Thursday, August 24, 2017

The Crystal Kite Interviews: Dian Curtis Regan's SPACE BOY AND THE SPACE PIRATE wins in the SouthWest Division (Nevada, Arizona, Utah, southern Idaho, Colorado, Wyoming, New Mexico)

Space Boy and the Space Pirate

by Dian Curtis Regan

Lee: Please tell us about your Crystal-Kite winning book!

Dian: The Space Boy books are my “back in the saddle” books. In the 80s, I stopped teaching school to write full time. Writing became my identity and passion, and I’ve been doing it ever since. 

My husband always said he envied the fact I had something in my life that gave me a “fire in the belly.” Something that got me out of bed in the morning, eager to get back to it. 

Then, in 2010, after an unexpected and devastating tragedy, I stopped writing. I did not have the heart for it, nor the motivation. My days were spent dealing with the aftermath, clearing out my house to sell, and moving home to Colorado. 

Luckily, the fire in the belly refused to die. I tiptoed back into that wonderful place of creating. I was very fortunate to receive an offer for publication for my Space Boy picture book, plus a request to write two more titles. 

There is great healing in getting back to doing what you love. To receive a Crystal Kite Award for Space Boy gives me the validity that this is still who I am and what I do. I could not be more honored that Space Boy received this recognition. 

Lee: How long have you been involved with SCBWI, and can you share what you feel you’ve gained by being a member?

Dian: I can’t believe I’m typing this number: 35. That’s how many years I’ve been a member of SCBW/SCBWI. 

Dian Curtis Regan

Going to those early National Conferences in Santa Monica meant gathering with a small group of writers, illustrators, editors, and agents. I’m still good friends with many who were just starting out as well. 

Knowing that today, attendance at National runs over a thousand is quite startling. It’s been pure pleasure to watch this supportive organization grow in leaps and bounds—and become international. 

When people ask how I got my start, I answer, “SCBWI.” And a huge part of that is thanks to the Rocky Mountain Chapter. 

When my husband’s job moved us to other states, the first thing I did was find “my people.” In one case, no local chapter of SCBWI existed—so I started one. 

SCBWI’s guidance and education, plus opportunities to meet editors and agents, is equal to the amazing friendships in my life today, all thanks to this organization. 

Lee: Do you have any advice to share with other children’s book writers and illustrators?

Dian: I don’t recall a time in the world when there were this many distractions pulling us away from our creative work. The constant and ever-startling barrage of news, plus social media in all its many forms, can be all-consuming. 

You will never “find time to write someday.” You must guard your time and your focused attention in order to do the important work of your life you were meant to do. Resist and persist! 

Thanks, Dian, and again, Congratulations on Space Boy and the Space Pirate winning the Crystal Kite Award!

You can find out more about Dian here and about the Space Boy books here.

Illustrate and Write On,

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