Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Guest author Dorothy Massey

Katie: I’m pleased to have children’s author Dorothy Massey as the guest on my blog today. Dorothy has written three stories for “Mini Mysteries and Kooky Spookies,” a delightful anthology of six everyday mysteries that the young reader can solve, and six kooky spookies.

Dorothy, can you please give us a brief bio about yourself?

Dorothy: I have authored the Ghost Twin tales in “Mini Mysteries and Kooky Spookies”, and one of my stories has been recorded as a podcast by television presenter Gail Porter. I have taught literacy and ESL, adult basic skills, family learning and creative writing. The third edition of my publication for ESL students, “Better English,” has recently been published in India.

Katie: Can you tell us more about Mini Mysteries and Kooky Spookies?

Dorothy: This is an anthology for early readers. There are six mysteries children can solve and six humorous ghost tales.

Katie: Can you please tell us what prompted you to write stories using ghost twins (Wiggle and Woo) as the main characters?

Dorothy: I thought it would be awful to be a child ghost who didn’t like to haunt. Then I had the idea that it would be even worse if you had a sibling who loved haunting and expected you to share his/her enthusiasm. I began to write in the voice of the character who eventually became Woo and the plots came later.

Katie: Do you plan on writing more stories using these twins?

Dorothy: I’d love to, but Pinestein would have to invite me to as they have the rights to the characters.

Katie: Why did you write an anthology rather than a “normal” book length novel?

Dorothy: I was invited to write for the anthology when I entered a Pinestein Press competition. My story, Little Red Riding Hoo …. ood was the winning entry.

Katie: Did you develop your characters, Wiggle and Woo, based on people you know?

Dorothy: No. I’ve always been interested in sibling relationships, especially that of twins.

Katie: Can you please give us a snapshot of what your writing day consists of?

Dorothy: I don’t have a typical writing day. Sometimes I spend time editing stories I’ve already written to prepare them for submission. Sometimes I write new stories for anthologies, magazines or competitions. I like to challenge myself. Recently I’ve been working on a project of six postcards containing written images of County Durham. I went outdoors to write these which was fun.

Katie: Over your writing career, what has been the single most important piece of advice given to you, and that you would give to writers aspiring to write an anthology for children?

Dorothy: Never give up. You have to have belief in yourself as a writer, be willing to accept criticism and redraft. To writers wanting to write for children I’d say you should bear in mind the needs of both the publisher and your readers. Aim to give them what they want, but with a little extra sparkle and originality.

Katie: What sort of marketing and promotional work have you done for your books? Which has worked best? least?

Dorothy: I’ve done a lot of marketing on the web via blogs. It’s hard to judge how successful that is as you don’t know who may or may not have bought the book as a result. I’ve also done a lot of marketing locally and have found this has been successful. I’ve done talks, workshops and attended local events to promote my books.

Katie: Thanks, Dorothy, for being a guest on my blog today. Dorothy can be reached at: and Mini Mysteries and Kooky Spookies ordered from: , Better Engish can be ordered from or Amazon. Dorothy’s story Munch the Storyteller read by Gail Porter can be accessed at by clicking the tab titled stories.

To find out more about Dorothy and about children’s writing in the UK visit To find out about Dorothy’s Fun and Friendly Writing Workshops click onto


Lea Schizas - Author/Editor said...

Kooky Spookies? This alone makes me want to read your stories. I find titles and names play such an important part in the writing world.

Loved the interview. Thank you ladies for a wonderful July 1st read.

Margaret Fieland said...

Dorothy, great title ! It sounds like a really fun read.

Harry Gilleland said...

Very good interview! I liked Dorothy's advice to new writers: Never give up! That's is advice to take to heart.



The Old Silly said...

Great interview - nice job, both of you! I also LOVE the book title. :)

The Old Silly

ps - Hey - please do me a favor - whatever you can, maybe post an announcement for me on VBT - my former blogs are gone - zapped by the evil Google Nazis - long story that I will not go into for fear of exploding in rage, but - new site is at

I'd post it myself but VBT is glitching on me and I can't post anything or even get into my data to edit anything! AAARGH!!

Vivian Zabel said...

Very good interview, Katie.

What an unusual title, Kooky Spookies. Children would love it and want more. Children, nothing, adults would.

Nancy Famolari said...

Terrific Interview. I instantly wanted to read about the ghost twins!

unwriter said...

Ghost twins sounds fun, yet scary since I am the father of twins. I don't want them becoming ghosts any time soon.

Karen Cioffi said...

Dorothy, Kookie Spookies sounds like a lot of fun.

Great interview, Katie.


Dorothy Massey said...

Thanks for posting, Katie. You asked some great questions. Writing the Ghost Twin Tales was fun.

Unknown said...

Great post-fun book! I'm glad to see you moving into different genres. Kids love solving mysteries!

Carolyn Howard-Johnson said...

Virginia, I'm out of town but you know I think you are wonderful. Such great work for writers.


Liana said...

Great interview! Everybody loves mysteries, I am in! Liana