Author Interview with Maranda Russell

Ode-to-Icky-coverGet to know Maranda…

I am a 29-year-old foster parent and children’s writer. I spend most of my time reading, writing, hanging out with my family, playing with my 5 cats and giving author talks and presentations at schools, stores, and community events around the Dayton, Ohio area. When I have extra time, I also like to dance, hike, visit art museums and browse local bookstores. To learn more about me, visit my website.

Let the conversation begin!

Outliner or Seat-of-the-pantser? 

I used to be a seat-of-the-pants writer but time and experience has taught me that it really does help to have at least a basic outline. Even if the outline is only in my head, it still helps to know what direction I am taking the story and where I hope to end it. 

What piece of advice would you give the younger you? 

Try more things, experience life fully. Don’t be afraid to take a chance. 

If you could choose anyone, who would you pick as your mentor? 

I have always considered Edgar Allan Poe and Emily Dickinson to be my literary mentors. 

What songs are included on the soundtrack to your life? 

A lot of Disney songs and music from other children’s shows and movies. My favorite songs are those that inspire me in one way or another but are realistic too. 

If you could be any fictional character, who would you choose? 

Lily Evans (from Harry Potter). I would have chosen Snape instead of James though, so I guess I would have changed the story drastically. 

The best part of waking up is? 

Knowing that I can go right back to sleep or just lay in bed for a few minutes. I hate having to jump right out of bed and get going. 

What age did you become an adult? 

Sometimes I wonder if I ever did become an adult. I still feel like a kid much of the time, but I’m ok with that. In fact, I wouldn’t have it any other way. 

What was the last movie or book that made you angry? Explain.

Probably one of those nature movies where they get you to fall in love with an animal or a group of animals, only to have the animal get eaten or die some other kind of horrific death in the end. 

What advice would you give to new writers? 

Work hard, keep at it and don’t rush things. It is better to wait awhile and have a book you can be proud of, then to jump into publishing a piece that isn’t ready. 

When was the last time you were nervous? 

Last week when I had to give an author talk in front of an entire elementary school. I’m still not really comfortable with public speaking, although I know it is a must if you are to be a successful author. 

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