Margie Palatini is the award-winning author of more than three dozen very funny children’s books including Piggie Pie!, Bedhead, Sweet Tooth, Moosetache and Geek Chic (can you say Geek Sheek?).For more info, visit Margie at her website!
Let the conversation begin!
What initially drew you to writing?
Years ago, fresh out of art college, I joined a writers’ workshop thinking that I could meet writers and maybe have a chance to illustrate one of their manuscripts. (Which of course, is not how picture books come to be, but I didn’t know that at the time.)
Mentored by the wonderful author and editor, Patti Gauch, I discovered that I loved writing. I also discovered that perhaps it wasn’t doing the art that was driving me to want to tell a story, but surprisingly, the words. It was through Patti’s guidance and enthusiasm that I eventually found my ‘voice’, which set me on a new path and journey as a writer, and eventually, a published author.
What is the most valuable advice you’ve ever received?
Don’t allow a review or someone else’s opinion define you as an artist, be it positive or negative.
(It’s a tough one to follow, especially when it’s more negative than positive! But, you need to stay within yourself, and not be distracted by outside influences.)
When are you the most productive?
I seem to work out story lines, plots and characters late in the evening almost as I’m drifting off to sleep. When those ideas are ready to hit the page, I’m up at around four or five in the morning ready to work. There are many days when it’s late into the afternoon — and I’m still in my robe! When I’m right in the middle of a project, I become obsessive, usually finding myself working through breakfast, lunch – and dinner. (Oh, those dust bunnies that collect around the house!)
Are your characters completely fictional?
I think something of me is in all of my characters – some hitting closer to home than others, like Gritch the Witch and Sweet Tooth. But many have also been inspired by my son, my sister, my brother, dad, mom, husband.
What book was the easiest to write? Hardest?
THE WEB FILES, one of my all-time favorites, and I think very ‘autobiographical’, was one of the easiest. The hardest is always the one I’m working on at the moment.
What is the best writing advice you’ve ever received?
Be yourself – and bring yourself to the page, and don’t become preoccupied with trends. Stay true to your own passions, style and voice. Of course, that can be difficult and frustrating when what you write or like to write—or how you write—is not the current popular ‘flavor of the month’ and moment. But, I think, staying true to yourself as an artist is always good to remember.