Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Author Spotlight - Joyce McPherson on her Award-Winning Book

HOW DID YOU GET THE IDEA FOR YOUR AWARD WINNING BOOK? I love thinking about the gifts that all of us have and wondering what it would be like if there were more gifts than we knew.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE LINE FROM YOUR AWARD WINNING BOOK AND WHY? “There must be stories.” This line refers to the stories behind old objects. I believe there are stories we can find.
WHICH OF YOUR CHARACTERS FROM YOUR AWARD WINNING TITLE DO YOU BELIEVE IS MOST LIKE YOU AND WHY? Lindsey—she sort of lives in her own mind and is often oblivious to the bad stuff.
WHAT MESSAGE DO YOU HOPE READERS WILL GLEAN FROM YOUR AWARD WINNING BOOK? I will give you a clue—it’s the last word of the book.
WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO BECOME A WRITER? I wanted to write so that I could give back the joy of reading that I experienced as a young person. I’m also inspired by a quote attributed to Walt Disney: 'That's what we storytellers do. We restore order with imagination. We instill hope again and again and again.'
WHO HAS HAD THE GREATEST INFLUENCE ON YOUR WRITING STYLE? Laura Ingalls Wilder has had the greatest influence on my writing style. She wrote in a way that brings her reader into the story. I first read her books as a young person, and I continue to enjoy them as an adult.
One young person read my Camp Hawthorne books even though she doesn’t like fantasy. She confided in me, “But the things in these books could really happen.” If one day you read the books, you will understand why this made me laugh—but even more at the happy thought that Camp Hawthorne could be real!
When my second child was born, I told my mother that I planned to write books once my children were grown up, and she said, “Why don’t you start now?” I’d never thought I could do it, but I decided to wake up early every morning and write for 20-45 minutes if possible. As my children grew older, I would set the timer for 45 minutes every afternoon, and my kids knew to let me write until the timer went off. I typed like crazy until the bell dinged. It took years to write (and re-write) the first book (A Piece of the Mountain), but once it was published, my publisher asked for more, and that was how I got started.
WHAT IS YOUR GREATEST CHALLENGE AS A WRITER? I love re-writing, but the first draft is always hard for me.
IF YOU COULD BE COMPARED TO A WELL-KNOWN AUTHOR WHO WOULD YOU MOST WANT THIS TO BE AND WHY? I would be incredibly honored to be compared to Jeanne Birdsall (The Penderwicks) who writes from the heart, Trenton Lee Stewart (The Mysterious Benedict Society), who writes fascinating stories, and Madeleine L’Engle (A Wrinkle in Time), who writes magic!
HOW DID YOU FIND AN AGENT / GET PUBLISHED? I got my start writing biographies for children. I wanted my own children to know about the spiritual lives of some of the greatest thinkers in history. I sent my manuscript to a publisher that I admired, and they accepted it!
WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR GREATEST LITERARY ACCOMPLISHMENT? My grandmother reading my first book and loving it.
WHAT ARE YOUR GREATEST LITERARY ASPIRATIONS? I would like to continue writing for young people and connecting with the imaginations of my readers.
TELL US SOMETHING PEOPLE MAY NOT KNOW ABOUT YOU THAT THEY MIGHT FIND INTERESTING: I have nine children, and we read books aloud together every day.
IS THERE ANYTHING ELSE YOU'D LIKE TO SHARE WITH OUR READERS? I receive a lot of inspiration from the young people in my life. I coach a Shakespeare troupe with ninety members, and they are some of the most interesting and creative people I know. We share our abridged scripts for readers’ theatre and youth productions on Amazon.
Camp Hawthorne Series:
Biography Series includes Sir Isaac Newton, Johann Sebastian Bach, C.S. Lewis and others
DO YOU HAVE ANY NEW BOOKS IN THE WORKS? I’m in the early stages of writing a middle grade novel based on a world inspired by French fairy-tales—talking cats, ogres, and a spunky heroine.
LITERARY CLASSICS Book Awards & Reviews International Book Awards • Top Honors Youth Book Awards • Seal of Approval

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