Complementing my daily blog interviews, today’s Author Spotlight, the one hundred and twenty-sixth is of children’s author Maggie Lyons.
Maggie Lyons—trapeze artist, astronaut—just kidding!
Maggie was born in Wales and brought up in England before gravitating west to Virginia’s coast. She zigzagged her way through a motley variety of careers from orchestral management to law-firm media relations to academic editing. Writing and editing nonfiction for adults brought plenty of satisfaction but nothing like the magic she discovered in writing fiction and nonfiction for children.
Several of her articles, poetry, and a chapter book have been published in the children’s magazines Stories for Children Magazine and knowonder! Vin and the Dorky Duet is published as an e-book by MuseItUp Publishing and is available at the publisher’s bookstore, Amazon, and other outlets. A paperback version is available at Halo Publishing International, Amazon, Barnes&Noble, and Smashwords.
Her adventure fantasy Dewi and the Seeds of Doom will be published as an e-book by MuseItUp at the end of October 2012, and as a paperback by Halo Publishing International. It will be available at the publishers’ bookstores, on Amazon, at Barnes& Noble, and Smashwords.com.
And now from the author herself:
As a child, I loved reading stories and having stories read to me. I never lost my fascination for children’s literature. I’m enchanted by that wonderful mix of innocence, escapism, imagination, and humor that bubbles out of it. Its flexibility delights me, but creating that magic presents a challenge. The readership is not an easy one to write for. I have found the challenges increase as memories of my own childhood and my son’s childhood fade. Children’s books today are different from books that were popular just fifteen years ago. Not only is the subject matter different, writing style is different too. Like everything else, writing is subject to fashion, and cultural trends apply their own set of do’s and don’ts on children’s authors just as those authors’ readers learn to live by rules. Stories about dragons, for example, no longer seem to interest publishers. Have children really tired of them? More books deal with children’s social issues than ever before. Today’s children are less protected from the gritty aspects of life and their books reflect that reality. I’m not saying that is a bad thing. Helping children deal with the problems they face and exposing them to other children’s problems are good things.
Yet, it’s partly because children must learn to live with rules, because nowadays they are often brought into contact with harsh realities, and because they often lead heavily scheduled lives that I write light-hearted adventure stories. I try to encourage my readers to turn a few pages and—cross my fingers—give them a reason to smile, laugh, and relax for a few moments. That children should grow to love reading and become avid readers is critical. The quality of their adult lives will depend on their level of literacy. But the romps I create are not just the offspring of a crusading mind much as I’d be proud to have inspired an enthusiasm for reading. I love writing adventure stories. There—I’ve admitted it. I have fun writing this stuff and hope at least a few children will have fun reading it.
You can find more about Maggie and her writing via…
More information at website: http://www.maggielyons.yolasite.com.
Vin and the Dorky Duet e-book at Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B008AK7ALE.
Halo paperback available at: http://halopublishing.com/bookstore/Maggie-Lyons.
The blog interviews will return as normal tomorrow with mystery writers Virginia Cornue and Linda Lombri aka Crystal Sharpe – the five hundred and seventeenth of my blog interviews with novelists, poets, short story authors, biographers, agents, publishers and more. A list of interviewees (blogged and scheduled) can be found here. If you like what you read, please do go and investigate further. And I enjoy hearing from readers of my blog; do either leave a comment on the relevant interview (the interviewees love to hear from you too!) and / or email me.
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Unfortunately, as I post an interview a day (amongst other things) I can’t review books but I have a feature called ‘Short Story Saturdays’ where I review stories of up to 2,500 words. Alternatively if you have a short story or self-contained novel extract / short chapter (ideally up to 1000 words) that you’d like critiqued and don’t mind me reading it / talking about and critiquing it (I send you the transcription afterwards so you can use the comments or ignore them) on my ‘Bailey’s Writing Tips’ podcast, then do email me. They are fortnightly episodes, usually released on Sundays, interweaving the recordings between the red pen sessions with the hints & tips episodes. I am now also looking for flash fiction (<1000 words) for Flash Fiction Fridays and poetry for Post-weekend Poetry.