Wednesday, September 6, 2023

Q&A with Dianna Wilson Sirkovsky




Dianna Wilson Sirkovsky is the author of the new children's picture book Just One Pebble: One Boy's Quest to End Hunger. She also has written the picture book James' Reading Rescue


Q: How did you learn about Braeden, the subject of your new book, and at what point did you decide to write this book about him?


A: I first read about Braeden and his work on The Hunger Site. I knew immediately that I wanted to write about this amazing boy!


I began writing and researching almost immediately. I visited his website ( and his Facebook page. I also found many informative articles about him and his organization, Brae’s Brown Bags. Once the story was written, I reached out to Braeden’s family.


Q: Sara Casilda illustrated this book (as she did with your previous book!). What do you think her work adds to Just One Pebble?


A: I always attest that Sara’s beautiful work is the magic that brings my books to life! I’m so grateful we were able to work together again on this project. She is such a talent and in this particular book she shines with her likenesses of Braeden and his mom, Christy.


I feel that she captures Braeden’s eagerness, his vulnerability, and his determination to do what needs to be done, even if it takes him out of his comfort zone. And she paints adorable cats – which we both love!


Q: How was the book’s title chosen, and what does it signify for you?

A: I’m so glad you asked this, Deborah! The title came from something that Braeden wrote:

“…My mom says when you throw a pebble into the water the ripples can spread out all the way across a pond, she is humbled to see the ripple effect that 3B is causing and she’s so proud to know that I’m the pebble.” I just loved this and thought it made the perfect title for Braeden’s story.


Q: What do you hope kids take away from the story?


A: Kindness is easy and it’s a choice. It doesn’t have to be something big or grand, perhaps just a smile.


As Braeden says so eloquently... “There is always something we can do to help others around us… You never know how a simple act can change the course of someone’s day. It is my dream to help end hunger. What is your dream? Dream … and then dream bigger!”


Work for your dreams and don’t be discouraged. Years ago I saw a bumper sticker that said:  Dreams are free. Yes, they are.


Q: What are you working on now?


A: I’ve been writing quite a lot this summer. I’ve written my first story with an inanimate object as the MC – a challenge from my critique group and although it was a struggle, I love it. I’ve also written another story inspired by true events, which seems to be where most of my writing lands. Fingers crossed that someone out there will love them both!


My plan is for more submissions and my hope is to connect with an agent who can help me continue to produce and market my best work.


Q: Anything else we should know?


A: I’m very happy to say that our first book, James’ Reading Rescue, has printed in eight languages, including English. Sara and I just received the Chinese copy and we are thrilled that our book is available to children in so many countries!


Just One Pebble comes to bookshelves on Sept. 15 -  my 65th birthday! I couldn’t ask for a lovelier present and it’s a timely reminder to all of us that it’s never too late to write the book that’s in your heart!


Thanks so much, Deborah!


--Interview with Deborah Kalb. Here's a previous Q&A with Dianna Wilson Sirkovsky.

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