MY INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR MAGGIE GRINNELL!
What’s your name and what genre would you consider your books to be?
Maggie Grinnell. Early Reader (children’s picture books)
Tell me about your book. How did you come up with that (story, angle, idea)?
I wrote a book called David and Rusty’s Pirate Adventure. It is about a boy and his pirate teddy bear who is his best friend. They go on an adventure and only one comes back from a pirate ship. I love pirates and wanted to write a children’s story about pirates that appeal to kids.
How did you get interested in writing this particular genre (historical novels, mysteries, sci-fi, children’s books, etc.)?
I first started writing suspense fiction. But one day my inner child spoke to me and I wanted to write stories from a children’s point of view.
What kind of research did you do for this book?
I didn’t have to do much research since I have been involved in a pirate community for a while. I have loved pirates since reading Treasure Island as a kid. For the boy and the teddy bear to arrive on a pirate ship, I had to create a portal for passage. So I wrote about a room in my childhood home we called the Dungeon since it was so dark and only had a tiny window. I had the boy and the bear go into the Dungeon, thru its secret door and arrive on the ship. I love Captain Hook and based my pirate Captain on him.
Can you tell me about your Series?
I haven’t written a series yet but I am in the process. I have a 2nd pirate’s book that I will work on soon. So cross your fingers.
Do you have a favorite book out of this series?
Obviously my 1st one but working on my 2nd
Where did you get the inspiration/idea for your series?
For the pirate book which I am writing a 2nd one, I have a pirate teddy bear. I was
wondering how a little boy would feel to have that teddy bear as a best friend and having an adventure together.
Was it always meant to become a series?
No but I wanted to see what would happen when the boy and bear reunite.
What’s a typical working day like for you? When and where do you write? Do you set a daily writing goal?
I don’t have a typical working day. I work the night shift 3 nights a week at the local hospital. So I sleep during the day and work at night. I don’t get to write until the weekend. When I do write, I do that on my couch and write long hand. I have the TV in the background because my mind would wander without it. I try each weekend to write a few pages on several stories I am in the process of right now.
Do you have a new book in the making and if so, what’s the name of your upcoming book?
I am writing a book which is called Lost and Found. It is about a house cat, an orphaned girl and a British speaking squirrel. I always wanted to write a story about a cat because I have one. So one day there was a storm and my cat wanted to go outside since she is an indoor cat. I thought what would happen if the cat ventured outside. So I wrote about the cat and added in a squirrel and a little girl. I wanted them to be lost and then find themselves and each other.
How important are character names to you in your books? Is there a special meaning to any of the names?
I think character names are important to me because they help build the traits of the character like personality, family, etc. Certain names that I research and take time to develop mean the most to me.
Where do your ideas come from?
Ideas come from everyday life, TV, newspaper.
Is there a genre that you’ve been wanting to experiment with?
Not at this time. But maybe I will experiment with Young adult fiction. I read that genre a lot.
What is the hardest part of writing for you?
Concentration and motivation.
What do you think of book trailers? Do you have a trailer or do you intend to create one for your own book?
I love book trailers. I don’t have a book trailer right now for any of my books but I would love to create one for each book.
What do you consider to be your best accomplishment?
Being appreciated for my work like having a good review.
Having a child run up and hug my book cover that has been converted to a poster because they love it so much. That are accomplishments to me.
What’s the best thing about being an author?
I have a vivid imagination, at least that is what my mom tells me. So I can put that imagination down on paper and have a voice for those words/pictures.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
I hope to be on a book tour for one of my books. I also hope to have my books in B&N someday.
Have you always liked to write?
Yes. I started storytelling at 5 years old. There were ideas always in my head but putting them on paper didn’t happen till I was in 8th grade. I love the written word and it is part of me now.
What writing advice do you have for aspiring authors?
I would tell them to always believe in themselves. I never listened to anyone who said to me that I shouldn’t be an author or it would be a waste of my time.
If you didn’t like writing books, or weren’t any good at it, what would you like to do for a living?
Probably be a vet. I love animals and am sad when they are sick.
Do you read reviews of your book(s)? Do you respond to them, good or bad? How do you deal with the bad?
I do read reviews of my books. I don’t respond to them though. I get upset with the bad reviews but then realize that not all people are going to like my books.
What is your least favorite part of the writing / publishing process?
The least favorite part of writing/publishing is having to submit and wait
for the answer that they want the story. There is so much anxiety because you put your heart and soul into that story and you don’t want to be told that it wasn’t any good.
What are you working on now?
I have three stories I am working on now.
The 1st one is the one I mentioned before about the girl, squirrel and cat.
I have another story about a brother and sister who when a storm hits encounter and face their fears.
I have a story about a girl rock who was part of a volcano and is torn from her family. She finds a new family in a place she didn’t expect.
Can you give us a few tasty morsels from your work-in-progress?
Faith, an orphaned girl didn’t feel like she will ever be adopted so she ran away from the orphanage. It is raining heavily outside. ‘No one will see my tears thru the rain’ Faith cried out as she made her way to Central Park. She didn’t intend to go to the park but there is where she found herself. She saw a cat and a squirrel. There was nothing strange about these animals until they spoke.
Why did you choose to write in your genre? If you write in more than one, how do you balance them?
I choose to write in this genre because the stories come from the heart. Each child that the story is about is a part of me in some way.
Where did your love of books come from?
When I was little, my mom bought me Chronicles of Narnia. After reading the series, I was in love with books because they take me to another world. I didn’t go out and play with the neighborhood kids. I read and read.
Do you have any favorite authors or favorite books?
I am reading the Treasure Hunters series by James Patterson. It is about siblings whose parents taught them to treasure hunt. When the parents go missing, the kids have to go find them and find treasure along the way. I really also like Land of Stories series by Chris Colfer. This series speaks to me because the main characters are brother and sister. The sister is a huge reader of books like I am. But the brother is a writer like me. I love fairy tales. These siblings get drawn into a fairy tale land so the stories they read when they were little are coming to life. I want to go there myself.
Of all the characters you have created, which is your favorite and why?
Isabella from Isabella and Penelope. She is a little girl who loves her father. When he dies, she decides not to speak because her father is the only one she wants to talk too. My dad died and I felt lost for a while. So I wrote that character like it was me.
Does writing energize or exhaust you?
Writing energizes me. It also excites me and gives me power over words.
What is your writing Kryptonite?
Envy of other writers, procrastination and the internet.
Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?
I try to be original because there are so many stories I don’t want to write the same thing. Kids are very intelligent and they want different stories to read.
What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?
Many years ago I was part of a writing club that correspond thru the mail. The club disbanded but I am still friends with those women. They inspire me to write. I also have a best friend who was my coworker and is also a writer. She inspires me to keep going and share my words/stories.
If you were writing a book about your life, what would the title be?
The title of the book about my life would be: The Journey has just begun.
I have been thru a lot in life but as a writer I feel like I have just begun to advance my writing.
What question have you always wanted to be asked in an interview? How would you answer that question?
My love for Disney. Disney makes me happy because my dad brought me there and I have such a good memory of those times. He has passed away since. Disney also helps me believe in love and happily ever after.
Where can your fans find you and follow??
For my books, they can go to Facebook and look at the titles:
David and Rusty’s Pirate Adventure
Isabella and Penelope
They can also go to Amazon, search Maggie Grinnell and click on author page. There they will find all my books.
They can also email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for taking your time to do this interview ❤️