Lisa Doan

Lisa Doan received a master’s degree in writing for children and young adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts. As a professional vagabond, she has traveled extensively through Africa and Asia and lived on a Caribbean island for eight years. Her variety of professions have included Master Scuba Diving Instructor, New York City headhunter, Owner/Chef of a Chinese restaurant, television show Set Medic and Deputy Prothonotary of a county court. She wrote her first book during a Caribbean slow season while waiting for restaurant customers. She currently lives in Pennsylvania with a Great Dane who stares her down for biscuits.


What was your favorite book when you were a child?

The Little Princess. I was particularly obsessed with the attic room makeover scene.

Who are your top three favorite authors or illustrators?

Roald Dahl, Charles Dickens, and Sue Townsend (author of the Adrian mole series). I was also very fond of the Nancy Drew series, mainly because they were numbered and it seemed like a goal to get through all of them.

Why did you want to become an author or illustrator?

I had already become a headhunter, SCUBA instructor, Chinese restaurant owner, and medic… so it seemed like the next logical thing.

Do you have any advice for future authors or illustrators?

Tip one – Don’t fall for the magic trick that is a published book. Any book you pick up was once a revolting mess… and then things got better from there. So write a book. Do not be discouraged, or even surprised, that the first draft is a revolting mess. That’s what it’s supposed to look like. Just start cleaning up the mess.

Bonus tip – Initially, you will feel the book you have just finished is a work of genius. This delusion will pass in a matter of days or hours or minutes. When it does, you will fall into despair as you realize that it is not genius, it is a revolting mess. (See tip one about revolting messes.)