Crafting Enchantment for Young Readers: Alexa Kober Shares the Inspirations Behind Her Beloved Children’s Book, ‘Dalli: The Dog with the Alligator Tail’

Step into the captivating literary realm of Alexa Kober, a masterful wordsmith whose storytelling prowess is nothing short of extraordinary. In her enchanting work, “Dalli: The Dog with the Alligator Tail,” Kober effortlessly transports readers into a realm of whimsy and awe. With an innate sense of the enchanting confluence where imagination meets heartwarming narrative, Kober beckons us to embark on an enthralling odyssey alongside the endearing protagonist, Dalli. Through his remarkable escapades, Kober weaves a tapestry that resonates across generations, showcasing the profound influence of camaraderie, bravery, and the embracement of individuality.

Can you share some insights into your writing process? Do you have any specific routines or habits that help you write?

I go through periods where my writing schedule is strict and rigid and I adhere to the goals and tight deadlines that I set for myself. I also go through periods where I am loosey-goosey, and I let the writing come to me instead. I’ve found success in doing both. However, what helps me the most is having a friend or family member (a writer or a non-writer) hold me accountable and make sure that I am delivering the pages that I’ve told them I would show them. I’ll usually receive feedback from them and then determine if it is something that needs to be fixed right now or an edit that I can save for later.

How did you come up with the idea for the unique character, Dalli, in your book, “Dalli: The Dog with the Alligator Tail”?

Dalli came to me in a dream, but I think I drew a lot of inspiration for Dalli from our Shih Tzu puppy, Cole. We got Cole just before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, and as a result, he developed social anxiety, which made it hard for him to interact with other people and dogs when going for walks. He has shown me how truly innate fear and anxiety are, and I couldn’t help but think of a dog whose fear of others rejecting her stemmed from a physical difference – like having an alligator tail. 

Did you face any challenges while writing the book, and how did you overcome them?

My biggest challenge when writing this book was getting in my own way. I didn’t know what success or failure looked like for me when writing this book. I wasn’t sure how many copies I was going to end up selling or if anyone was going to want to read my book. Finally, I decided that even if this book only helps one child, it would be worth writing. I wrote the book, and it has been the best decision I’ve made thus far in my writing career. 

Were there any specific books or authors that influenced your approach to storytelling?

My mother works as a Speech Language Pathologist and I have two good friends who are school psychologists. When I was writing this book, I took all and any book recommendations that they could give me. I looked at Mo Willems’ The Pigeon HAS to Go to School, Emily Kilgore’s The What Ifs, and Tom Percival’s Ruby Finds A Worry. 

Can you share any future writing projects or ideas you are currently working on?

If all goes well with my first book, I would love to partner with my illustrator on the second book in the Dalli: The Dog with the Alligator Tail series: Dalli: The Dog with the Alligator Tail and Leo the Lion Fight the Thunder Monster. I may also have a novel in the works for young adults and a poetry collection in the future. I highly recommend following @author_alexakober on TikTok and @writingwithlex on Instagram to stay up-to-date on any new projects that I have in the works. 

To download Dalli: The Dog with the Alligator Tail, click here

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