Ask the Author: Bobbie Pyron
What would you like readers to know about you?
I’m the author of six young adult and middle grade novels, including my latest MG novel, STAY. I love dogs more than just about anything, so many of my books are either about dogs or have an important dog in them. I was a librarian for over thirty years. I try to write stories that engender compassion and help that one reader feel less lonely in the world. Books and dogs are my passion, along with the outdoors and pistachios.
What is your book about for those who haven’t read it?
STAY is the intertwined stories of eleven-year-old Piper and a little dog named Baby. Through a series of events, Piper and her family find themselves living in a homeless shelter. Baby lives in a city park near that shelter with his beloved person, Jewel. The chapters alternate between Baby’s point of view (written in free verse) and Piper’s. When Baby and Jewel become separated, Piper makes it her mission to not only reunite them, but find them a home where they can be together. STAY is very much a story of resilience and empowerment and compassion.
What has been your inspiration for writing it?
Several years ago, my husband and I were running errands in the city. At a busy intersection, I saw an older woman with a sign asking for help. She looked so desperate! But at her feet sat a little ToTo-looking dog, looking calm and serene as toast. I was so struck by the difference in their perception of their situation. I never saw that woman and her dog again (even though I went back to that intersection several times to look), but I kept wondering what their story was.
What was your favorite scene or part of your book to write?
Hmmm…that’s a tough question! I really enjoyed writing Baby’s chapters. I love books written in free verse and had always wanted to try that. I was very happy when my editor, Maria Barbo (Katherine Tegen Books) gave me the go-ahead to write Baby’s chapters. I always like to stretch myself as a writer!
What books or authors inspired you to become a writer?
I was a very shy child, so books (and dogs) were very important to me. My favorites were LASSIE COME-HOME, THE INCREDIBLE JOURNEY, PIPPI LONGSTOCKING, and SEASON OF PONIES. Because these books were all so important to me as a kid, I couldn’t imagine anything more wonderful than creating a story that a reader would hold in their hearts. As an adult, I continue to be inspired by authors like Kate DiCamillo, Katherine Applegate, Rebecca Stead, Barbara O’Connor, Jason Reynolds, and many more.
What advice would you give to aspiring authors who want to write a book?
Play! Explore different ways of telling a story through tense, setting, and of course, point of view. Don’t be afraid to try different things. If you’re most comfortable writing in past tense, try writing scenes in present tense. If you tend to always write from the main character’s POV, try writing from multiple POVs—or maybe the dog or cat’s POV! The point is to stretch yourself. And please, please enjoy the journey! Don’t get all hung up on finding an agent/publisher. I can tell you, you will never be so free to write whatever you want to after you’re published. So, take advantage of that. Embrace it. Also, read, read, read in the age group you’re writing for! Create a “writing community” for yourself. Join SCBWI, find a supportive, safe, critique group, in person and online. Lastly, remember you do have a story to tell, and only you can tell it.
You can find out more about Bobbie and her books on her website, bobbiepyron.com (www.bobbiepyron.com)
Follow her on FaceBook, Twitter, and Instagram, all under Bobbie Pyron. Most of Bobbie’s books are available on Amazon and (more importantly) through your favorite indie bookstore! If you’d like a signed copy, contact the amazing folks at Bobbie’s favorite bookstore, Malaprop’s Bookstore (www.malaprops.com) in Asheville, NC.