Carmela Dutra, won Silver in the Early Reader (General) category in the 2017 Literary Classics Book Awards contest! Keep reading to learn more about this author and her award-winning book, Little Katie Goes to the Moon.
Congratulations on your achievement! When did you first start writing?
Thank you, very much Chess. I started writing off and on throughout my school years, taking creative writing classes. My first book was published 2013.
What’s the target age group for your books?
What inspired your award-winning book?
I knew I wanted something that would encourage girls in STEAM, I wanted it to be something fun and exciting, I just wasn’t sure what. One day, I was looking at pictures online and saw one of a little girl stretching upwards that read Reach for the Stars! It’s like a switch was flipped, and all these ideas just came spilling out.
Describe one of your characters with a cliché or a famous quote.
Girls can do anything!
Do you have plans to, or have you already, released an audio edition of your book?
I am currently in the process of finishing my audio book for Little Katie Goes to the Moon. I’m excited to see the finished product with all its sound effects, I hope to have it ready for release very soon.
Who would you cast as the voice actor for your main character?
My main character is a young girl, around 7-8 years old. One of my best friends is the voice of Little Katie, I love the personality she gave her. If it were to be someone famous, I’m not sure to be honest.
Do you illustrate your own books?
Yes, I am the author and illustrator of all my books.
Who are some of your favorite YA and/or children’s book authors?
Theodor Geisel, a.k.a. Dr. Seuss influenced nearly every living American who ever learned to read, and I was one of them. He introduced millions of children to the joys of reading and the magic of wordplay. The way he was able to see things through the eyes of a child, teaching important lessons while you enjoyed tongue twisters. To this day I still say when I grow up I want to be like him.
Do you have any quirky writing habits?
I cannot work if my space is even the slightest bit out of place. Before I can begin I have to clean and organize everything, after about 20 minutes of working, papers are all over the place and I don’t clean up again until I’m finished. When I’m illustrating it’s a must that I have 90s alternative playing the background. The music really helps set the mood for me and allows me to shut everything out around me.
How do you balance writing with book promotion and everything else there is to do in life?
It’s not easy. I think most authors hate promoting their own work. I think all of us would love to create our magic, then just move on and have everything fall into place. Sadly, that doesn’t happen for the average writer. Being a work at home mom to a small toddler and a photographer calls for a lot of scheduling! I must admit, I am not the best at sticking to my schedules, but they really help me when I do.
Do you have anything special you’d like to say to your readers or fellow award-winning authors?
I want to thank all of my readers, family, friends, and fans. I wouldn’t be able to keep going without all your support. Writing can be very lonely, and you help to make it less so. I would like to give a big congrats to all of my fellow award-winning authors, I am so happy for all of you. I know firsthand how hard all of you have worked to get to this point. Enjoy it, you’ve earned it!
Carmela Dutra is an award-winning author, storyteller, illustrator, wife and mother. She is currently residing with her family in the California Bay Area.
Nothing is more magical for a child than being transported to a new world where they can explore and discover unknown things. Carmela is very passionate about children’s literacy, which is the main reason she started writing for her niece and nephew. With no intention of her work ever going public, she wanted to create something fun and special for them to enjoy.
She is best known for her frequent visits to classrooms in her community, where she shares her series and encourages children to set free their own creativity through writing, and drawing.
In addition to writing and illustrating, Carmela Dutra is also a professional photographer. Working with children is her passion! Whether she captures their whimsical nature through the lenses of a camera, or with her stories, she hopes to encourage children to find their own passion for reading and writing.
Use your imagination and take a walk on the moon side of things with Little Katie and Smudge!
Discover why satellites are so important, explore information about spacesuits, imagine flying in a rocket ship, uncover facts about landing on the moon, learn about who landed on the moon first, and much more!
“This wonderfully imaginative and entirely charming book is one that kids will love to read again and again as they discover fascinating facts along with Katie and Smudge.” —Literary Classics Book Awards