Interview with Dawn Wynne
Dawn Wynne is an award-winning educator with more than 15 years experience teaching students from kindergarten through high school, including special needs students, English Language Learners, and at-risk youths. She was recognized and honored with the “Teacher of the Year” award and the “Superintendent’s Award” for her teaching excellence. Wynne earned a Bachelor of Arts in theater at UCLA and holds a Master’s degree in Education from NovaSoutheasternUniversity. She has appeared in many television shows including General Hospital, Renegade, and Nightman. Wynne’s short film, “Stalkers”, won numerous awards, including the Audience Choice selection at the Palm Springs and Sarasota Film Festivals. Dawn is embarking on a new journey as she combines her love of education and writing with motherhood, producing her first children’s book, I Remember When. She and her husband, Rob, live in Redondo Beach, California with their young daughter Giovanna. Visit author’s website at http://www.dawnwynne.com/
Author of I Remember When…
I want to thank you for being my guest here on Mymcbooks Blog
What is the last book you read? The last book I read was Winter Garden by Kristin Hannah. It is a haunting novel about growing up in the Stalin era.
What were your earliest memories of writing? As a child I loved to write plays. I would write dialogue for puppet shows As I got older I would re-write scenes from some of my favorite T.V. shows.
Were you encouraged to write or was it something that came natural? Writing was not something that came naturally to me. I had great teachers who encouraged my creativity and pushed me to refine my writing skills. I spent a lot of time taking writing classes and workshops.
Are you working on a new book? I have an idea for a second I Remember When book. It will be another interactive book, but this one will have an environmental theme.
You were recognized and honored with the “Teacher of the Year” award, That must be a proud moment for you? Teaching is the most difficult, yet rewarding job. I often wondered if my efforts were really getting through to the students. To be honored with that reward was such a privilege and validation that I was making a difference. That acknowledgement sparked my desire to become even better as a teacher.
What inspired you to write I Remember When? My grandmother passed away the day before my daughter was born. Shortly after that, I had a dream in which my grandmother and grandfather, who had also passed away, were telling me stories about their childhood. I loved hearing about their traveling adventures and how life was growing up for them. I learned more about the past from them than any history book or class. I realized my daughter would never have the opportunity to hear these stories. In my dream I kept hearing the words, “I Remember When.” I woke up and immediately started writing down what occurred. It haunted me for days and when I finally told my husband he insisted I write this book.
How did you come up with each character? While my grandmother was the inspiration for the book, the characters are not based on any specific person. I wanted to the grandmother and grandchildren to represent anyone.
Have you ever suffered from writer’s block? All the time! I guess that’s why for me this book had to come through in a dream!
What is the most difficult part of writing? Making that first step and getting my ideas out on paper is the toughest part. I plan a lot in my head and go over ideas often second guessing myself. When I take the time to outline my thoughts on paper I find that the writing process begins to flow.
What do you do when you’re not writing or promoting your books? My two- year-old keeps me very busy. When I’m not chasing her around I like to scrapbook, travel, or enjoy a glass of wine with friends.
How do you react to a bad review? It’s hard not to take them personally. Coming from a theatrical background I have learned not to take any comments to heart. I like to keep positive notes and cards on my desk so I have those reminders. By focusing on encouraging words it makes it easier to discard the bad ones.
Who are some of your favorite authors you would love to dine with? Currently my favorite author is Kristin Hannah. She is an empathetic writer who tells engaging stories about women and relationships. Whether it’s best friends deal with a tragedy or a mother trying to support her children in repressive Russia, you are transported into the lives of the characters. I am also a big non-fiction reader. I would love to dine with Marianne Williamson and absorb some of her peaceful energy.
What discipline do you impose on yourself regarding schedules, goals, etc.? Working out. I feel so much better and have more energy when I make time to exercise, even if it’s only for 30 minutes.
What advice would you give parents on selecting the right books for their children to read? I am a firm believer in finding material that is interesting for the child. Comic books, chapter books, magazines or picture books are equally valid forms of literature. If a child can immerse themselves into something meaningful to them the focus becomes on wanting to read rather than having to read.
What advice you would give to new writers? Look at books or writers you admire and model what they do. Get your ideas on paper. When you see words on paper your vision takes shape.
Is there anything else you would like to share with our readers? Stay true to your beliefs and dreams. So many people will tell you what you can’t do, but few will tell you what you can do. Listen to those positive influences and surround yourself with like-minded people.
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My name is Ella Johnson. I started Mymcbooks to promote reading. As a former teacher, I know that making basic education fundamentals interesting to children can be challenging. Education can be fun, exciting and captivating for children with the right learning tools. So my goal is to “make learning interesting and fun” for the children while they learn, by introducing them to fun books with colorful and captivating illustrations.
In 2009, I start the giveaway program giving away free school supplies at random to 2 winners each year. I also started a monthly free giveaways for books and gifts.
August 2010, I extended the free school supplies from 2 to 5 winners at random on my blog and also give away 20 bags full of school supplies to familes in need at Chick-fil-A in Brandon, Florida during their family nights. And in 2012, I beat my that number and gave away a lot of school supplies to needy families. Hopefully, I can continue to do this each year.
In 2011, I started writing reviews on children’s books then giving these books away free on Mymcbooks Blog. I increase the number of books we giveaway free to help support parent. My goal is to give away as many as I can each year. This is also a great way to introduce parents to new books.
Mymcbooks blog is always looking for other ways to give kids free books. So I started Mymcbooks Birthday Library http://mymcbooksbirthdaylibrary.wordpress.com/
My goal is to giveaway at least 300 books to children each year.
Books Given in 2011: 315
Books Given in 2012: 380
Books Given in 2013: 330
Books Given in 2014: 257
Books Given in 2015: – 127
Read Interview about Ella Johnson, http://melangeofcultures.wordpress.com/2011/07/31/interview-with-ella-johnson-founder-of-memorable-children-books-gifts/ Interviewer: Nicole Weaver
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