Margot Finke, Children's Author (PB to MG)
I have lived in Oregon for many years, yet my heart still beats to the Down Under tune where i was born. I met my American husband in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, where we were both in the business of selling Tropical fish--him wholesale and me retail. The rest, as they say, is history. Three children later we moved to Oregon, and we have lived there ever since--all in the same "out of town" house.
Surounded by trees, birds and the flowers, our large gardens and country setting was the perfect place to raise our children. We feed the birds, squirrels and chipmunks, and enjoy watching them bathe and drink from our water fountains. Nothing beats sitting outdoors at the end of the day and enjoying what nature brings to to our yard. We are grandparents to four delightful kids, and are blessed with a warm and loving family. As a child, I was always terrible at math, yet terrific at English and writing. I definately received a double dose of the writing gene! It runs on my Father's side of the family. So I wrote from an Early age. I still have the hand written story I wrote at the age of 10 years.
About my company
I have always thought of reading and Writing as a Magic Carpet Ride to fun, fascinating places, and wild adventures. So, naming my business A Magic Carpet of Books was a no brainer. To date, I have 16 x books for children published--from picture books to mid-grades. Many have Aussie themes and their unique animals. Others were written with helping kids with problens in mind. All my books offer either fun facts, elements that are educational, are multicultural, or have a sneaky message that kid-readers will absorb. For an author, knowing your reader is vital. Many hours have been spent on researching optimum sales venues. A book is eventualy finished--but promotion goes on until you drop dead
I have targeted online sites and groups that include parents, children, book clubs, teachers, schools, and wherever those who might buy kids' books tend to hang out. Since the advent of SKYPE, I have been able to visit classrooms on a Global scale--awesome! Crafting Presentations that are fun and educational, easy on teachers, + lots of FREEBIES, is the secret. I and my Magic Carpet of Books can be found on the following Internet sites: Twitter, Facebook Google+, Linkedin and Alignable.
I chose this career path because
I have been a writer and an avid reader since I was a very young girl. I still have my hand written first story. I was ten years old. For me, not writing is unthinkable! My Magic Carpet of 16 Books is what happens when a passionate writer stays a kid at heart. I love to HOOK kids on reading, and use active, powerful and evocative words. I like to paint pictures with words. My books are influenced by my earlier work as a Teacher's aide, and also memories of growing up Down Under. My older books weave in tales my mother told me, as well as family members. The challenge of crafting fast-paced fun adventures that include some sneaky "life truths" is hard to beat. Kids WILL READ is you give them a book that matches their intrests. It must lure them from page-to-page with action, fun, and new elements to ponder. The challenge to get kids reading pushes me to keep writing.
I prepared for this career by
I am self-taught when it comes to writing. Reading a wide range of books taught me a lot. When the Internet became a reality, I joined what used to be called the CW list on Yahoo--it is still there. Several talented and now well published authors mentored me. I owe them so much. Joining a critique group also helped me refine and polish my manuscripts, as well as reading those of othgers. You can learn a bunch of great things by reading the MS of many other writers-now all published and succeessful.
You could say I learned by doing. I made all the mistakes a writers can possibly execute. I learned the hard way! The best advice I can offer upcoming writers is to STICK WITH IT! Writing success never comes easy. Behind every successful author you will find drawers full of rejections, hours waiting for "That " special email or acceptance lette, + so many rewrites they would fill a hard drive. . . and then some! Yet we go on writing and hoping!
The biggest challenge I've overcome
The biggest challenge I faced professionally, was landing a contract for my first book. Once publishd, and provided you keep up the writing quality, and offer what the publisher wants, it does become easier. This is a hard field to break into, and today Publishers are way picky! I often suggest people focus on a small publishing house to begin with. This is what I did. Only later, when I had a steady readership, did I tiptoe into Self-Publishing. RESEARCH was always my best friend. Research to find the right publisher, the right sel- publisheror, or an illustrator who would create a masterpiece, without tou having to sell off your first child to pay for it. RESEARCH is always the answer. Then, check out the references they offer-under a microscope!
My greatest strength(s)
My greatest strengths are the evocative and powerful words that usually pop into my head at just the right time. I can't paint on canvas to save my life, but words help me paint a scene kids can really SEE after reading it.
Also, an afinity with my kid readers. I still remember what I felt as a dufus grade scholer, a lost mid-grader, and a teen wannabe. Another strength is my ability to create rhyme and meter that sings along smoothly, yet tells a cool tale. Many of my picture books are in rhyme. I guess being a kid at heart helps if you write for children.
My greatest accomplishment to date
Apart form my three kids (so awesome!) and my wonderful husband, it is the books I have written. When a student I have Skyped with tells me Rattlesnake Jam is his favorite Book, or a class stands up and claps madly after i have read them a chapter from one of my books--that gives me a high no drug can match. My ultimate wish is that kids who read and love my books will read them to their kids, and then their kids will read them to their kids--and on and on
My personal/professional goals
I simply want to go on writing books that kids love to read.
What/Who has inspired me the most
What inspires me most is the response I get from kid readers. Or when I get a wonderful review from someone I admire. And when a child tells me that their favorite book is one of mine, I am elated and inspired.
I most want to be known/remembered for
Remembered as a good and loving wife, moher and grandmother- and of course that my books made a difference.
I participate in the following organizations/memberships
RED RIVER WritersConnected Classrooms-Google +Collaborating with Classrooms around the WorldThe Purple Crayon
Global Ed: Students connecting to the world:
I have received the following Honors/Awards/Scholarships
Never applied for any awards.
I support the missions of these charities/volunteer my time
Heart Foundation, Red Cross, Dog Shelters, and the Democrats.
I enjoy the following hobbies/interests
I love reading, gardening and travel.