Author Spotlight: Marcie Wessels

Photo Credit: Roxyanne Young


August 21, 2015


Today we are pleased to feature the very talented author Marcie Wessels. Marcie debut picture book, PIRATE'S LULLABY, MUTINY AT BEDTIME, launches on August 25th!

Be sure to enter into her giveaway for a signed copy!

Welcome, Marcie!

Tell us about your background and how you became a writer.

I’ve always loved books, but I never thought that I would write one. I mistakenly believed that the only way that I could be involved with books was to become a librarian or a teacher so I went to grad school to get a Ph.D. in literature. For several years, I taught at the university level, but, after the birth of my children, I did not return to my academic job. After a few years at home, I needed to find an outlet for my creativity so I decided to go back to school. I discovered classes dedicated to writing and illustrating for children at a local university and I’ve been writing ever since.

© Tim Bowers

Could you tell us a little bit about your book?

PIRATE'S LULLABY: MUTINY AT BEDTIME (Doubleday BFYR, August 25, 2015), illustrated by Tim Bowers, is the story of a little pirate who stages a mutiny to avoid bedtime. The main characters, Papa Pirate and his son, Ned, engage in a battle that most parents and children will find VERY familiar. Pirate’s Lullaby is semi-autobiographical, too. I’ll let you guess which character I identify with most!

©Tim Bowers


How did you get the inspiration for the book?

In May 2012, my family and I had a flood in our townhouse. 




I was enrolled in a picture book writing class at the time and had to come up with a story for our first assignment. The first line popped into my head one morning. But a line does not a story make. What really shaped the final version was my bout with Bell’s Palsy. When I woke up the day before Halloween, I discovered that all of my facial features had mutinied. I had a lopsided grin and an eye that wouldn’t close. 



For the next month as I recovered, I wore an eyepatch. I was still wearing the patch when I received editorial feedback on Pirate’s Lullaby. Although the manuscript featured pirates, the editor advised me to explore pirate language more fully. Little did she know how well-prepared I was to do so! During the revision process, dressing and acting like a pirate helped me revise and eventually sell my manuscript. 

What is your typical process for writing?

My process keeps changing and evolving as I keep learning and growing, but my most useful tools are the story board and the picture book dummy. I’m not an artist by any stretch of the imagination, but my little stick figures help me correct structure and pacing problems.

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

Be brave. Be bold. Be a pirate. Take risks. Conquer your fears. Set out for the unknown.

You never know what treasure the future might hold! 

Where can people find you on the internet?

My Twitter: @MarcieDWessels
Marcie Wessels (author page) www.facebook.com/MarcieWessels
Pirate’s Lullaby Facebook Page www.facebook.com/pirateslullaby
Pinterest www.pinterest.com/mwessels1970



a Rafflecopter giveaway

Marcie Wessels received a B.A. in English and Spanish from John Carroll University, an M.A. in Spanish from Bowling Green State University and a Ph.D. in Latin American Literature from Tulane University. PIRATE'S LULLABY: MUTINY AT BEDTIME (Doubleday BFYR), illustrated by Tim Bowers, is her first children’s picture book. She lives with her husband and their two children in San Diego, California. 





24 comments:

  1. Hi Marcie, I can relate to your Bell’s Palsy experience. Way to use a negative experience in a positive way. I really like the title - PIRATE'S LULLABY: MUTINY AT BEDTIME.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Manju! I never realized how common Bell's Palsy was until I had it!

      Delete
  2. Marcie's story is inspirational and funny (not about getting Bell's Palsy thought). I really appreciate her sharing it with us. Congratulations on her debut PB!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Teresa! Inspiration sure comes from a lot of places, doesn't it!

      Delete
  3. Ahoy Matey! Me book will set sail soon from the depths of Amazonland. Landlubbers. Humph!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Shiver me timbers! Lovely to hear, matey! Thank you for your enthusiasm and support!

      Delete
  4. Ahoy Matey! Me book will set sail soon from the depths of Amazonland. Landlubbers. Humph!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Congrats on your upcoming book! I loved hearing about your inspiration and process.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Best wishes to you in your writing journey, matey! ;-)

      Delete
  6. congratulations! great interview.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for reading! Best to you!

      Delete
  7. Congratulations on your book coming out this month! And thanks for the interesting post.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! Glad you enjoyed the post. Hope you enjoy the book, too!

      Delete
  8. Congratulations on your book coming out this month! And thanks for the interesting post.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I love how you used your not-so-pleasant circumstances for inspiration. Can't wait to read your book!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Inspiration comes from funny places sometimes, doesn't it?! Thank you for your enthusiasm and support!

      Delete
  10. Thank you for sharing the story behind the story. Looking forward to reading Pirate's Lullaby - and maybe I'll conduct my own bedtime mutiny ...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ha, ha! I love it! I guess you identify more closely with Ned than Papa! :)

      Delete
  11. Great to meet you through these pages - can't wait to check out your new book!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Thank you so much for hosting me here on KidLIt411, Sylvia. I appreciate all that you and Elaine do for the writing community. We all work in isolation but you've built a wonderful place to meet other wonderfully creative, like minded individuals. I learn so much from the posts and links that everyone posts and I'm proud to be a part of the kidlit community.

    ReplyDelete

Template developed by Confluent Forms LLC; more resources at BlogXpertise