AUTHOR: Maranda Russell
BOOK TITLE: Not Afraid to Be Real: A Poetry Collection
PUBLISHER: Mirror PublishingGIVEAWAY: Leave contact information so we can get your name & address and Maranda can mail the book out. (US readers only, please.) Maranda thinks a question would be fun. Since the book she is promoting is poetry, please share the name of your favorite poet?
Why don't you start with telling us a little about yourself? What genre do you write in and why?
I am an author and poet who specializes in literature for children and young adults. I choose to write these genres because I really like working with kids & teens and because these are actually my favorite genres to read as well. You are more likely to find me reading a middle grade or young adult book than an adult one. I have a deep passion for poetry and want to show people that the genre isn’t dead and boring (as so many seem to think it is).
Tell me about your current book which you are promoting.
Not Afraid to Be Real was born because I wanted to share my poetry with the world, and I wanted to show teens that not all poetry is as boring as some of the stuff they are forced to read in school. Don’t get me wrong, I happen to love classic poetry, but I know the ancient language used in many classic poems makes them inaccessible to teens. I don’t want teens thinking that is all poetry can offer them.
How long have you been writing?
Since I first learned to read and write. I have only been writing professionally for a couple years though.
Do you outline before you write? If not, what’s your initial process?
I don’t outline, I tend to have a few jotted notes stashed in various places and a general idea of where I am going, but that’s about it.
What comes first: the plot or the characters?
Normally the characters. Sometimes they come together, especially if the story is based on something that happened in real life.
What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Editing is always the hardest and lengthiest part. I am a perfectionist and hate to have any errors or flaws, so I nitpick too much.
What are some of the challenges in your writing process?
The hardest challenge is getting myself to actually sit down and write. I tend to have a little ADHD and have trouble sometimes training my mind to do what I want it to do. When I am in the zone I write like a mad woman, but the rest of the time I struggle with being distracted too easily.
Describe your writing space.
My favorite places to write are in my recliner (if the house is quiet enough) or in a public setting, such as a café, McDonald’s, library, park, etc.
What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
Watch movies, hike, dance, read, enjoy art, spend time with my family and research interesting stuff.
What books or authors have influenced your writing?
My poetry has been most influenced by contemporary poets like Sonya Sones, Nikki Grimes and Karen Hesse. I also love some of the classics like Edgar Allan Poe, Emily Dickinson, William Blake, Robert Frost, William Carlos Williams and many, many others.
What do you see for the future of publishing and e-books?
I think there will always be some people who prefer the feel of a real book, so I don’t think print books will die completely, but I do think the market for e-books will continue to grow. I don’t know if that is really good for kids though. They already get so much screen time, and studies show that too much screen time really isn’t good for kids. I guess we’ll see what happens.
What are your current books out right now, and what are the books coming up for
The only other book I have officially released besides “Not Afraid to Be Real” is a picture book for kids entitled Ode to Icky. I have several books I have signed contracts for, the next one to be released is entitled Pumpkin Pie Birthday and will be published by 4-RV Publishing.
What is your marketing plan?
Do anything and everything I can to get word out there. I believe if opportunities don’t exist, you have to go make them yourself.
What advice would you give a new writer just starting out?
If you don’t really love it, find something you do love. If you do love it, don’t give up.
Where can people learn more about you and your work?
The best place to learn more about me and my work is my author website/blog, www.marandarussell.com. You can also check out my Facebook fan page: http://www.facebook.com/#!/Maranda.Russell.writer.