Maggie M. Larche is the author of The Mardi Gras Chase and numerous other books that can be found at her website.
INTERVIEW CONDUCTED BY:
1. Why Mardi Gras?
I first moved to Mobile, Alabama, the birthplace of Mardi Gras, when I started college. I quickly learned that it is a BIG deal here. You can feel the Mardi Gras influence year-round, but for about two weeks, it is completely overtakes the city. Everybody is involved with different organizations or has their own favorite parades. Kids get out of school for the final days, and businesses shut down.
It's a very exciting experience, especially for someone who didn't grow up here. I wanted to capture that feeling of excitement for my readers. Maybe they can't be here in person, but they can feel the season through my book.
2. Where did you get your inspiration for this book/series?
I was toying with the idea of writing some standalone novels for girls. The Mardi Gras Chase was the first, but I had a few other stories in the works as well. I got the idea to put them together in a series when I realized what bound them all together -- unique female characters with strong relationships with their friends and families.
All of my True Girls stories are different, and the lead characters in each definitely run the gamut, but they share a common thread of heart, intelligence, and friendship.
3. Why did you choose to write a mystery?
Mysteries are so much fun. Even as an adult, they're still some of my favorite books to read. Plus, the mystery angle tied in nicely with Mardi Gras, which is full of secrets.
4. What is your favorite book of all time? Favorite author?
Though it may be cliched, my favorite book is still Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. I first read it when I was 14, and it has stuck with me in the many years since.
5. How many books have you written?
I just released my 7th book, Stepping Up, the third True Girls story. It features Jenna, a dancer who tries to start her own dance school. Things don't go quite as she expects...
6. How many books are going to be in this series?
I never know at the outset how many books will end up in a series. As long as the ideas keep coming to me, I will keep writing them!
7. Any advice for young writers?
Keep reading. We learn how to write our own stories from seeing the successes and failures of other authors. It's a tricky thing, developing taste, but lots and lots of reading is the key.
Also, when you are writing your own work, remember that there really aren't any rules. You can write about anything that interests you. It doesn't have to be the trend of the moment.
8. What do you think of our blog?
I love it. So many online reviews of children's books are actually written by adults. It's nice to hear directly from you kids for a change. Plus, it's pretty awesome how you and your sisters are able to band together and create a big project like your blog. Kudos to you and your mom!
9. Any other interesting facts/info about you or your book that you would like to share?
Before staying home to raise my kids, I worked as an economist. My first children's book, Striker Jones, features a kid detective who solves mysteries using economics principles. The books can be read alone, but they are also being used in thousands of classrooms around the world for social studies. Even years later, Striker is my most popular character!
Thank you to Michaela for the questions and the review!
Thank you Ms. Larche for your time and support with our blog! We couldn't do this without authors and supporters like you!