Author, Marianne Berkes
Animalogy, Animal Analogies
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN WRITING? 20 years, professionally
WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO BEGIN WRITING? As a child, I loved to write plays and perform them with my friends every summer. I especially liked rhythm and rhyme and often would write poems for special occasions. My parents always encouraged me. Music, theater and reading have been a constant in my life. I’ve always had a good imagination and lots of ideas for stories. I like making music with words, but it wasn’t until I moved to Florida that I became an aspiring children’s author. I read many children’s books in the ten years working as a children’s librarian that I decided I could write one too. I eventually published my first book in 2000 called “Marsh Music” about frogs performing a concert in a marsh.
WHAT WAS THE INSPIRATION BEHIND YOUR AWARD WINNING TITLE?
I love to write about animals and nature, combining fact with fiction. In “Animalogy” though, I decided to try something a little different. As a former early childhood educator in New York, I wanted to make learning about analogies fun! “Animalogy” is a rather simple book, but can lead to lots of discussion as kids compare and contrast different animals. And of course Cathy Morrison’s vibrant animal images bring my words to life.
IS THIS YOUR FIRST BOOK?
No, but it’s quite different from my others, which have an interactive story, followed by a glossary so the reader can learn more about what he/she has just read about. I love doing research and all my books are vetted by experts in their fields, from frogs, birds, seashells,
Planets, to name a few, so everything is accurate.
WHAT OTHER BOOKS HAVE YOU PUBLISHED?
Marsh Music (2000)
Seashells by the Seashore (2002)
Marsh Morning (2003)
Over in the Ocean, in a Coral Reef (2004)
Over in the Jungle, a Rainforest Rhyme (2006)
Going Around the Sun: Some Planetary Fun (2008)
Over in the Arctic, Where the Cold Winds Blow (2008)
Going Home, the Mystery of Animal Migration (2010)
Over in Australia, Amazing Animals Down Under (2011)
Animalogy, Animal Analogies (2011)
Over in the Forest: Come and Take a Peek (2012)
The Tree that Bear Climbed (2012)
DO YOU HAVE ANY NEW BOOKS IN THE WORKS?
My fourteenth book, Anybody Home? will be released by Sylvan Dell Publishing in August 2013. In this book, a ‘possum is looking for a new home to raise her expected babies. Along the way, she meets a wide variety of forest animals and learns about the homes they build and live in.
Also in fall 2013, another of my habitat books, Over in a River, Flowing Out to the Sea, will be released by Dawn Publications.
TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOURSELF: I’ve been a teacher, a children’s theater director and a children’s librarian. Now as a children’s author I visit schools and libraries sharing my publishing adventures. I hope I inspire students to write their own stories sharing their ideas, thoughts and feelings, as they inspire me.
I have a great love of nature and get outdoors as often as I can. Living in Florida now, I enjoy walking the beach and have a huge seashell collection. I love the ocean; there is peace and serenity as I look out on the water. In our hectic and busy lives today, I hope kids can still feel that too and get outdoors more.
TELL US SOMETHING FUN THAT OUR READERS MIGHT FIND FASCINATING ABOUT YOU:
When I laugh about something really funny, tears start streaming down my face and I look like I’m crying, but I’m really very happy.
WHAT DO YOU MOST ENJOY DOING IN YOUR SPARE TIME?
Reading, going to a movie or theater, enjoying a nice meal
at a fine restaurant, walking the beach, swimming, traveling and
meeting people of all ages—that includes kids, of course!
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE SHOW?
I love Broadway shows. It’s hard to decide whether my favorite is Mama Mia, Phantom of the Opera or Les Miserables.
HAS YOUR BOOK RECEIVED ANY OTHER AWARDS?
Animalogy also has received a Teacher’s Choice Award and an
IPPY Award (Independent Publishers’ Award)
WHAT CHALLENGES DO YOU FACE AS AN AUTHOR?
There are so many of us and in today’s world it’s harder than ever to get published, unless you are already a well-known children’s author. But even well-known authors still deal with rejection sometimes, which we all have to accept. You might think a manuscript is really good, but come to find out something like it has already been published or it’s not quite right for that particular press and you’ve already waited a year.
These days, many publishers do not accept unsolicited manuscripts, so that’s another challenge-- to get your manuscript in the hands of a publisher you think might like your book.
DO YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE FOR OTHER ASPIRING AUTHORS?
Hemingway said that an author is a writer that never quit, so keep keeping on. Don’t give up. While it’s more difficult these days to get published, there are still many opportunities. You just have to try harder and before you submit something, do your homework. Make sure you submit to a press that is right for the genre you’ve written in.
CAN YOU OFFER ANY TIPS ON GETTING PUBLISHED? Join SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators), go to critique meetings and writers’ conferences. Network as much as you can. You never know who will be there.
IS THERE ANYTHING ELSE YOU’D LIKE TO SHARE WITH OUR READERS?
Thanks so much for this honor and for the opportunity to share my thoughts and feelings. To learn more about me and my books, please go to: www.Marianneberkes.com.
LITERARY CLASSICS Book Reviews & Awards http://literaryclassicsreviews.com