Please welcome award-winning author D.G. Driver to the Reading Room today. With a successful Young Adult series already under her belt, she has moved on to exploring Middle Grade fiction. Her recently published MG book, No One Needed to Know, is a story focusing on the heartwrenching challenges faced by an eleven-year-old girl whose older brother battles autism.
Q. Greetings D.G.! Please tell us a little bit about yourself and your books.
A. Hello and thanks for having me! I’ve been writing and publishing for about 22 years and have been a member of SCBWI since 1999. I was a theater major and originally wrote as a pastime. When a local children’s theater hired me to write a children’s play for them, I got hooked and started seriously pursuing writing as a career.
I began writing as D.G. Driver in 2014 with the publication of my first YA novel Cry of the Sea. Now I have five books under that name and have written stories for several anthologies. I mostly write Young Adult and Middle Grade stories featuring diverse characters dealing with social or environmental issues. I live near Nashville, and when I’m not writing, I am often found singing in a local musical theater production with one or more members of my talented family.
Q. Tell us something about your greatest success and your latest success.
A. Every time I get a good review I feel like I’m having great success:) Seriously, though, I think winning two awards for my environmental fantasy novel Cry of the Sea was a high point for me, validating what I was trying to accomplish as an author.
Most recently, being chosen as the featured guest speaker for a youth writing program at Middle Tennessee State University was quite an honor. I’m excited and grateful for all the opportunities to speak at schools and at writing events that come my way. It’s sort of the blending of my two lives as a writer and actor.
Q. What has been your biggest challenge?
A. My books are published with small indie presses. This puts me in a strange, awkward space between the traditionally published authors with the big houses and the self-published folks. I like being with a small house because they take care of all the upfront expenses, and I just earn royalties. However, I’m in the marketing trenches with the pure indie folks. It is a great community to be in, but I can’t do some of the indie tricks like offering free books or changing prices for a particular event or promotion. I have to run everything by my publisher first and get them to do it for me. Also, it takes a special effort to convince reviewers, schools, librarians, and book festivals to give my work the same attention as the authors with the big publishers. Honestly, I feel like I spend more time marketing and doing publicity than writing.
In terms of my middle grade novel No One Needed to Know, Schoolwide Inc. owns the ebook rights to that book. They published it in their Zing! subscription digital library. So, while I retained the rights to the print version and had it published through Amazon and Ingram, I can’t do any ebook promotion. This is tricky, and it is certainly difficult to find ways to promote a print-only title in today’s market.
Q. That’s very interesting. I can see how that in-between space would be quite a challenge. What plans do you have for the future?
A. I never have a lack of story ideas in my head. My next two projects are young adult, and I have plans to write another middle grade novel focusing on special needs. My hope, like all authors, is to eventually move to writing full time. I’d like to look into doing some professional editing as well.
No One Needed to Know
Heidi has a secret. Her brother, Donald, is 16 and Autistic. She has always loved playing with him, but now she’s 11 and her life is changing. She’s embarrassed to have her brother around and tries not to tell anyone about him. High school boys bully him. When the kids at her school find out about him, she gets bullied too. It’s not fair. No one seems to understand what she’s going through.
But Heidi needs to understand, too. She can’t change her brother, but she can change how she feels about him, and she can get people to see why her brother is special.
“This is the best story about dealing with bullies and with a child with Autism I have ever read. I found myself crying from the sheer heartwarming moments in this story about a sister who looked out for her older brother… This was a wonderful story and I recommend everyone read it…This book was a truly beautiful reading experience. Bravo! FIVE BIG STARS!” Quill, Ink and Parchment review
Q. Where can people keep up with you and buy your books?
A. My web site: www.dgdriver.com
Follow me on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7867013.D_G_Driver
Book Links: http://www.amazon.com/D.-G.-Driver/e/B00J70QN64
D. G. Driver’s Young Adult fantasy series:
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