock, and a notebook. The quiet darkness and approaching daylight provide all the possibilities.
Who are your favorite Authors?
Children’s authors- so many! I am particularly fond of Jan Brett (The Mitten) and Maurice Sendak (Where the Wild Things Are, In the Night Kitchen). A recent favorite is Matt de la Pena’s, Last Stop on Market Street. I can’t wait to read Lindsay Mattick’s, Finding Winnie- The True Story of the World’s Most Famous Bear.
What do you read for pleasure?
I have been in a book club with nine women for over 20 years, so reading is a huge part of my life. I enjoy historical fiction above all. I am a fan of T.C. Boyle, John Irving, Margaret Atwood and Toni Morrison. I also love to indulge in the classics and can read Jane Austen over and over.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up with my parents and two sisters in sunny southern California where I had to constantly hide and dodge from the sun (red hair, freckles…). I spent many afternoons either at the beach or pool (hat, sunscreen, covered up) with a book in hand. I have a special memory of walking to the library in the summer and bringing home a stack of books to dive into. My childhood was filled with books and it certainly made me into a reader, which has had a direct influence on my writing.
When did you first start writing?
I have been writing one thing or another for many years. I started pursuing children’s book writing in earnest about 3 years. I finally said, if not now, when?
Do you remember the first story you ever read and the impact it had on you?
My clearest memory of the first story I read would be Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl. I think the combination of the underdog story, the enchanted land of candy, and the fascinating cast of characters formed a lasting impression by showing me the power of books, which can take the reader on a magical journey of epic proportions.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Great question! That has changed and evolved over the years, but for now, it has to be living a creative life. I was so fortunate to be able to work with my friend and illustrator, Gayle Cole, this summer. We had a joyous time in true creative partnership–the best!