Three Quick Questions – Dee White #19

All through October, Alphabet Soup is celebrating turning three. We have heaps of writers and illustrators stopping by to answer THREE QUICK QUESTIONS and today’s visitor is Dee White, author of Hope for Hanna, and YA novel Letters to Leonardo. Dee also runs the Writing Classes for Kids blog.

Hope for Hanna (cover)

1. Where do you like to write?

My favourite place to write is my study or my lounge room, which have amazing views (here’s a pic).

The view from Dee's study
What a view! (© Dee White 2011)

2. Can you name a book you’d recommend to our readers?

A book I’ve read recently that I’d recommend is Head Spinners by Thalia Kalkipsakis.
Head Spinners (cover)
Dee White recommends Head Spinners by Thalia Kalkipsakis.

3. Can you offer a word or phrase that kids could use for inspiration if they have writer’s block?

A word or phrase I would use to kickstart inspiration is, “You wake up in the morning and your cat has brought you breakfast in bed.”

You can find out more about Dee White on her blog, and on her website. And make sure you check out Dee’s Writing Classes for Kids blog, too—there are writing tips, writing tutorials for download, competitions and more …

© October 2011 “Three Quick Questions with Dee White” by Rebecca Newman (Alphabet Soup magazine)

(Psst … see you back here tomorrow when we talk to author Robyn Opie.)

authors, teachers' resources

“Lights out!” (Dee White)

A big welcome to our guest blogger today – Dee White. Her books include many fiction and nonfiction titles, including Hope for Hanna, and a Young Adult book, Letters to Leonardo.

Letters to Leonardo (cover)

Hope for Hanna (cover)

Dee White photo
Dee White

Reading after lights out was a constant source of conflict in our house. My sister and I shared a set of bunk beds – she was on the top one so the light source was definitely better for her.

We didn’t actually read by torchlight. We kept the bedroom light on so if the other person wanted to sleep then that was just too bad, or you got used to sleeping with the light on.

Official lights out at our place was at 8.30pm. But we soon learned that once parents became engrossed in their television show or ‘winding down’ because the kids were now in bed, they forgot to check to make sure that lights stayed out.

Ours wasn’t the most foolproof method. It was easily detectable, and it led to sisterly verbal exchanges that also attracted parental attention.

During these clandestine sessions (which occurred almost every night), I liked to read books that are pretty much like the ones I write today – books about real people and the things that happened in their lives. Early on I was a big fan of ‘The Whiteoaks of Jalna Chronicles’ by Mazo de la Roche (this could have been the influence of my European father).

In my teens, I gravitated towards tragically romantic books like Sons and Lovers by DH Lawrence, Thomas Hardy’s Tess of the D’urbervilles and Leo Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina. I liked thick books that I could savour, ones that didn’t end too quickly.

Today, I see the same trait in my eldest son. His undercover reading tastes include books by Clive Cussler, Robin Hobbs and Matthew Reilly. My youngest is more an Artemis Fowl, Diary of a Wimpy Kid kind of guy.

I’ve always loved reading, but I have to admit that it’s so much more exciting when you’re reading undercover – when the threat of detection lurks around every corner.

© 2010 Dee White

You can find out more about Dee White and her books by visiting her website:

You can also visit her blogs:

Undercover Readers logoAlphabet Soup magazine is celebrating the launch of Undercover Readers (our new reviewers club for kids)!  If you’d like to join the Undercover Readers Club, you’ll find an information pack you can download from the Alphabet Soup website. As part of the celebrations, we have a different children’s author or illustrator visiting Soup Blog each day until 29 June 2010 to talk about what they used to read after ‘lights out’ when they were growing up. So be sure to check back tomorrow!