Welcome to Library Lions interviews. Raising a Roar for Libraries

Welcome to Library Lions interviews. Raising a Roar for Libraries

Friday, July 13, 2012


Welcome to Library Lions interviews Raising a Roar for libraries and the outstanding librarians serving youth in schools and public libraries across the U.S. Please Roar today’s guest author Maureen McQuerry. Maureen has stopped by to share her Library Love with us.

Welcome Maureen. Tell us a bit about yourself.
I write novels for teens, adults and anyone who loves reading.  I’ve wanted to be a writer since I was six. I came to novels through writing and publishing poetry.  One day I realized that if I didn’t pursue my dreams, it just might never happen.  The Peculiars, a steam-punk adventure, debuted in May 2012 and I have two more YA books coming out next year also with Abrams/Amulet: Beyond the Door and Time Out of Time.  I still write poetry and publish in literary journals.  I teach writing at Columbia Basin College and I visit schools as often as I can.

 Library Love When You Were a Cub
My mother took me to get my first library card when I was very young. It was my prize possession. I could walk or ride my bike to the library from my house in San Jose, CA. It seemed like a magical place to me, with secret benches in outdoor gardens and of course aisles and aisles of books. It was peaceful. My home wasn’t always that way. The first time I went on my own, I checked out armfuls of books and kept them past the due date. I was terrified to return them and face the wrath of a librarian, which meant I kept them even longer. When I finally got up the courage, the middle-aged Chinese man at the desk just smiled at me, asked me which book I liked best and waived the fee. I was so relieved, not just because of the money, but because he smiled. I kept coming back, still had overdue books, but the kind librarian never made me pay and he always smiled.

Author’s Roar

We have a new library in our town Richland, WA. It has floor length windows and a fireplace. I love to bring my laptop there in the winter and write while I watch the snow fall.

Libraries are so deep a part of my subconscious that they show up in all my books, but I didn’t realize that until recently. In The Peculiars, Mr. Beasely’s Zepher house has a fantastic library of artifacts and books. And it’s full of mysteries as all good libraries are. Lena and Jimson Quiggly end up working there. In Beyond the Door (Amulet fall 2013) and Time Out of Time (Amulet spring 2013) a librarian accompanied by a shapeshifting wolf helps three teens on their quest to find the Stone of Destiny and their true identities.
Libraries open the world to students. I know this, as a teacher, as a reader, as a writer. What better to place to put our tax dollars than into a place that opens our imaginations, shows other points of view and teaches us what it means to be human?

 Hooray for ALA!  
I just attended ALA in LA. My entire publishing team from Abrams/Amulet was there and my agent came too. I was kept busy the entire time with a book signing, Book Buzz panel and presenting at a luncheon for librarians in downtown Disney. I loved being surrounded by people who love books!

(photo-with Editor and VP of Abrams/Amulet)

(ALA Abrams booth)

 A Lion’s Pride of Programs
I love school visits!

(Park Middle School)

Maybe it’s all the years I spent in the classroom, but there’s nothing better than talking to students about writing.

(photo collage—Park Middle School)
And I try to do as many visits as I can each year often with my writing friend Stephen Wallenfels. Teachers and librarians can browse through our school visit menu on my website. We recently presented a high school workshop on building conflict.

(Maureen and Steve in Tinhat)
 This year I’m looking forward to Cavalcade of Authors in Richland, WA organized by librarian Michelle Lane. Great authors, lots of student readers and a whole day to talk about books!
Let’s Link Up
Website: MaureenMcQuerry  

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/AuthorMaureenMcQuerry

Thank you, Maureen, for your terrific interview!

 Love Libraries? Give a Roar in “Comments” below.

Note to Librarians: If you’re a Youth Librarian working in a school or public library we’d love to hear about you and your library. Contact Janet at jlcarey@hotmail.com for an interview slot. 

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