Three Times A Charm with Conda V. Douglas

Today on Three Times A Charm we welcome author, Conda V. Douglas. I love introducing my readers to the people who work in children’s publishing.

Great of you to join us, Conda. Can you tell us a little about yourself, please?

Growing up in the ski resort of Sun Valley, Idaho, my childhood was filled with authors, artists and other creative types. I grew up with goats living in the kitchen, buffalo bones in the living room and rocks in the bathtub (long story). I've traveled the world from Singapore to Russia (in winter!) and my own tiny office, writing all the while.
Now my life is filled with my cat, dog, permanent boyfriend and writing.

The rare times I'm not writing, I love to read, teach exercise classes, bike and swim, hoping to stay in physical and mental shape for more writing and sometimes succeeding!

Rocks in the bathtub, huh? Interesting. Tell us more about your books.

In my popular tween fantasy Mall Fairies series the first two in the trilogy are out now: The Mall Fairies: Exile, followed by The Mall Fairies: War, and a cookbook full of dessert recipes plus fun fairy short stories The Mall Fairies Sweet Tooth Cookbook. The fairy inspiration for my Mall Fairies came from the sparrows that live in the Boise Towne Square Mall in Boise, Idaho. When not rescuing fairies from humans, cats and themselves, I work on the last title in the Mall Fairies trilogy, The Mall Fairies: Destiny.

I also delight in writing my Starke Dead creative woman mystery series with jeweler Dora Starke. The more Dora discovers cursed jewelry, her aunt digging graves, and a rampant poisoner, the more fun I have—although sometimes Dora complains about her plight! First up and available now is Starke Naked Dead, with a necklace worth millions and a stark naked body! Next up, Starke Raving Dead, in which Dora's mad Aunt Maddie proves the aptness of her name.

I recommend my book to readers who like: Terry Pratchett's Wintersmith, A Hat Full of Sky, and I Shall Wear Midnight (all about the same main character, Tiffany Aching, a teenage wannabe witch).

Sounds like you offer a varied selection of books. Now, let’s do the three’s. Please share you top three answers to the following questions so we can get to know you a little better.

·        Top 3 skills to hone for people just starting in your business.

First off, and most important, learn the basics! Grammar, spelling and manuscript format will insure that your writing is professional and is easy to learn. After all, it takes a ton of time and energy to write anything, so why not spend a little bit of effort helping your manuscript to succeed?

Second, read and read widely. Yes, we all have those genres we love to read, and if we're writing same, it's great to read in that genre to learn how to do the form and do it well. But also read other genres, nonfiction, fiction and everything you can. And don't just read, read critically, step outside of the reader role and ask: What works with this piece of writing? What doesn't? How can I apply this insight to my writing?

Last is to learn as much as you can about the business of publishing. This is easy and difficult at the same time as the publishing business, once fairly straightforward, is now constantly changing. But part of being an author is being read and there are a vast number of sites where you can find all sorts of information about the publishing business today, in fact sometimes too much info! Don't let that discourage you from discovering all you can. This can help your writing career be a success. 

  • Top 3 leisure activities.

Ice skating, travel and always, always reading (although not while ice skating).

  • Top 3 personal mantras or inspirational phrases.

Inspiration is the act of drawing up a chair to the writing desk.
You can't edit a blank page.
And my favorite: Keep writing!

Where can our tech savvy readers find you online?

Thanks for joining us on this week’s Three Times A Charm, Conda. Best of luck to you and your writing.


GUESTS WELCOME!  I am always looking for guests for Three Times A Charm. If you are an author, illustrator or book reviewer, an agent or an editor. If you have something related to children’s publishing that you’d like people to know about, feel free to contact me about a future appearance.


  1. Thanks for having me on your "charming" blog, Kai. This post was a lot of fun to write, plus a good reminder for me too!

  2. It was great getting to know you here, Conda. You've had such an interesting life. I love the sound of the Mall Fairires. Lovely interview!

    1. Thank you, Helena! And as to my interesting life...sometimes it's the Chinese curse!

  3. Interesting interview! Conda, both of your series sound like great reads.

  4. Conda, Kai,

    Great interview! The Starke Dead series sounds interesting! Agree with you on your 3 tips for writers, reading widely especially:)


    1. Thank you, Sara! And I'm working on the next in my Starke Dead series, Starke Raving Dead, in between reading widely!


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