Blog Tour: World of Ink Tour for Margot Finke – Interview & Book Review
Margot Finke is an Aussie transplant who writes midgrade adventure fiction and rhyming picture books. For many years she has lived in Oregon with her husband and family. Gardening, travel, and reading fill in the cracks between writing. Her husband is very supportive, and their three children are now grown and doing very well. Her first books, a 7x book rhyming series, “Wild and Wonderful,” offers fun facts about animals from the US and Australia. Educational and fun, eBooks can be read on a computer, laptop, or various color e-Readers. They are great for classroom or home schooling moms.
I want to thank you for being my guest here on Mymcbooks Blog
What inspired you to write?
Nothing inspired me to write. The thing is that not writing is unthinkable. Writing is a part of me as a woman, mother, wife and friend. If writing is in our genes, then I was there with my hand out right at the beginning. My mother told me that she wished three things for me when I was still in her belly: a sense of humor, a talent to write, and an ability to draw. Two out three isn’t bad, mate.
Do you consider yourself a born writer?
Yes I do. That doesn’t mean I didn’t need guidance when I began. The finer parts of writing need to be learned like any other craft. But remember, I was lucky. I already had those writing genes tucked away in my inner pocket, eager to jump out.
Have you ever suffered from writer’s block? If yes, how did you ‘cure’ it?
Sorry mate. No writer’s block ever darkened my computer screen. If I had a problem with a manuscript, and my wonderful critique group could not help me sort it out, I simply shut the file and let it simmer in isolation for a few weeks – or months. Rereading it with a clear focus always solved the problem for me.
Have you had any training to become a writer?
Other than school, no. However, when I first became serious about writing, I was lucky enough to join a writing list where several children’s writers noticed my stumbling attempts, and took me under their wing. They mentored me gently, firmly, and with an iron determination to knock certain bad writing habits out of my head. I am eternally grateful for their talent, friendship and writing wisdom.
What type of books do you mostly write?
I write rhyming picture books that are fun, as well as educational, plus mid-grade stories for boys – and tomboys like I was once. So many kids today don’t read. The internet, TV, computer games – they all compete for a child’s attention and time. My son was a reluctant reader, so I try to write books with a definite WOW factor that encourages them keep reading. Hook them young, and you have a reader for life, is my motto.
Do your children inspire any of books, characters, or plots?
Not really. I do remember the books they loved me to read to them. And without fail they were all full of action, fun situations and wild adventures. I keep this in mind and ask myself, “Would my daughter like this character? Could she learn something from the character’s blunders? Would my kids have found this situation too involved, not specific enough, or just a big yawn?”
Can you share with us a little about your current book?
Taconi and Claude-Double Trouble – midgrade adventure for boys & tomboys. A coming of age story about a young aboriginal boy in the Aussie outback. The time is 1950, and Taconi is pulled in different directions by his dad’s problems, a scary man ceremony, the Dreamtime Spirits, and an elusive magic feather. His only mate is a chatty cockatoo with a parade of funny one-liners. A tribal gathering finally offers answers Taconi can accept. I spent the first half on my life in Australia, so the setting for this book is very familiar to me. There is a glossary of the fun Aussie words, as well as the aboriginal ones. This book was a labor of love. The setting is authentic, but the tribe, the characters and all their doings, are absolutely fictional. Like American Indian tribes, the aboriginals of Australia guard their secret rites with great care. I kept it pretty generic and used my imagination.
Do you have any other works in progress? Can you share a little about them?
I am polishing a sequel of sorts to Taconi and Claude. This one is set in the 21st century, and has Bindi and Josh Howard, grandsons of the original characters, finding heart stopping dangers while on walkabout in the vast outback country. And YES, there are Dreamtime spirits, a Medicine Man determined to see Josh dead, and a near death experience or two before the grand finale. The story begins with a nasty lie, and ends when the sibling rivalry between Josh and his older brother is faced head on. The title is “Survival by Walkabout.”
What well known writers do you admire most?
I am reading the Kite Runner by Kahled Hosseini at the moment, and I have just finished his, A Thousand Splendid Suns. This is an author who makes the blood and anguish of the ordinary Afghani citizen seep onto the pages. No newspaper or TV coverage could get into the hearts and minds of these people like his powerful and evocative sentences. I am in awe of his talent and command of English. My heart aches for the women – down-trodden, undervalued, and often classed as worthless by their men-folk. To think too deeply about their plight is to remain forever sleepless.
What do you surround yourself with in your work area in order to help your concentrate?
Soft classical music, good lighting, lots of notes, so as not to forget what is important, and a really good printer-copier. Photos of trips toChina,Australia,Europe and all over theUS. Photos of grandkids galore.
What do you recommend I do with all those things I wrote years ago but have never been able to bring myself to show anyone?
Once a year have a “Save or Scrap” day. This is also a good time to throw out all the stuff that is defunct, useless or plain crappy. A clean desk and drawers makes you feel. . . well, totally ”Virtuous!” Read those old clunkers – you never know, maybe one of them has possibilities. The rest? Toss ‘em out!
Is there anything else you would like to share with us?
Listen, I’ve already “shared” so much, I feel as if I’m on, that, “Margot Finke. . . This Is Your Life! World of Ink, it’s all YOUR fault! Not sure whether to thank you or apologize. You made me dig deep, mate.
I thank you for taking the time to share with me and my readers about being an author.
Taconi and Claude-Double Trouble – A coming of age story for a young aboriginal boy in the Aussie outback. The time is 1950, and Taconi is pulled in different directions by his dad’s problems, a scary man ceremony, The Dreamtime Spirits, and an elusive magic feather. His only mate is a chatty cockatoo with a parade of funny one-liners. A tribal gathering finally offers answers Taconi can accept.
Ruthie and the Hippo’s Fat Behind – rhyming PB Ruthie becomes a brat when her parents move far from home. Her parents tear their hair. Ruthie
just scowls and throws tantrums. What is the problem? Then a wonderful surprise changes everything for the better.
Horatio Humble Beats the Big D – rhyming PB – Horatio is a smart boy who can’t read. When he hears the word Dyslexia he refuses to try Special Ed Class. But go he does: and the results are amazing.
Margot Finke is offering a FREE short story to anyone who buys a hard copy of her
book Taconi and Claude from her website http://mysite.ncnetwork.net/restbcm8/Margot%27s%20Books.htm#other
*Margot Finke will give 3 extra books as freebies people can win (one of each book) These winners will be picked at random by SFC during the tour from comments left by followers of each hosts blog.
*PLUS – anyone who leaves a comment on one of the host’s blogs + their e-mail, Margot will send them theFREE Bonus time-travel story as promised.
Month of World of Ink Tour: June 2011
Title of Book(s) up to six books per tour:
Taconi and Claude – Double Trouble – mid-grade adventure
Horatio Humble Beats the Big D – dyslexia PB
Ruthie and the Hippo’s Fat Behind – about change PB
Publisher: Guardian Angel Publishing – all 3
Taconi and Claude:
Paperback ISBN: 978-1-61633-130-6; 1616331305
eBook ISBN: 978-1-61633-131-3; 1616331313
Ruthie and the Hippo’s Fat Behind:
Print ISBN 13: 978-1-61633-059-0
eBook ISBN 13: 978-1-61633-060-6
Horatio Humble Beats the Big D
Print ISBN: 978-1-61633-101-6; 1616331011
eBook ISBN: 978-1-61633-102-3; 161633102X
Taconi and Claude: March 2011
Ruthie and the Hippo’s Fat Behind: Jan 2011
Horatio Humble Beats the Big D – March 2011
Author’s Name or Pen Name:
Taconi and Claude: M. E. Finke
Ruthie and the Hippo’s Fat Behind: Margot Finke
Horatio Humble Beats the Big D – Margot Finke
Author Website: http://www.margotfinke.com
Help for writers + Manuscript Critique Service, my BOOK Info + how and where to
** BUY any Autographed hard cover book, and get a FREE (pdf) time-travel BONUS Book, featuring characters from my 3 latest books – Taconi, Ruthie and Horatio.
Blog Address: Margot’s Magic Carpet – All 11 of Margot’s books on the one page + links to Reviews, Book Trailers, Samples, Illustrations, Teacher’s Guide and aFREE Bonus Book etc. http://perfectmagiccarpet.blogspot.com/
Hook Kids on Reading: http://hookkidsonreading.blogspot.com/
Margot’s Books for Kids + Writing News: http://margotfinke.blogspot.com/
Twitter URL: http://twitter.com/#!/Margot10
Facebook URL: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=507512148
Facebook Fan Page URL:
MY Books – on theGAP Author page. http://www.guardianangelpublishing.com/authors&books.htm
Places where book(s) are available for sale: Amazon, B&N, Powell’s Books, Fictionwise, Publisher and more. BUY Autographed books and get a FREE Bonus Book: http://www.margotfinke.com
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My name is Ella Johnson. I started Mymcbooks to promote reading. As a former teacher, I know that making basic education fundamentals interesting to children can be challenging. Education can be fun, exciting and captivating for children with the right learning tools. So my goal is to “make learning interesting and fun” for the children while they learn, by introducing them to fun books with colorful and captivating illustrations.
In 2009, I start the giveaway program giving away free school supplies at random to 2 winners each year. I also started a monthly free giveaways for books and gifts.
August 2010, I extended the free school supplies from 2 to 5 winners at random on my blog and also give away 20 bags full of school supplies to familes in need at Chick-fil-A in Brandon, Florida during their family nights. And in 2012, I beat my that number and gave away a lot of school supplies to needy families. Hopefully, I can continue to do this each year.
In 2011, I started writing reviews on children’s books then giving these books away free on Mymcbooks Blog. I increase the number of books we giveaway free to help support parent. My goal is to give away as many as I can each year. This is also a great way to introduce parents to new books.
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Read Interview about Ella Johnson, http://melangeofcultures.wordpress.com/2011/07/31/interview-with-ella-johnson-founder-of-memorable-children-books-gifts/ Interviewer: Nicole Weaver
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