How old are you?
I am solidly in the Millennial generation and share a zodiac sign with Hermione Granger and Beyoncé. That should tell you anything you wanted to know about my age.
How do you pronounce your last name?
DREHOBL is three syllables. The emphasis is on the first one.
DRE like the rapper, Dr. Dre; rhymes with the word “day.”
HO like the expression “What, ho!” or the long-handled gardening tool (spelled hoe).
BL like the last part of the word “table.” But with no silent e because we cut to the chase.
I also respond to Britt or Ms. Dre (pronunciation above), if that suits you.
What do you write?
I try to write a bit of everything: poetry, memoir, genre fiction, short stories… but more often than not I find myself being pulled to write realistic fiction in the Young Adult category.
I am working on a few picture book manuscripts, too.
And I took a Write to Change the World class via the OpEd Project and am always trying to put my expertise out into the world.
And I regularly write book reviews for School Library Journal (one of my most recent starred reviews won the Newbery Medal!).
I told you I try to write a bit of everything.
What do you like to read?
I will try anything; any genre in any category.
But a majority of what I read is children’s and young adult books for my job as a librarian and my reviewing gig at School Library Journal. And for my position on the Rebecca Caudill Young Readers’ Book Award evaluation committee. And because I love them.
My favorites are realistic young adult fiction and contemporary biographies/memoirs (especially by and/or featuring women; and double especially women of color) for any age group.
You’re one of those feminists, aren’t you?
Why yes. Yes, I am.
What exactly is feminism to you?
To me, feminism means realizing there are disparities and thus inequalities in the ways society views and systematically treats people based on traits they were born with and ways they live their lives including, but not limited to: sex, (dis)ability, race, religion, gender, and ethnicity.
My feminism is intersectional, which means that different types of marginalization and their crossroads affect different peoples in a multitude of ways. And I recognize that, while I may have insight to my own marginalization, I can only be an aware ally to/advocate for people with other marginalizations I don’t live with.
I believe that by listening to marginalized peoples regarding their emotional and physical hardships while being able to recognize and put my own privilege aside, I can adjust my actions and words accordingly, encourage others to do likewise, and be a positive agent of change that lifts us all up to equality.
I apply this line of mindful and intentional action to both my personal and professional life.
Isn’t that a lot of work?
It was at first.
And sometimes it still is.
But it’s gotten easier with time and practice.
And I’m no quitter.
Is it worth it?
Every single day.