Margo L. Dill is the author of Caught Between Two Curses, a YA light paranormal romance novel about the Curse of the Billy Goat on the Chicago Cubs, and Finding My Place: One Girl's Strength at Vicksburg, a historical fiction, middle-grade novel. She currently has two more books under contract--both are picture books--with High Hill Press and Guardian Angel Publishing. Publication dates of both are to be determined. Besides being a children's author, she is also a freelance editor with the business, Editor 911: Your Projects Are My Emergency! and she is part of the WOW! Women On Writing e-zine's staff as an editor, blogger, instructor, and social media manager. She is also an editor for High Hill Press and specializes in memoirs, historical fiction and children's and YA novels. Margo loves presenting workshops to writing groups and school groups. She loves to ask children the question: Would you eat rats to save your city from falling into the hands of the enemy? What would you do to save your family from a curse?
Margo believes that books are meant to be used with children and teens, and she started a blog about this very subject in August 2008, where she continues to blog each week. She shares mostly children's and YA books as well as memoirs or other inspirational women's literature that encourages and supports women and girls around the world. She blogs at http://margodill.com/blog/, http://www.wow-womenonwriting.com, and http://www.thelitladies.com.
Her first novel, a historical fiction middle grade (Finding My Place) won the Eloquent Quill Award from Literary Classics International Book Award.
When she is not writing or editing, Margo loves to spend time with her husband, stepson, daughter, and crazy Boxer dog, Chester. She lives in St. Louis, Missouri; and if she could eat out every day, she would! She is also a member of the St. Louis Zoo, and this is one of her family's favorite places to go.
INTERVIEW WITH MARGO DILL:
How did you get started writing?
Like most authors, I made little books with crayons and paper, stapled together, in elementary school. But I seriously started writing in my late 20s when I was also teaching elementary school. I actually answered an ad in a Family Circle magazine that said, "You can write for children," and now, here I am.
Who influenced you?
I really think besides a good English teacher or two, my biggest influences were the authors I read when I was young: Judy Blume, Beverly Cleary, Richard Scarry, Julie Campbell Tatham (author of Trixie Belden books), and even V. C. Andrews--her books were my YA. I want to write books that kids look forward to, like I did with these authors.
Do you have a favorite book/subject/character/setting?
This answer doesn't make me unusual, but I want to be honest. My very favorite character/series/books are Harry Potter. I absolutely adore those books and have read and listened to them more than once. I am in awe of J. K. Rowling's ability to create characters we feel are real and want to meet, as well as her ability to plot 7 books and connect them the way she did. In my opinion, she is a genius! My favorite characters in those series are of course, Harry, but also Hermione. Who wouldn't want her as a friend?
What advice do you have for someone who wants to be an author?
Follow your heart and your dreams, but while you are doing this, learn the business and the craft. Being an author is an amazing career. Having people read what you write and enjoy it is amazing, but it's not easy to be an author. It takes a lot of discipline and business savvy, which are not two things that you often connect with creative writing.
Where is your favorite place to write?
I guess it would have to be outside at the sidewalk tables at my local Panera Bread on an overcast day (that way I can see my computer screen better). I have a three-year-old daughter, and so I really have to leave to work when someone else is watching her. I often go to Panera Bread then, and I just love to write outside.
What else would you like to tell us?
My first book, Finding My Place, took 11 years from start to book. Some of this was me learning the business and craft, but some of it was just waiting and beyond my control, once I signed the contract. While I waited (and sometimes impatiently), I just kept writing and submitting, and now my third book, Maggie Mae, Detective Extraordinaire, and the Case of the Missing Cookies, is coming out in August. If you want to be a published writer, perseverance is most of it!