We’re covering Mary Ann Rodman’s book, Jimmy’s Stars, this week and are pleased to bring you an interview with her.

Highlight your journey to becoming an author.

I could write for pages on this one, but I will be brief. I have written my whole life. I published my first story in a local newspaper when I was seven, and went on to win a lot of local and national writing contests. I wrote a school new column for the local paper all through middle school and high school. I became a school librarian, but never stopped writing. I became a full time writer by force…my husband was transferred to Thailand, and Thailand didn’t need any American school librarians. So, for the first time my life, I was a full-time writer. I also enrolled in the Vermont College MFA in Writing for Children Program. Within two years of becoming a full-time writer, I made my first book sale, MY BEST FRIEND.

Who is your target audience? How have they responded to the books?
My target audience, according to my publisher, is ages 9-12.

But when I am writing, I am always writing for the eleven-year-old I was, and the books I would have wanted to read

The book hasn’t been out long enough to get much feedback from children (it came out right at the end of the school year, so you do the math!) A few of my die-hard fans, however, have been very enthusiastic about it, reading it over and over. As one of them said “I wish I could just LIVE in that book!”

What sparked your interest in writing historical fiction for children?

I have always loved history. I was blessed with some wonderful history teachers along the way who saw history as a narrative, with characters and stories arcs. In addition, I come from a family (on both sides) where family stories were told over and over. Instead of a bedtime story of say, Cinderella, I heard such stories as “When Mom and Her Siblings Dug a Swimming Pool in the Front Yard When Their Mother Wasn’t Home” or “How Daddy Escaped from Kindergarden Three Times the First Day of School.” Naturally, all of these stories took place during my parent’s childhood, or my grandparents’…and grew up thinking that kids had waaay more fun “back in the day.” As a result, my favorite books growing up were historical fiction (and they still are!)

Tomorrow we will bring you more of the interview. Until then, be sure to visit the other blogs touring Jimmy’s Stars!
01 Charger, A Childhood of Dreams, A Christian Worldview of Fiction, A Mom Speaks, All About Children’s Books, Becky’s Book Reviews, Book Review Maniac, By the Book Reviews, Dolce Bellezza, Fireside Musings, Homeschool Buzz, Looking Glass Reviews, Maggie Reads, Maw Books, Small World Reads, The Friendly Book Nook, The Hidden Side of a Leaf

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