Thursday, August 23, 2018

Writing Myra and Elmyra: An Interview with Ohio Author, Tonya L. Davis

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Writing Myra and Elmyra:
An Interview with Ohio Author, Tonya L. Davis

On May 4th of this year, Lower Salem, Ohio, author, Tonya L. Davis, launched her first children’s literature - Myra and Elmyra: The Tale of Two Sisters (illustrated by Elisabeth A.R. Davis, Monday Creek Publishing LLC). I met up with Tonya and we talked about her current and future endeavors…

Welcome, Tonya!

GM: Congratulations on the success of your first children's literature Myra and Elmyra: The Tale of Two Sisters! Beautifully illustrated by your daughter, Elisabeth, Myra and Elmyra is gaining a folklore following! What is the premise for Myra and Elmyra and how did you come up with the storyline? Do the names Myra and Elmyra have significance for you? 

TD: I used to tell my daughters stories at bedtime, something that can be hard to do night after night and year after year and be original.  I just made up the names and the premise one night while trying to tell my youngest a story.

GM: Do you believe your country lifestyle motivates your inspiration for writing? In what way?

TD: There is a lot to see and learn about in the country - life cycles of animals, how things grow, a closeness to nature.  I've always wanted to know how to use natural things and incorporate them in to my life, whether it is using plants for soap making, salves, dyeing fiber, or eating!  There is so much to learn and the more I find out, the more I realize how much there is to know. I enjoy learning new things.

GM: Your daughter, Elisabeth, illustrated Myra and Elmyra. I love the illustrations! Did you have input on the illustrations, or did you allow Elisabeth to illustrate without your guidance?

TD: She asked me how I envisioned things and I mentioned that I liked some tiny illustrations along with the larger ones to give children things to look for while reading. Otherwise, she developed her own style.

GM: Myra and Elmyra has several intriguing concepts as well as a folklore twist, along with moral values. Who is your favorite author/storyteller?

TD: In children's literature, my favorites would have to include Beatrix Potter, A. A. Milne, Elsa Beskow, Howard Pyle, and Robert Louis Stevenson.

GM: What are you currently reading?

TD: Striding Folly by Dorothy L. Sayers, Close Quarters by Angela Thirkell, 12 Rules for a Good Life by Jordan Peterson, and Reading People by Anne Bogel. 

GM: What are you currently writing?

TD: I'm working on some magazine articles and some writing in my daughter's baby book that I'm only now finishing (she's 17!).

GM: When storyline ideas come along, how do you maintain thoughts and ideas?

TD: I have notebooks on my desk and in my purse that I use for jotting down ideas. I usually try to write a quick rough draft and then let it sit for a few days before returning to it. I also try to do some sort of writing exercises every day - short character sketches, list synonyms of words I use frequently, and I'm a letter writer. 

GM: What is your goal as an author?

TD: I want to entertain and introduce children to some words and thoughts they may not have been exposed to before. I never want to talk down to them. I didn't do that with my own and, now that they are adults, they are able to articulate well what they wish to say and can talk with anyone. 

GM: Do you have advice for novice writers?

TD: Do some interesting things in life so you have interesting things to write about.

Read Elisabeth's interview here!

Follow Tonya on Instagram! Needle and Quill

Look for news about Tonya and Elisabeth's new children's book launching this Fall. 

Visit for updates and event dates. 

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