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Worldly Writer

Mar 04, 2013

Dianne de Las Casas was born and raised in the Philippines to a Filipina mom and American Navy dad. And this was just the beginning of her grand world adventure.

Girls on the It’s Your World Journeys know how important it is to be aware of how big (and small!) our world can be, to become familiar with foreign places, and understand how needs differ all over. These are things Dianne learned as she lived and traveled to places like Spain and all over Europe, Hawaii, and other parts of the United States.

So far, Dianne’s adventures have provided material for her many books, including nine children’s picture books. Dianne also performs her stories onstage. Girls on the It’s Your Story, Tell It Journeys can relate to how storytelling can come alive through performance. “I volunteered to do story time at my local library as a way to improve my writing, and a storytelling spark kindled!” Dianne explains. “I performed in schools and learned a lot through trial and error. The students gave me immediate, live feedback. Stories had to be adjusted on the spot. If something didn’t work, I had to fix it. I became a better storyteller and that allowed me to truly spread my wings, embracing the art form. The funny thing is, storytelling actually brought me to writing children’s books.”

And those books are filled with vibrant colors and rich descriptions, like There’s a Dragon in the Library, in which a boy discovers a baby dragon; Blue Frog: The Legend of Chocolate, about a Sun God who spends his day eating cacao; and The Cajun Cornbread Boy, about a boy living in the bayou.

“Ideas are like sand running through the fingers,” Dianne says. “If you don’t catch them right away, they slip away.” Her advice to girls who want to write? “Always keep a notebook handy and write down everything. Capture those ideas! Sometimes the discovery of the extraordinary is found in what we consider very ordinary.”

Read more about Dianne’s travels, storytelling, and writing tips on The Studio.