Dotti has published a range of children's books, everything from picture book, middle grade, young adult to educational. She's published with Delcort, Pelican, Flashlight Press, and Teaching & Learning Company, You can visit her website here.

What drove/inspired you to get started?

I've always enjoyed writing, and when my daughters were younger, I fell in love with children's books. It then became my goal to become a children's author.

Do you have any specialized training?

Not unless you count a couple of correspondence courses on writing children's books. Mostly I'm self-taught.

Has this been something you've always wanted to do?

I've always wanted to be a writer, yes. But not always a children's author.

Have there been any obstacles along the way?

Besides rejections? Not really.

Before you got the all important contract, how did your friends and family react to your goals? Were they supportive?

Not at all. I had some stories and poems published in children's magazines, and they thought that was "cute."

Now that you have a book (s) in print, do you get different reactions from friends and family?

A little more respect, but they're more interested in the financial end and constantly ask how that's going.

How did you land that very first book deal?

Accidentally. My first novel, The Lost Girl, had been rejected by several publishers because of the occult content. I happened to come across a YA fiction novel by Llewellyn and was a bit shocked since I thought they only published nonfiction new age titles. I suggested it to my agent, we sent it off, and it sold.

Did you have any misconceptions in the beginning about the whole book process?

Yes, I actually thought it would get easier, and that I would make a sustainable amount of money.

Do you have an agent? If yes, please explain how you acquired your agent and how you think having one has helped you. If you don't have an agent, would you consider getting one?

Yes, I do have an agent, and we get along great. I was lucky enough to have a friend recommend her before she closed her agency to new clients. She's been a great help, mainly in negotiating contracts (I cringe, thinking of what rights I would have signed away), and she certainly has more ins with editors.

Describe your relationship with your editor(s) (art director if applicable).

I have four different publishers and they've all been wonderful to work with.

How do you most often communicate with your publisher--e-mail, phone, or snail mail?

Email, though sometimes a phone call is necessary.

What books do you have in the works now?

Two more Fortune Tellers Club books will be released next year, and I recently sold a picture book to Flashlight Press and another to Pelican. My current work-in-progress is a psychological YA ghost thriller.

Is there anything you'd do differently with your new projects?

I don't think so.

Do you do any author events? If so, please describe what they generally consist of.

I'm a professional storyteller, so you can guarantee that when appropriate, that's what I do.

How important do you think author appearances are for you and your book(s)?

My publishers are midsize and don't have all the pull that the big houses have. I feel I need to make an effort to help my books succeed.

What's the best thing about publishing a book? What's the worst?

The best thing is seeing your work in print. The worst thing is the sudden myth that since I'm an author I have all the answers.

Any last words of encouragement for beginners?

You can't write if you're not reading. Read! Read! Read!