Diana Murray is the author of over twenty five children’s books, including the bestselling UNICORN DAY series and Jr. Library Guild Selections like CITY SHAPES and GOODNIGHT, VEGGIES. Diana has taught picture book writing workshops at the Highlights Foundation and Storyteller Academy, and her poetry appears in many magazines and anthologies. She grew up in New York City and still lives nearby with her husband, two children, and a dancing dog. Diana is represented by Erzsi Deak at Hen & Ink Literary.
More from Diana:
I was born in Ukraine and grew up in New York City. As a kid, my dream job was to “make cartoons” someday. At Skidmore College, I studied psychology and art. I ended up becoming a graphic designer, and eventually an art director at a fashion company (Theory) with an office near Times Square.
When my daughters were little, we read loads of books together. That's when I fell in love with picture books as a genre. They’re full of some of my favorite things: humor, philosophy, art, poetry, and wordplay. And I admire how they deliver so much in such a simple, concise way. I was also inspired by the actual experience of reading with my kids. They were always so full of wonder as they listened. Reading out loud to someone is entirely different from reading silently to yourself. And our reading routine felt so cozy. It was like leaving the world and taking a journey together. I miss those days!
I’m thankful that I still get to be part of the storytime journey by being a writer.
I started writing children's books around 2007 (when my first daughter was two years old). I quickly learned that it’s a tough industry to get into, but a few years later, I won the SCBWI Barbara Karlin Grant (now called the WIP Award) and that gave me a big boost. In 2012 I signed with my first agent and things took off from there.
Sometimes I can’t believe that I get to write whimsical tales of unicorns and mermaids and I actually get paid for it! Being a children’s writer is better than any dream job I could have imagined. It’s harder than it looks, but it’s also incredibly fun and satisfying.
Interested in writing a children's picture book in rhyming verse? Check out my mini class at Storyteller Academy, called "Writing Natural Rhyme that Sells". I am also offering discounted critiques for members.
But first, visit the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators for lots of resources and answers to all your questions. Try the free message boards.
Want to know more?
Here are ten random facts about me:
1 My favorite color is black glitter.
2 My favorite ice cream flavor is green tea.
3 My first pet was a dalmatian named Pebbles.
4 I love English Breakfast tea!
5 I believe crispy food is superior to soft food.
6 I have a large collection of book-related accessories, including unicorn horns, witch hats, dinosaur bracelets, veggie pins, and monster hats.
7 I enjoy yoga and running.
8 My favorite pizza is topped with mushrooms and olives.
9 My favorite holiday is Halloween.
10 Our family pets have included a goldfish named Pickle, a lizard, two snails, a parakeet, a cockatiel, and a dancing dog named Teddy Spaghetti.