Author Spotlight: Maxine Rose Schur
Oct. 21, 2022
We are pleased to feature author Maxine Rose Schur and her picture book, FINLEY FINDS HIS FORTUNE, illustrated by Olga Alaimo (Lawley Enterprises), out on Nov. 15. Enter to win a copy!
Tell us about yourself and how you came to write for children.
I always wanted to be an actress and in my twenties I lived in New Zealand for five years where I became both a film editor and a professional actress. However when my first child was born, I saw that acting was a difficult profession if you're a mom, so I turned my attention to writing. My first stories for children came from my experiences on a year and a half trip I took around the world and they were published by the New Zealand Department of Education. My first two children's books were published there as well and before I knew it, I had also become a children's book reviewer for a magazine: Australia/New Zealand Bookworld.
Congrats on your picture book, Finley Finds his Fortune! Tell us about the story and what inspired you.
Years ago I visited the last river-powered silk mill in England, I was awed by the look and sound of the rushing water to provide the power for the looms. This inspired me to write Finley Finds his Fortune, a classic folk tale with the magic of three and a moral but also showing the workings of a grain mill.
Was your road to publication long and winding, short and sweet, or something in between?
Someting in between. I was fortunate to be published very quickly in New Zealand. When I returned to the United States, I was also fortunate to be given a full time job writing stories, poems and articles for a 6th grade language arts textbook. This was not only great fun but a wonderful training ground to hone my writing. After that I got some books published quickly while others took years... and years! The key to publishing is persistence. I don't give up---ever.
What projects are you working on now?
I just finished a picture book--- this time for very young children and I also just finished a YA novel. Currently I'm working on an advanced picture book biography about a woman I had interviewed years ago in Mexico who was a teenage Holocaust refugee who sought asylum in Mexico and came to be the world's expert on Mexico's indiginous cultures and their folk art. I'm also, of course, busy promoting my new books--Finley Finds his Fortune and The Peddler's Gift, a sweet Hanukkah tale with beautiful illustrations that won the Sydney Taylor Award.
What advice would you give to an aspiring author?
Write a story you are eager to tell. Take a writing course and join a writer's group. Read the best kids' books. Read a lot! Also, as mentioned, be peristent. Don't give up after a few rejections. Develop a thick skin and keep writing and submitting!
What is one thing most people don't know about you?
Well I think most people who know me pretty much know the main things about me! I love to travel, have a wonderful husband and two wonderful sons, and three terrific grandchildren. I work in the high-tech industry as a communications consultant. They know that my award-winning book of travel essays, Places in Time, will be reprinted in 2023. Perhaps they don't know that I love art and art history and used to teach that as part of a Humanities course I taught the community college level.
Where can people find you online?
Maxine Rose Schur is an award-winning author of books for children. As the recipient of the Joan G. Sugarman Award given by the Washington Independent Writer’s Legal and Educational Fund, Ms Schur was the Baker-Nord Guest Lecturer on Writing for Children to the Humanities faculty at Case Western Reserve University. She has also twice won the Sydney Taylor Award for the most outstanding contribution to Jewish children’s literature in North America. She teaches both travel writing and children’s book writing at conferences and colleges nationwide.
Maxine Rose Schur began her career as a documentary and feature film editor for the New Zealand National Film Unit and later became a full-time children’s writer for Addison-Wesley publishing. She has also written original children’s fiction for Hampton Brown, Scholastic, Houghton-Mifflin, Harcourt Brace, Mattel’s The American Girl’s Collection, Heinemann, and the BBC television program Play School.
Maxine has also designed original fun, educational children’s software through her own company Wordwright with clients including The Children’s Television Workshop, Atari, Tomy Toys and the Los Angeles Museum of Science and Industry.
a Rafflecopter giveaway