Interview with author Vicki Burris Risbeck What Can (Might) Doodles Do?

Vicki Burris Risbeck, children’s writer and founder of Sunburst Books, talks about what she thinks about her new book, What Can (Might) Doodles Do?

Interview with author Vicki Burris Risbeck What Can (Might) Doodles Do?
Written by JJ Barnes

I met Vicki Burris Risbeck about her life and career, her freelance publisher Sunburst Books, and her latest publication What Can (Might) Doodles Do When You Are A Doodle?

Tell Vicki Burris Risbeck who you are:

Interview with author Vicki Burris Risbeck What Can (Might) Doodles Do?
Vicki Burris Risbeck

Hello! My name is Vicki Burris Risbeck and I am Immediately in Grove City, a southwestern suburb of Columbus, Ohio, USA. I am Immediate with my husband Tom – a retired metal arranger- and my two rescue dogs, Sophia Rose and Luna (short for Lunatic…that’s for sure!).

I have two grown children and four grandchildren Oh and one granddaughter Maeve, the subject of my latest book! I retired three years ago then more than forty years advising and governing at all levels from kindergarten through college.

I currently own my own business, Sunburst Books, a small independent publisher founded in 2019. I’m also increasingly involved in the anti-literacy movement in the United States.

When did thou mainly shortage to write a book?

I come from a great and rather poor family, where many books in my abode were just a dream. My mom got us some used books though because I think she was tired of me spitting up every time I brought home a new box of cereal.

Since I was able to learn to read and write very well (I could read a lot before kindergarten), my ability to read brought with it the desire to write my own stories. The school only grew my love for both sports. When I couldn’t find paper for my stories at home, I  often went to the tattered books my mother had brought home and carefully tore out the first few blank pages so that no one knew or missed them. They created beautiful landscapes for my words.

When did you take the plunge to start writing?

As I said, as soon as I learned to read, I wanted to write. fully often I stayed up at night filtering various scenarios and home with new exciting scenarios.  I’m sure my elementary school teachers knew that one day I would be an author, however, limited.

Interview with author Vicki Burris Risbeck What Can (Might) Doodles Do?
A Lens View Family

I seriously write stories in my head before I put anything on paper. And rewrite. and edit. I think I’m a planner in a way that’s not so obvious in other areas of my life. So my first published book, A Lens View Family, was Vicki Burris Risbeck Cloud, written in 2020,  still, it wasn’t revealed until June 2021.

How long did it take you for your latest book, from the initial idea to publication?

Well, my last book was written (written) over the weekend because it was a  picture book. However, the waiting for the illustrations took at least six months, mainly from Dixie, my illustrator for my maiden and last book, who had shoulder surgery and was unable to draw for at least two months. For that, I would say six months from start to finish.

Focus on the latest version. What inspired you to write What Can (Might) Doodles Do?

My daughter Sara’s family had a wonderful Great Dane, Daphne, who died suddenly within a year. then Daph’s death, the family vowed never to buy another dog. Oh, but wait a few months later, my nephew posted pictures of his litter of Mum and Dad Doodle Doodle Dogs on Facebook—and of course, Sara and co. shrunk from being the dog lovers we all are.


When they went to the puppies, Maeve found out it was them. At maiden, it was a soft, graceful, fluffy ball. but that was a short time! I laughed hysterically at his antics and the stories Sarah told; It was a daily pleasure to see and hear. So the book wrote itself. Title? What Can (Might) Doodles Do you do if you are a Doodle? There was 2 book in which I used mixe.

What were the biggest difficulties in writing What Can (Might) Doodles Do?

Waiting for the artwork was so frustrating! Of course, I was clear to let the pan do the work, so I was ready to wait. This is one of the perks of being a freelance (freelance) writer: I selected an  illustrator and carefully worked with her to capture the images I wanted. Most of the time, big publishers hire their own illustrators, which can be a good thing for some people. However, I momentous the graphical to match my eye of the shirt. And I was definitely pleased with the results!

Who or what stimulated you when forming your Protagonist?

In the last book, the full and only Maeve-a-Doodle!  The protagonist Penny, in my novella for Yonkers teens, Searching For The  ideal, has the same pretty, fiery red hair as my oldest granddaughter, Emma favor.

Who or what inspired thou when creating your Antagonist?

The premier and last books had no antagonists, as they were pen-and-ink that way.  It is interesting that the antagonist in investigating the ideal is not a person at all: it is death and the gloom that follows it.  It was breathtaking to use something various than a person to cause the story to move by and see the protagonist win out!

What is the incentive incident of What Can (Might) Doodles Do?

As I said, in Searching, the death of Penny’s parent happens earlier in the book begins, so that would be the inciting incident. 

However, there is another that in the bargain guides the story along, and that’s when Penny is ‘forced’ to take home a mangy dog named Rue from the shelter, against her desires and wishes.  She wants the best dog but has to colonize it for what she claims is the worst one.

What is the primary incident of What Can (Might) Doodles Do?

active back to the Doodle book, the primary conflict is there are ways Doodles can (and should) behave, and thereafter there’s the reality of how they MIGHT behave in one situation.  The inequality is quite dramatic at times!  The primary fray in Searching is that in so wanting the best all the time, Penny could not see the good that’s right earlier on her, perhaps until it is too late.  The primary conflict in A Lens View is Dax’s struggle to feel how his parent’s new family impacts his family plant with his ‘old’ family.

Did your plot What Can (Might) Doodles Do? in advance, or run by the post of your pants and write freely?

As I previously narrated, these books are non-party in my head for months before my fingers ever blow the keys.

Did you get backing with editing, and how much editing did the What Can (Might) Doodles Do? requirement?

Interview with author Vicki Burris Risbeck What Can (Might) Doodles Do?
What Can (Might) Doodles Do

I am pretty happy editing my own work, as I have enforced as an editor for textbooks and other bills.  I was so proud of my job on A Lens View, sure I had edited it fully.  That is, until Brynn, my second-born grandchild thumbed through a few pages of the printed copy and immediately informed me of several errors. That prompted me to pour in an online editing program for the next two. I used it for etymology and spelling, not content.

What is the first piece of composing advice you would give to anyone inspired to write a story?

The first piece of advice would be – to know yourself as a writer.  By doing that you will kit reasonable, attemptable expectations and timelines for yourself. So many writers float on clouds of excitement, but then second and third guess themselves on every page because they don’t really know themselves in the craft.  Therefore, they fall under “writer’s block” and now and then never produce their work.

Can you give me a hint as regards any other books you’re planning to write?

Sure.  The second Lens view will see whatsoever incredible photographs of ‘scary accessories, according to whatsoever children, but they are displayed that now and then what we think is scary can actually be quite helpful – and even displayed!  investigating has an actual conclusion, which leads Penny and her friends into an upcoming secret surrounding a missing class fellow.  One class of fourth graders, who heard this one fall, aloud, persist on a continuation!

On a separate note, I am also musing on a lesson book, but that is in the more outlying future. It will be released independently however since Sonburst books are for starters for children and are meant to fall aloud.

And finally: Are you proud of your achievement? It was worth it?

Being a freelance writer is very rewarding. Expensive but satisfying. I see writing as an art and as an artist, I can paint the story and characters exactly how I want. So yes, I am proud of my dedication and hard work. What makes me even prouder is the feedback I get from my students. They love stories. They want more.

After recently reading from a second-grade Doodle book, a mother emailed that her son had come home from school that evening – Friday no less – and had spent the night reading his  book to write about the family dog. For me, all the effort I put into this book was worth it. If we could all touch at least one child like this, imagine the tide of retribution we could unleash!


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