Dani: Are Picture Books or Middle Grade Novels your favorite?
Margo: Picture books are my favorite right now, because I love to write whimsy and off-the-wall scenarios, playing with words so I can use as few as possible to make each word really count. Picture books these days are usually fewer than 500 words, and to create a sympathetic character and a tight plot with vivid language with that word count definitely keeps the brain in gear. Some of my older picture books, such as AMBROSE AND THE PRINCESS (Liturgical Press, 2005) are longer. With ALOHA FOR CAROL ANN (Marimba/JustUs Books 2011), I needed to cut a lot of words, which was hard, because I loved living in Hawaii and the aloha spirit in friendship and wanted to communicate that to young readers. SPAGHETTI SMILES (Pelican Publishing 2014) needed serious cutting, too. I wrote so many more crazy scenes about Italian food in silly situations, but they made the story too long. Ouch!
Dani: Which genre is easiest for you to write?
Margo: There isn't any genre that is easiest for me to write—sadly, they're all hard! The challenge of being spare and economical is fun to try, however, and picture books definitely fill the bill. I loved writing my tween novels, though (ISLAND DANGER and TIME OF HONOR, MuseIt Up Publishing 2011) because I really enjoyed the main characters, Todd (spoiled brat) and Connor (smart mouth debater) and had a great time watching the trouble they got themselves into and out of (ooops! spoiler alert!). Vivid settings were really important to setting up the plot and conflict, so the settings in Hawaii and in medieval England were fun to research and write.
Dani: Finish the following thoughts:
Margo: I will be working on a new idea for a picture book (think of bunnies, like the ones who live in our backyard and write letters to our Adorables) and going to Grandparents' Day at our Adorables' (grandchildren) school.
Margo: I hope to have a first draft done of the picture book and keep revising and revising others. As all writers know only too well, that process never ends, honestly. It's all about being willing to make changes and then, in turn, change those changes, too! Also, the Adorables will get another visit, so I'll get my hug-fix!
Dani: What's special about your work?
Margo: As writer Anne Lamott says, we can do our work in comfortable pants. Seriously, though, I love playing with words and letting characters act out their lives in my head. It's like taking a vacation in your mind. Reading gave me such hope as a child and I hope to be able to give that same hope to my readers.
Dani:What is your ultimate goal in life?
Margo: My ultimate goal in life is to love my family and the Lord. Writing is something that I love to do, but it takes a back seat to that goal! (And besides, writing keeps me out of my dear husband's hair!)
Aloha For Carol: http://www.justusbooksonlinestore.com/products/ALOHA-FOR-CAROL-ANN.html
Time of Honor: http://www.amazon.com/Time-of-Honor-ebook/dp/B009P4M9EM/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1350060910&sr=8-1&keywords=
Island Danger: http://www.amazon.com/Island-Danger-ebook/dp/B008OYMCD2/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1343497618&sr=8-1&keywords=island+danger+sorenson