My next children’s author lives on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, is a busy mum to two primary aged girls and a husband who tags along to support her whole heartedly. Dhana Fox is both dedicated, funny in word and generous in heart. She loves to slurp tea and meet her young audiences at school where she reads her engaging picture books. These positive connections in the community help Dhana giggle along with her readers. Always keen to share insights into her writing process, Dhana takes a dive into the most fascinating themes and plots from problem solving, team work to farm animals and sharks.
1 Do you like to listen to podcasts? If so, what are your go to choices? Why?
I don’t listen to podcasts regularly, however I do enjoy Reading with a Chance of Tacos with Ken Williams. My go to place for inspiration and advice is usually on YouTube. I enjoy the videos by Struthless. He has so many fantastic tips for creatives and how we can approach the work with a healthier attitude, inner voice and outlook.
2 What have you learnt about yourself as a writer?
I’m fascinated by the creative process and still struggle with the importance of giving myself permission to just sit and daydream. To trust in the process without letting my need to control does not come naturally for me. I’m working on it!
3 How To Make a Friend in 6 Easy Steps has been very popular with kids. What do you personally see as the qualities of a good friend? Have you connected to friends from your past school days? What is another children’s book you can offer parents about friendship?
I believe a great friend is thoughtful, supportive and kind. I do have a friend from Primary School days that I’m still in touch with, but my lifelong friends are from my University days. When you’re around like-minded people all passionately studying what you finally want to do in life, it’s easy to form those strong bonds with one another.
I love picture books that approach friendship with a light touch and a heavy dose of fun. The book that just popped into my head is I Just Ate My Friend by Heidi McKinnon. Love it!
4 Why do you write?
I write because it’s a creative outlet for my silliness. It’s also extremely rewarding to know your stories can reach so many children, families, schools and libraries. Some of my favourite memories with my daughters come from reading with them at bedtime. To think that a book I wrote could be creating some giggles at reading time with other families is a such a joyful, inspiring thought.
5 Would you like to comment about your journey with STUD, a humorous picture book for children ages 4-8?
Stud, the cane toad arrives on Fickleton Farm, much to the horror of the other farm animals. Stud must prove he has a purpose on the farm so he sets out to entertain with his performance of ‘Stud the Spectacular Show-Toad.’
I grew up on several acres in Queensland surrounded by rainforest and … cane toads! Stud is definitely inspired from my childhood home and also from my experiences as a musician. I was never an overly confident entertainer like Stud, but those years as a performer did impact the direction of the story. The reader follows Stud’s journey and gets to see a very determined toad that is willing to keep going despite his failed attempts. I’m always looking out for picture books about determination, bravery and resilience.
How to Be a Hero in 6 Easy Steps Out Feb 2022 (Scholastic)
How to Make a Friend in 6 Easy Steps (Scholastic)
Ham (Larrikin House)
Stud (Larrikin House)
Dhana is available for storytelling at schools. She loves to share her passion for humorous stories that stretch a child’s imagination. Get to know her on www.dhanafox.com
Thanks for your time, Dhana. Can’t wait to see your next exciting book.