WHEN DID YOU FIRST KNOW YOU WANTED TO BE A WRITER AND WHY?
I fell in love with creative writing as a student at Knox College in Galesburg, IL. After my first class in fiction writing, I was hooked.
AS A CHILD, WHAT DID YOU ASPIRE TO BE WHEN YOU GREW UP?
A ballerina or a puppeteer. I was a daydreamer and loved the art of make-believe.
HOW DID YOU GET THE IDEA FOR YOUR AWARD WINNING TITLE?
The seed for Alchemy’s Daughter was planted during a trip to Italy. While staying in Florence, I took a daytrip to the nearby walled village of Certaldo. Here I visited the home of the medieval author, Giovanni Boccaccio. As I stood in the room where Boccaccio once wrote, I felt as though I had found my muse. Upon my return home, I started reading Boccaccio’s book, The Decameron, which was set during the time of Europe’s Great Plague. At this time, I was also very interested in the subject of alchemy and was reading the C.G. Jung’s book, Psychology and Alchemy. My fascination with medieval Italy and alchemy culminated in Alchemy’s Daughter.
TELL US SOMETHING ABOUT YOUR EXPERIENCE AS A WRITER:
Young readers often confuse me with Mary Pope Osborne, author of the Magic Tree House series. I always say I am the other Mary Osborne, and I write for teens and adults.
WHICH AUTHOR HAS MOST GREATLY INFLUENCED YOUR WRITING STYLE?
I think Herman Hesse, author of Siddhartha and Narcissus and Goldmund, was the one who showed me how to integrate spiritual themes into a work of historical fiction.
WHAT BOOK HAS HAD THE GREATEST IMPACT ON YOUR LIFE?
It’s tough to chose just one, but I received D’Aularies’ Book of Greek Myths when I was a young girl and have returned to it numerous times. I think the various myths help us make sense of life, as they represent archetypes of the human experience.
WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR GREATEST LITERARY ACCOMPLISHMENT?
The awards I have received for both of my novels were very gratifying, but I would say that my greatest literary accomplishment has been the use of my books in the classroom. It’s a true honor when my book is included in a school’s curriculum.
CAN YOU DESCRIBE THE PROCESS OF BECOMING PUBLISHED AND ANY TIPS YOU MIGHT OFFER FOR OTHER ASPIRING AUTHORS?
There are many ways to become published these days, but whether you go the traditional route or self-publish, selling books is a challenge for most authors. It’s important to start building your platform early in the process if you hope to earn any income from your books. But personally, I think the act of writing and creating art is more rewarding than the process of publishing, and this should be the focus. Very few of us will become best-selling authors.
CAN YOU OFFER ANY ADVICE FOR WRITERS ON HOW BEST TO PROMOTE THEIR BOOK?
Start locally, in your hometown, and make sure everyone you know and meet is aware of your book! Consider local shops other than bookstores that might carry your title. Offer to do events at your public library and at other venues that might be interested in your topic.
WHAT OTHER BOOKS HAVE YOU PUBLISHED?
DO YOU HAVE ANY NEW BOOKS IN THE WORKS?
I am starting the research for my third novel, The Last of the Magicians, set in 17th century England. I am thinking I need to visit London soon.
Since I write very slowly (and enjoy the process very much), it will be at least three years before my third book is published. When it comes out, it will be available at the usual retail and online stores.
IS THERE ANYTHING ELSE YOU'D LIKE TO SHARE WITH OUR READERS?
I am so happy to see the Literary Classics gold award for young adult and historical fiction on the cover of Alchemy’s Daughter! Book awards provide a seal of approval and reassurance for readers who might not otherwise be familiar with your work. At book fairs, I’ve noticed that visitors seem to take special notice of my book now that it has the LC award seal on the cover. Thank you, Literary Classics!
If you love a little romance, philosophy, intrigue, and magic, I hope you’ll check out Alchemy’s Daughter and let me know what you think!
LITERARY CLASSICS Book Awards & Reviews International Book Awards • Top Honors Youth Book Awards • Seal of Approval http://www.clcawards.org