Sunday, September 19, 2010

Margaret Fieland

Today I'm interviewing a guest writer, Margaret Fieland.

Margaret, Thanks for being here. Have you had anything published?

Quite a lot of poetry – see press kit on my website – a couple of children's stories, one or two stories for adults. My first book, a chapter book, will be published by 4RV publishing in early 2012

My first book , which is about a boy who loses his mother in a fire, grew out of an incident many years ago where an acquaintance lost his wife and four children in a fire. The present book was pretty much because I'm an amateur musician and I wanted to write about that.

I have a file of story ideas I'd like to work on. A lot of them grow out of my reading fiction, where I find myself saying, “But what happens AFTER the end of the book? Just suppose that ...”

You've written some middle grade fiction. How did you make the decision to write for that audience?

{Grin} As a poet I'm pretty terse .. I started writing for kids initially because, first, it seemed less intimidating that writing for adults, and second, it seemed to require fewer words. Little did I know. In a lot of ways, writing for kids is more demanding than writing for an adult audience. But I fell into writing MG fiction and it somehow feels right.

Can you tell the readers a little bit about your story?

It's about a girl whose parents are divorcing and who wants to go to music camp. She starts out playing the flute, but ends up taking up the bassoon. This was at the suggestion of a friend of mine who is a middle school music director .. bassoons are in demand and get scholarships.

Unlike fantasy, your story deals with divorce, a very real drama. What, if any, are the challenges of writing about something that so many readers will have had personal experience with?

You know, I started writing about the “real-life trauma” stuff in order to deal with my own feelings around a real-life incident. In the process, I discovered that this kind of fiction for the MG group is rather under-represented. It felt like a golden opportunity to me.

But I do feel that I need to tread a delicate line between glossing over the real-life problems that the kids in my story face and presenting too bleak a view.

Who’s your favorite author and/or book?

My all-time favorite book is “Alice in Wonderland”/”Through the Looking Glass” by Lewis Carroll. I used to reread it every exam time when I was in college, as I would forgo trips to the library and would begin to suffer from book deprivation.

Do you have any writing related thoughts you’d like to share?

When I consider my fiction writing, I'm struck by the serendipity that led me to it in the first place. At the time I started writing fiction, I wasn't really “interested” in it, but the opportunity presented itself, so I took the plunge.

Then, too, getting my writing organized and accessible in the first place was a huge piece of what started me down the road to taking myself seriously as a writer. If I were still scribbling in notebooks I tossed in a corner, I'd have no perspective on my writing and I'd never have taken myself seriously as a writer. Yes, I've worked hard on my craft as a writer, but none of it would have happened if I hadn't started getting organized.

Thanks for the interview, Margaret. I hope your book does well.

(If you're interested in books and writing, here's another writer whose blog you might want to visit tomorrow


Margaret Fieland said...

Janet, thanks for having me.

kathy stemke said...

I enjoyed the interview ladies. Both books that you mention have intriguing plots. Children will learn how others deal with difficult situations. They can draw on these models later in life to help in their own difficult situations. Bravo!

SP said...

Interesting bit about getting organized. I never really thought about it, but I definitely have to agree. Organization does help in so many ways and makes things seem more professional.

Great interview. Good luck with your writing. Sell a ton of books! :-)

~ Shelby

Janet Ann Collins said...

Thanks, Shelby and Kathy.

Books for kids like Margaret's can make a huge difference in the world. I only wish I could be as organized as she is.

Magdalena Ball said...

Sounds like a great book Margaret. All the best with it.

Janet Ann Collins said...

Thanks, Magdalena.

Martha said...

Margaret, books like yours are really needed for children. Good luck.
Martha Swirzinski

The Old Silly said...

What a stirring and emotional premise for a book! I wish you much success with it. Enjoyed the interview, too ... you have varied interests and background to draw on, always good for a writer...

Marvin D Wilson

Karen Cioffi said...

What a wonderful interview. And, your new book, Margaret, deals with a topic that many children go through today. I'm sure it will not only be entertaining, but will help some kids deal with a very emotional event.

Darcia Helle said...

I had no idea that bassoons were so in demand! Margaret, your story sounds both entertaining and powerful. I'm sure many kids out there will be able to relate to your characters.

Janet Ann Collins said...

Thanks to everyone for the comments.

Debra Eckerling said...

Great interview. I love how you fell into writing fiction and your reasoning behind it! Good for you! Keep up the great work!

Margaret Fieland said...

Thanks for stopping by, everyone.

Heidiwriter said...

"Book deprivation" That is something I used to fear, also. Now I have more books piled up TBR than I can probably get to in a year, with more appearing all the time! Now I need more time to read!

Janet Ann Collins said...

Thanks, Debra and Heidi.

Margaret, it was a pleasure to have you here.

Carolyn Howard-Johnson said...

I love Alice, too. And Jabberwock is one of my fave poems. Thanks for this, you two great women writers! (-:

Carolyn Howard-Johnson
Sharing writers' resources at Writer's Digest 101 Best Websites pick

Janet Ann Collins said...

Thanks Carolyn. Look who's talking.