Q&A With Mike Dumbleton

From Emerging to Established, Larrikin is home to sensational authors of humorous stories for kids.
We asked Mike Dumbleton for a few pearls of wisdom from his 30year writing career.

Q: Mike, what is one thing an author must have to become successful?

A: Persistence – don’t start writing without it!
When I started writing 30 years ago, I quickly discovered that persistence was a key quality I needed as a writer. Persistence when the writing is not working; persistence with refinements when I thought the manuscript was finished; persistence responding to critical feedback; persistence resubmitting manuscripts after knock-backs.

In addition to any positive qualities particular manuscripts may have had, it is that persistence which led me to publication and the many accompanying rewards.

Q: What else are you working on, Mike?

A: The Dreaded Pipeline Question!
Having a book coming out is wonderful. There’s so much to be excited about, so much to look forward to. But when it’s published, a new line of conversation begins with people who want to ask you about your writing. Inevitably, someone asks the ‘pipeline’ question, “So, what’s in the pipeline now?”

For me, to be in the pipeline means that a manuscript has been accepted by a publisher. If I have something in the pipeline, the question is a gift. There’s plenty to talk about enthusiastically. However, like most writers, I’ve experienced the occasional dry spell and wondered if my writing career had come to an end. This is not helped by someone asking the dreaded question, “So, what’s in the pipeline now?”

Sadly, sometimes the only thing in the pipeline is the light at the end. Then I mumble something vague about ‘work in progress’, ‘having some new ideas’ or ‘struggling to find time to write’, while desperately wishing I had a blockage in my pipeline in the form of a prospective publication!

So, if you have a blockage in your pipeline, count yourself lucky. And may there be many more to come! 

Q: We LOVE Mary had a Monstersaur, and so do our readers! Where did the idea come from?

A: Mary’s Monster Makeover
After nearly 200 years of Mary and the Little Lamb, it was time for a change. 

BIG change. It was time for Mary had a Monstersaur, with:

  • A modern mischievous Mary
  • A 60-million-year-old Monstersaur
  • Students that love dinosaurs
  • Crazy stuff happening in school
  • True friendship
  • Tears of sadness and tears of joy
  • Pictures posted online
  • World-wide fame
  • A huge family surprise!

You can find Mike’s maxed out new version of Mary with her Monstasaur under the Larrikin tab in our store.

Q: What has kept you writing children’s stories for 30 years, Mike?

A: Joy!
I continue to write children’s books because I enjoy creating stories as well as playing with the language to produce different results, sometimes riotous, sometimes sensitive and sometimes somewhere in between.