I was lucky to catch up with Margot Finke, a busy author of wonderfully crafted children’s books. She is currently touring three of her recently released books, Taconi and Claude: Double Trouble, Ruthie and the Hippo’s Fat Behind, and Horatio Humble Beats the Bid “D”.
Finke is an Aussie transplant to America who writes midgrade adventure fiction and rhyming picture books. Margot did not begin serious writing until the day her youngest left for college. This late start drives her writing, and pushes her to work at it every day.
Margot said: “I really envy those who began young, and managed to slip into writing mode between kid fights, diaper changes, household disasters, and outside jobs. You are my heroes!”
Margot knew young readers, even reluctant ones, like rhyming books and she was lucky enough to have the rhyme gene embedded in her bones, as she puts it. Margot also understood that kids also love animals. “It seemed logical to combine the two. After a long and involved labor (lots of pain and writing contractions) I gave birth to my “Wild and Wonderful Series,” said Margot.
Her first books, a 7x book rhyming series, it 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. Remember, kids today are computer savvy, and ALL 11 of my books (both hard copy and eBooks) can be viewed on Margot’s Magic Carpet,,” states Margot.
I have had the opportunity to read Margot’s books. I found them entertaining and engaging not only for children, but also for us parents as well.
Ruthie and the Hippo’s Fat Behind is a rhyming picture book. 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 and how will her parents teach Ruthie to accept change? Then a wonderful surprise changes everything for the better.
Horatio Humble Beats the Big “D” is another rhyming picture book. In this book, Horatio is a smart boy who cannot read. When he hears the word Dyslexia, he refuses to try Special Ed Class. Nevertheless, go he does and the results are amazing.
Taconi and Claude-Double Trouble is a midgrade adventure for boys and tomboys. It is 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.
Margot spent the first half on her life in Australia, so the setting for this book is very familiar to her. There is a glossary of the fun Aussie words, as well as the aboriginal ones. “This book was a labor of love,” states Margot. “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.”
Many wonder if Margot was born with a pen in hand. She has a way with words and is able to bring adventure and humor to all her books. “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,” said Margot.
Stories for Children Publishing will be touring her books all month long in June 2011. There will be giveaways, reviews, interviews, guest posts and more. Margot will be checking in throughout the tour and is offering an additional giveaway for those who leave comments throughout the tour.
In addition, come listen to Blog Talk Radio’s World of Ink Network show. The hosts VS Grenier, Kris Quinn Chirstopherson and Irene Roth will chat with Margot about her books, writing, the publishing industry and experiences with virtual tours. Margot will also be sharing writing tips and the trials, and tribulations, of a writer’s life.