Friday, 13 January 2017

Tackling Dyslexia and Author Interview with Willy Robins

What better way to kick off the new year than celebrating the new release of a book I worked on last year. Nogard the Dyslexic dragon is written by Willy Robins and is about an adorable little dragon who is going through the process of finding his wings. However things aren't plain sailing and he has a few obstacles to overcome first as he soon discovers that his dyslexia is a bit of a hinderance when it comes to map reading. Not one to give up, he overcomes all of his challenges thanks to some helpful new friends and his teacher. I absolutely loved bringing this little guy to life, well and truly fell in love with him.

Willy will be hosting a facebook launch party on Thursday the 19th of January to celebrate the release of the book. It will then be available to purchase through Amazon

I wanted to dedicate this post to the book and the author so I have asked Willy if she would kindly answer a few questions so that we can learn a bit more about the book and the creator of this little fella. So without further ado, I give you the lovely Willy Robins....

Willy Robbins grew up in the middle of the Ozarks in Missouri.  She was raised on the family farm, where she resides today.  Willy grew up with the love of reading, as her first grade teacher, Mrs. Chapman can attest. Willy was the first one to reach the moon that year with the number of books that she read.  Reading and writing continue to be an integral part of Willy’s life, she has taught them both for 17 years as an elementary educator.

What made you choose a dragon as your main character? 

Dragons are so cool to kids.  My favorite dragon as a kid was H.R. Puffnstuff and Pete the Dragon.  Dragons never get old for a character, as they can be portrayed with so many different personalities.

How long did it take to write Nogard? 

Nogard didn't take a long time to put on paper, it did take a bit of time to get him out of the drawer.  He was an idea that was put in my head about two and a half years ago.

Nogard is about an adorable dragon learning how to cope with dyslexia. What made you choose this topic for the book? 

Dyslexia is not a diagnosis that I see a lot with my students, but I see a lot of students with various symptoms of Dyslexia.  I started paying attention when so many kiddos, were flipping their letters or numbers all the time, not just once in awhile like we all experience.  I took it upon myself to start researching Dyslexia, but the whole time I did that research, my mind kept wandering to ways to get the word out that kids need to be monitored more closely in their formative years when learning reading and writing.

How does being a teacher affect your writing? 

It affects me by having an educational theme in my stories.  I just can’t seem to get school out of my writing, as it is a major part of my day to day life. You write what you know...right?  I also get to brag that I have books published...some of the kids think that is cool.

How long have you been writing and when did you publish your first book? 

I have been writing since forever, but I helped write a screenplay in 8th grade for an English project.  I don't remember much about it except it was titled The Adventures of Bleep and Bloop. Alas, I had to wait until 2014 to get published.

What is your writing process like? 

Honestly, I don't have a process that can be described in a text book situation.  But it begins with a funny story, joke, over heard idea, a piece of conversation that stands out, or an epiphany of something I have seen of years and think HEY, that is a good children's book topic...then I decide my hero.

What advice do you have for other writers? 

Write, network, write, oh, and don't forget to write.

Have there been any things that have surprised you with the publishing process?

What surprised me is how much time it takes to market.  If you have the ability, find 5 or 6 people you completely trust, and have them help you.  This is called a street team.  I don't have one, but need one so that I can have extra hands tweeting, google plus-sing, face booking for me a few times a week.  

If you had to do something differently as a child or teenager to become a better writer as an adult, what would you do? 

I would pay attention in Math.  Why Math?  Because, if I was better at Math, then my college career choice would be a HIGH paying job, so that I could save a lot, then retire early, like let's say 25, and write and write.  

What were your favourite subjects at school and did you always know you wanted to be a writer? 

My favorite subjects in school were History and English.  I had no clue I wanted to write, but I was always a creative writer.  The closest thing I can get to a professional reader (which is my first love) is to teach reading and write children's books.

What is the hardest part of being a writer and what is the most rewarding? 

The hard part of writing is realizing not everyone thinks your book or story is the best-it's a tough pill to swallow.  The most rewarding is being able to take a mini vacation with family to England and meet the person responsible for giving Nogard his colors.

Thank you so much Willy for taking the time out to answer a few questions and more importantly for giving me the opportunity to bring this little guy to life. I can't wait to meet you in person this summer and I wish you every success with the book launch.

You can connect with Willy through the following channels....

Much love to you all


  1. Hi Corrina and Willy! I enjoyed hearing all about this interview, "Tackling Dyslexia and Author Interview with Willy Robins!"
    Congratulations on your new story and I will be looking forward to seeing more on your book launch, January 19th!
    Thanks again!
    Happy Reading!

  2. Hi Corrina and Holly, Hope the book launch went wonderfully. Sorry to be just catching up now. Great interview, love dragons too ad the subject matter of the story is so important. Well done. :)

  3. Thanks Sandra, only just seen this. Thanks so much for stopping by and taking the time to leave a comment. From what I saw it did very well, so pleased for her.