Thursday, January 26, 2012

Author Spotlight: Maranda Russell

Please extend a warm welcome to author Maranda Russell!  This is the first time that I have hosted an author that specializes in children's books!  So, if you have little ones between the ages of 3 and 9, this is for you!

1. What kind of books do you write and how many have you written so far?
I write children’s books, mostly picture books or short stories. I have one print picture book available right now entitled “Ode to Icky”, as well as two ebooks entitled “In Memory of Dad” and “Weezie, the Elephant with Allergies”. 
2.  When is your next book being published?
I don’t have a release date yet, but I have signed contracts with two different publishers for upcoming picture books.

 3.  When did you start writing and what inspires you the most?
I have been writing since I first learned how. What inspires me the most are everyday relationships, emotions and events. My two favorite genres to read are realistic fiction and humor, which happen to be the two genres I find myself writing most often as well.
4.  Why did you pick the genre that you currently write in, and are you currently considering writing in a different genre?  Why or why not?
I write children’s books because I honestly enjoy reading them. Some might say I’m immature, but I prefer to say that I have a child-like spirit. I have written for adults in the past, and may do so again in the future, but children’s literature is where my heart really lies.

5.  Tell us about your creative writing process.
Normally I come up with an idea, write a little bit of an outline in my notebook and then sit down and type out the story. Next I start the editing process, which normally takes longer than the initial writing.
6.  Who is your favorite author, past and present, and why?
Edgar Allan Poe has been my favorite writer for most of my life. I like stories about psychological terror, so Poe is right up my alley. As for my favorite author who is still writing today, I would have to say that would be Mo Willems. I love his sense of humor.

 7.  Tell us, what is the central message of your current book and the target audience.
My most recent release, “Ode to Icky” is a picture book that is technically sold for ages 3-9, but I think the real target audience is probably 5-9. It is a funny little story about a stinky cat and his owner, Candy, a clever little girl who finds a way to make her pet’s hygiene issues work in her favor. Of course, as Candy finds out, not all great ideas turn out like you expect.

8.  What do you hope your readers will walk away with after reading your book?
I hope readers remember my characters, relate to them and learn along with them. I also hope I can bring a smile to their face or make them laugh.

9.  If you didn’t become an author, what do you think you would be doing now?
I would still be writing, I just wouldn’t be doing it for a living. I would probably still be substitute teaching instead.

10.  What’s the worst experience and best experience you ever had as a writer?
Worst – getting all the rejections. Best – getting that first acceptance and holding my own book in my hands for the first time!

11.  Where do you see yourself in five years with your writing and your life?
Hopefully I will have made more of a name for myself and written and published a few more books! I also hope that I will have won some awards. As for my personal life, I just hope that my family is still happy and healthy. I wouldn’t mind making enough money to buy my dream house either J

12.  Where can people find you and your books on the Internet?
My blog/author website:
All of my books can be found on my website, as well as Amazon, Barnes & Noble and many other online book retailers.

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