Why is writing important to you and why do you think it's an important medium for the world? Writing for children is opening their minds and eyes to the world of possibilities around them. It provides positive role models, allowing them the vision to be anything they want to be. It is an escape for lonely children, for children whose own worlds are less than perfect. It is a safe place for children to wander, exploring a life free of worry and restrictions. Books are worlds filled with fun and wild excitement.
What are your tried and tested remedies to cure writer's block? When I was a teacher, I had my students fill up a page with random ideas they could write about. When I assigned a writing task, they had a list they could turn to. As a writer, I have that same list. Some ideas are so random, they might never see the pages of a book, but some turn into stories when no other ideas spring forward.
What is your favorite time to write? I'm usually stealing moments here and there to write. I do like early evenings best, but time to write competes with life more often than not.
What's the best piece of writing advice you've ever received and would like to impart to other writers? Write it down!! Seriously, when an idea springs into your head, write it down. You will NOT remember it. I keep paper and pencils or pens with me at all times. I have notes scribbled on my phone. Also, remember to check those various places where you've scribbled down those notes. Sometimes I run across an idea from months (ok, or sometimes years) ago and I turn it into a story.
What excites you most about being a writer in today's age? I love getting stories I write into the hands of children. There's something very rewarding in hearing a parent tell me they've had to read my book to their kid every night for the past three weeks. (I do apologize at that point.) I have a new grandson and I'm excited that he'll have a board book, a picture book and a chapter book from me to follow his reading journey.
Marcia Berneger's A Dreidel in Time, illustrated by Beatriz Castro, is out now with Kar-Ben Publishing.