Monday, September 10, 2012

Interview: Author, Maggie Lyons




Joining us today is Maggie Lyons, author of Vin and the Dorky Duet. This is a children’s book geared toward ages seven to twelve.

 

Can you please start off by telling us a bit about yourself?

Well, I don’t want to alarm your readers so I won’t tell them about the time I was a spy for the British government. No kidding. I really was—a very informal one—but that’s another story. I was born in a Welsh coal-mining town and brought up, very properly, in England, where I became an exceptionally boring child, always reading and practicing piano. I had no idea who the famous pop singers were. I only knew about dead European composers like Mozart and Chopin. When I was pushed into adulthood, I zigzagged my way through a maze of professional environments, managing orchestras, writing concert program notes—one of my favorite jobs—and trying to appease a troupe of ballet dancers, which has to be an oxymoron. After beavering away in marketing and media relations in the completely unrelated fields of coffee and law, I finally settled down to have fun with red ink as an editor for an academic publisher. When I “retired,” I became a freelance editor and discovered the joy of writing for children.

When did you first get published?

I wrote and published a great deal, mostly for adults, in my business career, but my first writing for children, a few articles, was published by V. S. Grenier’s Stories for Children Magazine.

Do you feel you were bit by the writing bug?

My mother told me when I knee-high to a Higgs boson I began claiming a passion for words at a young age. But I’m not sure I was actually bitten, perhaps nibbled, or licked.

Why did you decide to write for children?

As a child, I loved having bedtime stories read to me and I thoroughly enjoyed reading stories to my son. I didn’t have time to write when he was growing up, but when I retired, I somehow fell into it, maybe because it gave me a wonderful excuse to borrow fascinating reads from the local children’s library.  

 

Do you believe it is harder to write books for a younger audience vs. a teen or adult reader?

Absolutely, especially if you’re long past your own childhood and don’t have children around you. It’s not just a question of appealing to the culture, language, and mindset of children, you have to know what their parents and all the other adults in their world find appealing too—a double whammy.

 

What is your favorite part of writing for young people?

Indulging in all that innocence, enthusiasm, imaginative freedom, escapism, and humor that is the essence of children’s literature.

 

Can you tell us what your latest book is all about?

Magnetic compost heaps, man-eating bubble baths, and other disasters erupt when an inventive seventh-grader meets a challenge to win a David Beckham autographed soccer jersey if he can befriend an unsociable nerd and introduce his sister to the nerd’s hunky brother.

 

What inspired you to write it?

Two incorrigible habits of mine: music and challenges. I’m an amateur musician and the main character, twelve-year-old Vin, is learning to play the trumpet. I think he secretly likes challenges, though he complains when faced with one. I think he also knows life would be pretty boring if there were no challenges, even if he can’t successfully meet all of them. Having a go is what life’s about, isn’t it? I was also inspired by fond memories of my son when he was twelve years of age. He was fun.

 

Where can readers purchase a copy?

You can buy the e-book at Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Maggie-Lyons/e/B008D863O8 and also at the MuseItUp Publishing bookstore, MuseItYoung section. MuseItUp lists a number of other outlets where the book can be purchased.

The paperback is available at Halo Publishing International: http://halopublishing.com/bookstore/Maggie-Lyons.

The book can be identified by its number: ASIN: B008AK7ALE.

Do you have a website and/or blog where readers can find out more?

My books’ website is at: http://www.maggielyons.yolasite.com. I’d particularly welcome feedback on the site itself. I’ll announce the release dates of Dewi and the Seeds of Doom, e-book and paperback, on that website and at my Facebook author page:  http://www.facebook.com/MaggieLyonsChildrensBooks

My Amazon author page is at: amazon.com/author/maggielyonschildrensbooks

 

What is up next for you?

Dewi and the Seeds of Doom, my fantasy/adventure about a nosy Welsh dragon, for children aged six to eleven, will be released in October by MuseItUp Publishing. More information about that can be found on my website: http://www.maggielyons.yolasite.com

 

Do you have anything else to add?

I’m currently having fun with ideas for picture books. More on that later.

 

Thank you for spending time with us today, Maggie. We wish you much success.

Thank you for inviting me. It’s been fun.

 

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