Information about writing and reading for the hearts of children and sometimes for the adults who love them. Book reviews and writing resources that help new and seasoned authors reach their audience and showcasing authors who have done just that.
today is Maggie Lyons, author of Vin and
the Dorky Duet. This is a children’s book geared toward ages seven to
please start off by telling us a bit about yourself?
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.
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?
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.
your favorite part of writing for young people?
in all that innocence, enthusiasm, imaginative freedom, escapism, and humor
that is the essence of children’s literature.
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.
inspired you to write it?
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.
can be identified by its number: ASIN:B008AK7ALE.
Do you have
a website and/or blog where readers can find out more?
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 ofDoom, e-book and paperback, on that
website and at my Facebook author page: http://www.facebook.com/MaggieLyonsChildrensBooks
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:
Do you have
anything else to add?
having fun with ideas for picture books. More on that later.
for spending time with us today, Maggie. We wish you much success.