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Interview with Author Maryann Tatro of ‘Milton the Square Shell Turtle’

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Maryann TatroMaryAnn Tatro attended Southern Ohio Business College and received a degree in Office Administration and Communication. She also attended Cooper School of Art for one year and took with her a love to create, design and color. She worked several years for a publishing company in Cleveland while raising her son Ryan. Tatro grew up in a suburb of Cleveland, Ohio, but her heart is in the country. She currently lives in Wadsworth, Ohio with her husband Dennis of 20 years and their cat. She and her husband enjoy nature walks, antiques, yard sales and being with family.

When reading Tatro’s debut children’s picture book, Milton the Square Shell Turtle, you get the since she loves the written word from her literary writing style. However, she didn’t start out with the idea to become a writer. It was her husband Dennis who influenced and supported her decision to publish a children’s picture book.

“I love children and love to see them happy. Reading can be a tool to create happiness. Reading will also bond a child and parent closer, even from birth. As a mother and grandmother, such things are important to me,” said Maryann. “My favorite part of writing for children is to see them happy and knowing my book(s) did that. Not just the story itself, but the illustrations and the message a book will leave on the child.”

Tatro said that the greatest challenge for her as an author is making sure her story’s message and words are approachable and parents will enjoy the story just as much as the child. She currently writes for ages 0-7, but all ages are important to her.

Her debut children’s picture book is about a turtle named Milton. Unlike other turtles with round or oval shells, Milton has a square shell. One afternoon, he decides to take a walk around the pond, but he soon discovers home is the best place to relax.

Tatro was inspired to write this story when she heard some disappointing news about the tile her son painted 20 years earlier. “I thought the tile would be disposed of, so I wanted to keep the memory alive in a book, and from that, Milton was born,” shared Maryann.

Getting published hasn’t changed Tatro or how people treat her, not that she would want it too either. “I don’t want to be treated any different than if I never wrote a book. I haven’t changed. Once in awhile someone will congratulate me and I’m sure I turn 50 shades of red,” said Maryann.

I think Tatro and Milton have a lot in common. I hope they both stay the way they are forever as they are an inspiration to the rest of us to be happy as we are and not to worry about pleasing others.

Readers can purchase a copy from Halo Publishing, which has a bookstore here. You can also find the book at Amazon, eBay or Barnes and Noble.

Tatro is working on another Milton book, or two. “I love to write and I will continue,” said Maryann. We all hope she does and look forward to another Milton book and lesson he has to share with us.

You can find out more about MaryAnn Tatro on her World of Ink Tour.

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