My Gentle Readers, I have an author dedicated to children to introduce you to today. Randi Lynn Mrvos produces an online children’s magazine called, Kid’s Imagination Train. She released her first children’s picture book August 23rd, 2017. As usual, my comments/questions will be in BLUE and Randi Lynn’s will be in GREEN.
It’s so nice to have you here today, Randi. It’s not often I get to talk to children’s book writers, and your magazine looks amazing. Let’s begin at the beginning, as they say. What dropped you into the literary world? Were you an avid reader from a young age or was it later in life?
I was a voracious reader when I was young. During the summers, my brothers and I had “reading wars” to see which one of us could read the most books. Back then, my favorite books were by Charles Dickens and Jules Verne. On the other hand, I gave up reading books for fun after graduating as a medical technologist because I got burned out on studying. However, a few years later that changed when I witnessed a blind man crossing a busy New York City street. That’s when it dawned on me that I could open a book and read it; whereas, he would never see the words on a page.
Very inspiring, and very true. So you started with two of the greats, what draws you in these days now that you have returned to world of reading?
Pulitzer Prize winning novels and children’s picture books are my favorite kinds of books as well as the hilarious books by Sempé-Goscinny.
Have to keep an eye on what’s out there if you are going to write for children. When did you start considering the path of being a writer?
The seed for writing was planted when I took a creative writing class in the tenth grade. Believe it or not, I still have my writing journal complete with stories that were inspired by magazine pictures.
I remember doing some of those exercises as well. Seems to be a standard fit for high school english, especially for creative writing portions of the year. Where did you go from these early years of magazine inspiration?
In the early days of my career, I wrote technical articles for medical technology journals, testing passages for elementary-age children for Pearson Digital Learning, and science articles for children. After widely publishing nonfiction, I pursued my dream of writing fiction for kids.
How did this dream of writing fiction for kids lead you to where you are now?
Every single picture book that I wrote was rejected. Since I was dying to see my work in print, I found it was easier to get magazine articles published because nonfiction was less subjective than fiction. As my credits grew, I focused on developing the craft of writing fiction for kids by taking writing classes, attending writing workshops and conferences, and joining a professional writer’s organization. Though this helped me to grow as a writer, I still couldn’t find a publisher for my stories. I desperately wanted to get out of this rut, so I hired editorial consultant Mary Kole. We worked on my favorite manuscript, and several months later, I sent it to five publishers. Not long after, the creative director for Saturn’s Moon Press sent me a contract for Maggie and the Summer Vacation Show-and-Tell.
That’s wonderful that you found a home for one of your stories. All the effort and work you put in has paid off it seems. When you aren’t writing for children, how do you like to spend your time?
Marketing my first picture book takes up beaucoup de time as well as being the editor of Kid’s Imagination e-zine. I enjoy traveling, taking ballet and learning how to parlez-vous French.
I’ll leave the French to you. I took German in school and can’t really speak a lick of it anymore. I understand that you have a little story to share with us?
Last fall, my husband and I decided to celebrate our birthdays in New Orleans. When we arrived in the Big Easy, we biked through NOLA, listened to jazz, and chowed down Cajun food. Often, our footsteps led us through Jackson Square. There, we found people playing music, drawing portraits, taking carriage rides, and having their fortunes read. I was itching to meet a fortune-teller. I selected a psychic, who she invited me to sit at her table. She told me to choose a jeweled stone and three cards, and make three wishes. One of my wishes was to get a book published. After she studied the cards and the stone, she told me good things were going to happen.
The next evening, I scrolled through my emails. I discovered an email from a publisher. It was from the creative director of a Cactus Moon Publications. She wrote that she liked my book! Sometimes, wishes really do come true.
Amazing and congratulations on your successes. Thank you again for stopping by. If anyone would like to get more information about Randi Lynn Mrvos and her work for children, you can find her at the below links.
If any of you would like to be featured on Meet the Author Monday, you can get more information by clicking HERE.