Maranda Russell was born in Muncie, Indiana, but now resides near Dayton, Ohio. She is a children’s author and book reviewer, a foster parent and an enthusiastic lover of cereal and ice cream. She currently writes stories for children based on the experience she has gained over the years as a teacher, foster parent and former child. Of course, the “former” part is questionable since this author still enjoys indulging her “inner child” on a regular basis.
Visit Maranda online at:
Thank you for joining us today, Maranda. Can you please start off by telling us a bit about yourself?
I am a 29-year-old children’s author and foster parent living in Dayton, Ohio. I love hanging out with kids and I love reading children’s literature, so it just seems fitting that I write for kids as well.
When did you first get bit by the writing bug?
It’s funny, but I actually was obsessed with reading and writing before I even learned how. I used to sit and cry because I feared I would never learn to read or write. Once I started school, those dreams of literacy came true and I haven’t looked back since.
Why did you decide to write stories for children?
There are several reasons, but probably the top ones are that I love kids, I love children’s literature and I think I still tend to look at the world from a child’s perspective at times. I write what I like to write, and most of the time that seems to create pieces that are geared for younger audiences.
Do you believe it is harder to write books for a younger audience?
To some extent. Obviously, books for children are often shorter, so it doesn’t take as long to write the rough draft, but editing can be rough. To write a good children’s book, you have to tell the best possible story in the least amount of words. Especially if you write picture books like I tend to do.
What is your favorite part of writing for young people?
Although it makes me nervous, my favorite part of writing for kids is getting to share my book with children at school visits, book readings, etc. I am normally quite shy in public, but fortunately, I don’t have as much social anxiety around children.
Can you tell us what your latest book is all about?
Ode to Icky is about a stinky cat named Icky and his owner, Candy. Candy is a clever girl who finds a way to make her pet’s hygiene problems work for her, but unfortunately, she also finds out that sometimes our “great” ideas don’t turn out how we planned!
What inspired you to write it?
The character of Icky was inspired by my real-life pet cat, Einstein. Einstein really can be disgusting and stinky because he has problems grooming himself, so we have to do it for him. The character of Candy was based partly on my childhood self. I was always full of brilliant ideas to earn money as a kid, some of which didn’t turn out nearly as well as I planned!
Where can readers purchase a copy?
Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Books-A-Million all have the book for sale on their websites. Many bookstores can order the book for you if they don’t stock it in their stores, that way you don’t have to pay S&H, so feel free to ask your local bookseller!
Do you have a website and/or blog where readers can find out more?
Yes, my author website/blog is www.marandarussell.com. There is information there about me and my books, but there are also many other interesting tidbits about children’s literature, such as writing tips, book reviews and author interviews.
What is up next for you?
Well, I have already signed contracts for two more picture books that should be released in the next few years. I am also working on a couple other stories that I hope to eventually find publishing homes for.
Do you have anything else to add?
I also have two ebooks for children available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Smashwords entitled In Memory of Dad and Weezie, the Elephant with Allergies. Both are less than $2 per download. (Interviewer’s Note: Look for our review of In Memory of Dad coming soon.)
Thank you for spending time with us today, Maranda. We wish you much success.