Actress Deborah Raffin, best known for her role in the series 7th Heaven, and appearances on popular shows such as Law & Order SVU and ER, recently sent CBS her adorable children’s book, Mitzi’s World. The busy actress, author and mom, who currently stars in The Secret Life of the American Teenager, sat down to chat with us about the book, the transition from actress to author, her friendship with folk artist Jane Wooster Scott, and being a mom to 9-year old Taylor Rose.
CBS: You’re well known for your role on 7th Heaven as Aunt Julie. How did you make the transition from actress to author? Or were you always doing both?
DR: I was an audio book and book publisher for almost 20 years (through Dove Audio/Books/Entertainment) and I ran a childrens’ inprint, “Dove Kids” for about 18 years.
CBS: Why did you decide to write a children’s book? What was the inspiration behind this story?
DR: I have collected my friend, Jane Wooster Scott’s art for close to 30 years. Her work to me was perfect for a childrens’ book, so it was a joy and great fun to create and write Mitzi’s World.
CBS: Part of the proceeds of the book goes to Friends of Animal Rescue. Is this a personal cause of yours? Is the main character, Mitzi based on a rescue dog?
DR: I have always had a soft spot for animals, since my childhood with all my cats, dogs and even a monkey, which my brother had as a pet! Mitzi was a childhood dog of Jane’s, whom she placed in most of her paintings and since I was working backwards, writing and creating a book around existing art, it was wonderful that we had an adorable dog to headline our book!
CBS: What do you want kids to get out of the reading the book?
DR: Reading is a very important way for people of all ages to exercise their imaginations. Also, through this book, kids can learn about different cultures, place themselves in different worlds and stimulate their joy of writing and creating.
CBS: Do you have a favorite children’s book from when you were a child?
DR: Soooo many, however my nine year old daughter has re-introduced Nancy Drew to me. What fun and a great role model for girls!
CBS: You have a daughter, Taylor-Rose. How old is she and what is she into?
DR: Taylor-Rose loves to read, draw, write, sing and play numerous sports such as tennis, Karate, hand ball and swimming. She was also a great editor for the book!
CBS: How do you balance being a mom and having a successful career?
DR: Taylor-Rose is my number one priority. Everything else comes after her needs which is not always an easy balance!
CBS: Are you working on other books?
DR: Yes, I am in the process of creating a new childrens book/series and working on Mitzi’s World Book 2.
CBS: Are you still acting as well? If so, what are some current projects?
DR: Yes, I currently play a doctor on the hit TV show “The Secret Life Of The American Teenager”.
Mitzi’s World main character is Mitzi, a white dog with black spots and a red collar, who explores towns, farms, and the countryside of America. Mitzi loves to discover new things and searches for them throughout the year in villages nestled in the snows of New England, in towns amid rolling fields and hills, at the beaches along the eastern coastline, and by the harbors and bays of the West coast.
Follow Mitzi as she appears in each amazing painting, created by folkartist Jane Wooster Scott, along with plenty of other details to spy as well. Kids will enjoy traveling through the country, looking at the beautiful paintings and making a game out of finding all kinds of fun details such as: a white kitty, nine flags, 5 seagulls, 6 children, 10 pine trees, 4 sailboats and many more “I Spy” types of objects.
Mitzi’s world is available at Amazon.com and other bookstores.