Interview with Deborah J Reis

What are your five favorite books, and why?
I love the classics, from Jane Austen to Hemmingway to Eudora Welty (my very favorite). Each these authors brings their characters and eras to life, helping me to gain greater insight into life and as well as a deeper understanding and respect for others.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I use a Nook (I'm on my second one. I already wore the first one out)
What do you read for pleasure?
You know, I always read for pleasure -- simply because I love to read. And my goal, of course, is to pass on that pleasure to others. Reading should not be a struggle. Learning to read early is key to developing a pleasurable reading experience, whatever the book, or even an assignment.
Describe your desk
My desk is surrounded by windows letting in a lot of light from the clear blue sky (when it isn't raining) and the beautiful water off of Hood Canal (Puget Sound). I'm so lucky, but my desk is still messy.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in Richland, Washington -- a unique place and experience since it is the site of the Hanford Nuclear Reservation. The city was closed at the time, meaning it was a government town where everyone who lived there had to work (mostly, our dad's) for the government and have a security clearance. The government built the houses and used only about 7 different plans. So we were all the same, no poverty, no crime, no unemployment. We had lots of open space and fresh air to enjoy and our schools were excellent. I'm sure we were all safe, well-fed and happy.
When did you first start writing?
I started writing when I grew tired of taking teacher-education courses. Instead I took a great writing course from a man who had published many books, Don James, at the Cannon Beach Workshop in Cannon Beach, Oregon. From then on I just kept writing -- and teaching writing to a good many students, young and old. I can't imagine not writing. I just love to do it, publishing or not.
What's the story behind your latest book?
When I first started working with parents who were home schooling, I began to realize that most parents really don't know where to start when they begin to take on the task of teaching their children to read. Basically we simply forget how we, ourselves, learned to read. This quandary multiplied when I was asked to develop a reading program for the Partner's in Education tutoring program at the Fourth Presbyterian Church in Chicago. With 500 tutors responsible for helping their little partners learn to read, the task was daunting. The students were all wonderful, but sadly underprivileged. As I worked with each tutor/student pair, I soon realized the extent of the problem -- limited exposure to oral language, and no one available to read to them. Books, reading was not part of the lives of these children. I soon realized that there really wasn't a good source available to help tutors, or parents, to teach a child to read, unless they wanted to read textbooks, or books of prescribed exercises or drills. And it should all be so natural.... So, Raising a Reader, Naturally is now available in ebooks. Print copy is still to come.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I wanted my book to be small (limited pages), conversational, and affordable. Most publishers want big, conventional writing, and expensive. So, I am both happy and proud to be an indie author.
What are you working on next?
I am now working on a print edition of Raising a Reader, Naturally.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I live on the beautiful Olympic Peninsula in Washington state. Just like most people here, I hike the Olympic National Forest, kayak the gorgeous waters of Puget Sound and hit the Washington and Oregon beaches whenever I can.
How do you approach cover design?
Mostly, I have fun doing it.
Published 2015-05-30.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Raising a Reader, Naturally
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 33,240. Language: English. Published: May 28, 2015. Categories: Nonfiction » Parenting » Childhood development, Nonfiction » Education and Study Guides » Teaching methods & materials / reading & phonics
Now that you are faced with raising your own reader, where do you begin? This book guides you through the process, right from birth, in a natural, pleasant and reassuring way. It guides you through the "how" and "why." It also explains how a child or, anyone, else mentally processes information as they learn to read. A must for parents, caregivers, teachers and tutors wondering "where to begin?
If Witches Have Itches
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 180. Language: English. Published: October 5, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Children’s books » Holidays & Celebrations / Halloween
Do you ever wonder what a ghost has inside'r? Read If Witches Have Itches, a Halloween poem, to discover the possibilities -- and the hazards of getting too close to a ghost. Take no chances on Halloween night.
When Christmas Really Begins
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 3,850. Language: English. Published: August 31, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Children’s books » Holidays & Celebrations / Christmas & Advent, Fiction » Children’s books » Poetry
The best Christmas gifts often arrive after the presents are opened. In the national forest, Grandma Kratchit plans a Christmas party, inviting her neighbors, the forest animals. "Everyone must come. Everyone must bring a present." The animals bring homemade gifts, meeting with her disapproval. Frances, a small spider, intercedes and Grandma Kratchit discovers the real meaning of Christmas.
How Santa Lost His Jollies
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 9,490. Language: English. Published: August 21, 2011. Categories: Nonfiction » Entertainment » Humor and satire
Brimming with laugh-out-loud Santa stories, How Santa Lost His Jollies is a humorous take on Santa “events” from around the globe, from Santa gropers, to flying Santas (Elvis impersonators), and the usual kids (naughty) with their Santa-defying tricks. Fully illustrated and drawn from genuine news stories, this book reveals the trial and tribulations of today's Santa -- or his underpaid elves.