Q: When did you publish your first book?
My first book was Dragonflies Are Amazing, published in 2006 with Scholastic Education Canada. I went on to have more than 40 children’s books traditionally published, but that’s still one of my favourites.
Q: What led you to the path of becoming an author?
I think there’s a difference between writing and becoming an author. I’ve always written, but I think it takes encouragement to actually become an author. It’s not an easy choice. And I’ve had a lot of encouragement: teachers, neighbours, family members, friends, writing groups and associations, contests, funding agencies, publications and publishers willing to publish my work, and finally readers willing to read it. It’s a long path and it can feel very lonely unless you look around and see how many people are climbing it with you.
Q: What is the name of your most recent work?
Water Sight (Last of the Gifted, Book 2).
Q: Can you share with us, readers, what your latest book is about?
Sure, I’d love to. In 1282 Wales, Catrin is a 15-year-old Welsh noblewoman who can see the future in a drop of water. Her gift may be the only hope in finding three relics for the last Prince of Wales – if she can outwit the English nobleman who wants to use her gift to capture the prince. Her brother Hyw is on the run with the prince and the dwindling Welsh army. He can transform into any bird or animal. But betrayal dogs their heels, and Hyw takes refuge in his gift until it threatens his humanity. With her brother trapped in his magic and her betrothed in a English jail, Catrin faces an impossible choice: save her brother, or save the one she loves.
Q: How difficult is it to create a story to publish?
I think some people might find it easy. I think the real challenge is to create a story people enjoy reading. Getting published depends more on the type of story, the author, and the marketplace at any given time. Markets change a lot from year to year, so I think it might be difficult to create a story to publish, as such. I try to create a story that means something to me, find markets where it would be publishable, approach those markets as skillfully as I can, and work hard on the story and my presentation of it until it’s accepted. From time to time, publishers have approached me to write a book, and that takes work because you have the added challenge of matching your idea to an editor’s idea of a story that people want to read. But the most important thing, I think, is to write something so that readers will enjoy reading it.
Q: What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Accept the challenge. Read a lot, write a lot, be willing to take risks, and always keep learning. And above all, if you want to be published, then write for readers.
Q: Using only three words, how would describe your writing style?
Readable, accessible, well-paced (or striving to be)
(From reviewers: “eloquent” “gripping” “lyrical” “riveting” “well-researched” “peppered with unexpected twists” “expertly crafted”)
Q: Where can readers find you and your work online?
My website: https://mariepowell.ca
Twitter: @mepowell (https://twitter.com/mepowell)
Instagram: @mariepowellauthor (https://www.instagram.com/mariepowellauthor/)
Watch this video: Spirit Sight