Sunday 6 October 2013

Sir Princess Petra's Talent: Interview Author Diane Mae Robinson

Welcome Back To Sir Princess Petra's Talent blog tour.
Hurrahh, today we close the tour with an interview by none other than
Author Diane Mae Robinson.
We have reviewed both Diane's books on our blog. Check them out here.

I am delighted to have Diane join us in the blogosphere.


1. How did you come up with the story for Sir Princess Petra?
Ever since I was a kid, my favorite kinds of tales were of knights, princesses, dragons, etc. Writing a princess story just seemed natural to me. I wrote the original story many years ago as a story picture book. It wasn’t until a publisher asked me to re-write the story, and turn it into a chapter book, that the first chapter book and then the series was born.

2. How long did it take you to craft the stories?
For months, I write down all the details about characters, scenes, and possible scenarios in a notebook. Then, as if everything is suddenly ready in my mind, the creative muse hits me and I write the story. The writing of the story is a marathon of days-on-end writing until the story is finished in a first draft stage. Then I leave the story alone for about a month before going back to do edits. My first, second and third edits may take a few months, done in several sittings, and many re-readings before it even gets to the publisher. Once the story is at the publishers, we go through thorough edits for a few more weeks. The whole process of creating and editing a story takes about 9 months. I never rush this process.
3. Did you have children beta read the story. If so, how did it change the story?
No, I have never had beta readers. The publisher I’m with has great editors and I rely on their input and evaluation of the story as we work through editing. The editor notices plot problems, character inconsistencies, or unclear sentences or scenes, and I re-write accordingly and until he is satisfied with the outcome.
4. The illustrations are fantastic. How did you decide on the style and how many illustrations you put in the book?
The illustrations were done by Samantha Kickingbird. She works for the publishing house I’m with, and she was assigned to my books. My contract for each book includes illustrations. As the author, I really didn’t have much input into the illustrations. Illustrators that work for a publisher are trained to pick out the best scenes and characters and do their magic with their art. Samantha did a wonderful job in bringing the characters and scenes to life with illustrations.
5. Do you get out and about to do author visits in schools and libraries? Can you share your some of your experience of what works and what doesn’t.
Yes, I do author visits at schools, book signings, and library visits. At school visits I usually have two children accompany me on stage; one wears the dragon hat and one wears the princess helmet. This really seems to get the other kids interested in what is going on. At the end of the author visit, I have a question and answer period and the kids really like that.
I think author visits that are approximately one hour long work best for young children, and the children stay focused and interested.
6. Tell us a little about book 3. What will Sir Princess Petra face?
Petra, Snarls and Bograt will be on a mission, as per the king’s newly written rule in the royal rule book. Their mission will be to accomplish something-something vital in the Kingdom of Boogy Gobees (a harsh and barren land far to the east of Pen Pieyu) where some nasty, horrible something-somethings live. This could be the scariest book of all, or maybe not.
7. Now the story that Petra tells in the end of book 2 was just exquisite. Any plans for a picture book or a spin off?
The story that Petra tells at the end of book two was actually written several years ago as a story picture book. It has been submitted a few times to publishers, and I plan to start submitting it again in the near future.
8. Any other stories planned, separate to the Pen Pieyu Adventures.
I hope to create a forth book in The Pen Pieyu Adventures. I am also working on an easy-to-understand grammar book. I do have a few other story picture books written that need to be polished before submitting to publishers.

Well, that is all we have time for. Oooh, I can't wait for the further adventures, and we want to read that picture book, he he.

Thank you Diane for joining us.

Now where to find Diane:

Diane’s Social Media Links
Twitter - @DianeMaeRobinso


  1. Nice review. I like the simple grammar book idea. What ever made you think of that? The tour is winding down and it has been a long haul. Everyone did great, especially you Julie who did two dates a review and an interview. Thanks!! Loved working with you.

    1. Well, Sue, I think it was you that made me think of writing the easy-to-understand grammar book. In fact, you egged me on. You may have even twisted my arm. It was all because of you that I have this new project going. Thank you, I think.

  2. Thanks for stopping by Sue. It was a pleasure to be a part of the tour and we are so glad to have gotten to know Diane a little better now. Best wishes on the conclusion

  3. Excellent interview! I love hearing about the writing process, and I have to say for the umpteenth time on this tour that I LOVE the illustrations! Samantha did a great job! I can't wait to read these books.

    Paul R. Hewlett

    1. Thank you< Paul, for hanging around my blog tour. I really appreciate it. Yes, I am so lucky to have Samantha as the illustrator. Yeah, Samantha!

  4. Hi Julie,

    I thought I had stopped by and commented already--I guess I got lost. Really, getting lost is something I do quite well. I got lost the other day going to my author school visit, but I did eventually land up where I was supposed to be.

    Thanks so much for doing this interview. It was a lot of fun!!

    1. Thanks for stopping by Diane and we hope that the conclusion of your tour has been great.

    2. Yes, you do get lost a lot. I thought for a moment that you were getting lost on your comment, but you made it back, just like that school visit.

      Julie, you are one away from the end of the tour, so you are the end of the tour. (It's my logic and I sit by it.) So the tour has ended great!

    3. Yes, the tour is winding up and ending on an awesome note thanks to all of you that interviewed, reviewed, commented, and organized and heckled me (Sue).

  5. Great interview, Julie! I'm looking forward to reading more delightful books from Diane!

    1. Thanks, C.L. You've been absolutely everywhere on this tour. I can't thank you enough and tell you how much it means to me. You're a true knight.