How did it feel to win a spot on The Gittle List? I smiled broadly when I read the news. My first reaction was one of pleasure at being selected because it’s fun to win, quickly followed by relief that you, a professional editor/publisher, think my book is good. As a professional, your opinion carries more weight than friends, who might only wish to be kind and encouraging and not share any displeasure with my work. [Aviva says, “I don’t consider myself a ‘professional’ but a fellow self-publisher.”]
What is your favorite children’s book? The Great Blueness by Arnold Lobel. If I need to tell a story from memory, I always tell the one about how our world became full of color. Everything was gray until a wizard created the color blue. Everything was painted blue. People loved the change and then they didn’t, so the wizard created yellow and everything was painted yellow. I was probably about 5 when I got the book from my dad, who always read to me when I was little. The detailed artwork is amazing and very different from most children’s books. I found a Youtube video with a reading.
Why did you decide to self-publish? I wanted to self-publish because of cost, time, and control. It could take ages, if ever, for a traditional publisher to select my book and then publish it. It took me about 8 months from conception to publishing. From everything I read, even with traditional publishing, marketing would still fall primarily on me, but more people would be involved in the decision-making process. Self-publishing has unique decision-making frustrations (e.g., CreateSpace vs. IngramSpark/other, ISBN, etc.), but it also offered me career growth opportunities. Because of self-publishing, I started a company, designed my own website, joined a volunteer organization that teaches children about responsibilities toward animals, mentored others as they pursued self-publishing, and am learning ways to market my book. On the flip side, if I had to rely solely on my book for money, I would be starving. Selling books is hard work!
If you could wake up tomorrow as someone else, who would it be?
A healthy, younger man living in enjoyable circumstances. It would be fascinating to experience life from a totally different perspective and you can’t get more different than the opposite sex.
What is the strangest job you’ve ever had? As a career project manager, I have been involved in oodles of projects. One project was testing mobile waste-to-energy units for military field camp operations. Our testing occurred at the vendors’ facilities. To mimic the Army’s waste stream, I solicited fast food restaurants for their garbage, which often meant dumpster diving and then sorting waste to eliminate Styrofoam(R) and other items not found in Army field wastes. Refuse sorting on hot summer days is not for those with squeamish tummies.
Contact Donna Provance:
D. S. Provance is a dog and book lover. During her more than two decades of managing military sustainability projects, she has written hundreds of technical reports and outreach products to promote technology innovation and deployment. Meet Odie was written for Odie’s young friends to answer their many questions.