When I learned that the book Mystery on Museum Mile by Marcia Wells made it onto the Oregon Battle of the Books list, I was so excited! Marcia Wells is one of my favorite kids book authors!
After reading the first book in the Eddie Red, Undercover series (Mystery on Museum Mile), we eagerly looked forward to the sequels as soon as they were published and read all three books as a family. We really enjoyed the suspense and relatable characters which made these books fun to read (yes, even as adults!).
Considering our family’s international background, I appreciate books that embrace diversity. I felt that Eddie Red being a smart and funny African American protagonist was refreshing and definitely an added bonus. Sitting in the living room, we sat on the edge of our seats and stayed up a bit too late to finish just one more chapter.…
Being a big fan of her writing, you can understand I felt beyond thrilled that Marcia Wells agreed to do an interview with me! I will not be giving away any details of the Eddie Red books because I want you and your kids to enjoy the experience of reading these captivating books yourselves but reading Marcia’s responses to my interview questions gives you a sense of the wonderful person she is. Enjoy!
Eddie Red has a photographic memory and talent for drawing. Museums and art play an important role in your books. How has art had an impact on your life?
MW: I studied Asian art in college, and then when I lived in Spain during my Master's program, I studied Spanish art and would haunt the art museums in Madrid and Barcelona regularly. I love art museums; I think they're some of the most beautiful places on earth. I wish I could draw like Eddie, but alas, I am quite hopeless:)
What are your hopes when kids read your books? When did you start writing?
MW: I love it when kids learn from my books, but mostly I just want them to have fun, to find joy in reading. I began when I was 35- I was teaching middle school, and the students made for great character fodder.
My art celebrates the simple joys in life. What are the simple joys you cherish most?
MW: I love being with my family, no matter what we happen to be doing. I love quiet mornings and a beautiful view. Living in Vermont is perfect for that!
Do you have any special routine that helps you to focus when you are writing? Any favorite places to write?
MW: It really depends on the year- lately I find that although I enjoy the quiet, I am most productive at a cafe and being around the hum of other people. I take walks with a voice recorder, and find that the ideas really flow when I'm moving.
Our family has an international background and our kids are enrolled in Spanish Immersion School so I was interested to read that you have a Master’s Degree in Spanish Literature. What inspired you to learn Spanish?
MW: I think that's terrific that your kids go to an immersion school! Everyone should have a second language. I always studied Spanish in school, and I just stuck with it in college. I was a business major and wanted to be bilingual; at some point I realized that I love language a lot more than business, so I got a degree in Spanish and became a teacher/translator.
Where do you find inspiration?
MW: Everywhere! Stories are all around us- we just need to open our eyes.
As a mom, how do you manage your schedule to make time to write?
MW: My kids are growing up fast (they're 14 and 11), so I find that I have a lot of time in the morning because they sleep in, and also when they're at school. I would say to any busy parent that you still can write, you just need to grab 15 minutes here and there. I also write a ton in the car. Again, with a voice recorder:)
Your bio mentions you live with farm animals in Vermont. My kids are über-curious to know what type of farm animals. :0)
MW: We've had pigs two different years, and we always have chickens. They eat the ticks from the yard, and lay great eggs:)
What are you working on right now? Any new creative projects?
MW: Yes! I'm working on an upside down fairy tale.
Thank you so much, Marcia! And to all of you who are participating in the Oregon Battle of the Books, best of luck!! I hope this interview with Marcia Wells inspired you!
If you are interested in reading more about Marcia Wells and her award-nominated books, please visit her website.
If you read the Eddie Red, Undercover series, which book was your favorite? Is your child participating in the Oregon Battle of the Books? What other books do you recommend that captured your child’s attention? Please be sure to share in the comments!
If you enjoyed reading this interview with children's book author Marcia Wells, please sign up for more inspiring stories and news from my art studio. You even get a free gift tag printable!
PS. Did you know that I offer educational and bilingual printables in my etsy shop? Please visit the "Printables" tab or click the image below for more information. Thanks!
Illustrations and nature inspired, handmade art that celebrates simple joys.