Have you ever wondered what steps authors take prior to writing a book? This week we sat down (virtually) with Diseph Ruth Otto, one of our authors, to get a few questions answered. 

Diseph Ruth Otto is the author of the upcoming Pamima’s Journal book series. Her lifelong dream has been to inspire and educate the younger generation through fiction, arts and crafts and Bible stories. She has several years of experience working with children as a children Sunday school teacher, a volunteer and a children’s creativity workshop facilitator in Port Harcourt, Nigeria.

 

Q: When did you decide to become a storyteller and what incident led you to that?

A: I started writing when I was about nine years old. At that time we used to have story-time in our classroom, where we took turns to tell stories out loud. I loved stories but I was very shy to tell my stories in front of the class. So I decided to write my stories on pieces of papers instead, and I’ve been writing ever since.  When I read “From the Notebook of a Middle School Princess” which is a middle grade novel I was instantly drawn to the wonderful world of children’s literature. Immediately I started reading middle grade books and children’s books. I fell deeper and deeper in love with children‘s literature the more I wrote and the more researched.

Q: How long does it take you to write a book? 

A: It usually takes me 2-3 weeks to finish the first draft of a story, but I like to spend six months developing and crafting the final draft.

Q:Where do you draw inspiration from

A: I draw inspiration from many things; my family, the children I meet every day, my own childhood memories, Nickelodeon TV series, the list is endless. Sometimes I get inspired by observing people on the streets, or in the supermarket, or just anywhere.

Q: How do you combat writer’s block?

A: Hmmn I do not have a specific method to deal with writer’s block, but my go-to solution is chocolate bars and Ice cream. Most times I prefer to take a walk just to clear my head. Other times I just go window shopping or simply go out, the sights and sounds in town just excite me. 

Q: Preferred writing environment?

A: I can write anywhere, in fact when I was younger I used to write literally anywhere; church, classroom, restaurant. I’m pretty sure it pissed off my classmates a lot because they teased me.  Now, I enjoy writing in my bedroom or in the family room just as long as the noise is minimal and I’m chewing on some cookies.

Q: Do you precisely plan what the book is going to look like, or do you write and see where that takes you?

A: I always have a loose outline to guide me. Most times trying to strictly adhere to an outline can stifle my creativity. So I have learned to go with the flow, because it makes me feel that my characters are alive and guiding me through their own journey.  

Follow her on Instagram, @diseph_ruth.

We have more interviews just like this one with authors and illustrators that work with Global Kidz House. Stay tuned!

 

-Masa Najjar