INTERVIEW WITH MARGARET FIELAND

       Hello Margaret.  It’s so nice of you to stop by today and chat
       with me. Tell me a few things about yourself and your writing
       life.
      
       I am a professional computer software engineer. I write poetry and
       children’s fiction. I have three grown sons, and my partner has a
       grown son and daughter. We live in the suburbs west of Boston
       with a large number of dogs (five at present). I am also a serious amateur
       musician, and I play the flute and the piccolo.
      
       What is your favourite book and/or author?
       
        Lewis Carroll, “Alice in Wonderland” is my all-time favorite
        book. I used to reread it every exam time when I was in college, as
        I would give up going to the library in order to concentrate on
        studying. Then I’d suffer book withdrawal and reread Alice. I also
        taught myself to wiggle my ears while studying for exams.
       
        When did you become interested in writing, and what were some
        of your inspirations?
       
        I have written poetry since I was a teenager, now many years
        ago, but didn’t take my writing seriously until about five or six
        years ago, when I wrote a poem I wanted to keep. I earn my living
        as a computer software engineer, and perhaps as a result, I’m very
        concerned about both data loss and accessibility. As a result, I
        looked around for someplace online I could stash my poems. I
        found a writing community or two.
       
        One thing led to another, and I started submitting poetry for
        publication. I became hooked on poetry writing. I only started writing
        after I attended the first Muse Online Writing Conference
        http://www.freewebs.com/themuseonlinewritersconference/
        and hooked up with Linda Barnett Johnson and her writing forums
        http://www.lindabarnett-johnson.com/WritingForums.html
        and started writing fiction. If it were not for Lea Schizas, Carolyn
        Howard-Johnson and Linda Barnett Johnson I’d never have
        written a word of fiction. As a writer, they are my inspirations.
        
        Does being a musician help with your writing? If so, how?
      
       Being a musician has influenced my ear for meter and rhyme, and,
       I think, to my ear for language in general. It’s so much a part of me
       that I can’t point to any one thing. Without it, however, I’d be a
       very different sort of writer.
      
       Tell us a bit about your current writing projects.
      
       I’m just finishing up the first draft of my second novel, about
       a girl whose parents are divorcing and who wants to go to music camp.
       She started out playing the flute, but at the suggestion of a musician
       friend, she takes up the bassoon. There’s also a boy next door
       involved.
       I also continue to write and submit my poetry to zines,
       both print and online.
      
       My book, “The Angry Little Boy,” will be published by 4RV
       Publishing, LLC, in early 2012.
      
       What were the challenges of writing a fantasy type story like
       you did about a very real topic divorce?
      
       My story isn’t a fantasy just straight fiction, but I agree
       that writing about subjects such as divorce and death for middle grade
       kids is kind of touchy which may explain why there’s so little of
       it, comparatively speaking.
      
       You are a gifted poet, Margaret. Does your poetry help with
       writing for children?
      
       Everything I write helps. And I do enjoy writing light-hearted
       verse. Children’s publications seem to be a bit more open to accepting
       this than some adult venues. That hasn’t stopped me from writing
       it   it’s just plain too much fun.
      
       What are your writing goals?
      
       Keep writing and get published. Continue to work on my
       writing, both my poetry and fiction writing. Perhaps write a YA
       fantasy or science fiction novel, or a novel for adults at some point.
      
      
       Do you have any tips for aspiring writers that you would like to
       share?
      
       Don’t ever underestimate the value of being organized, of
       knowing what you’ve written and being able to put your hands on
       it. It wasn’t until I started to do this that I gained any kind of
       perspective on my writing.
      
       Also, study your craft. I wrote the first draft of The Angry
       Little Boy in a weekend. Then I spent the next year or two learning
       enough about writing to rewrite and revise it. I ended up taking the
       Institute of Children’s Literature basic course, among other things,
       which I found extremely helpful.
      
       Thank you so much for stopping by Margaret. I really enjoyed
       getting to know you better. You are a true inspiration to me. Do
       you have any last words?
      
       Keep writing. Keep submitting. Know both your worth and
       your weaknesses as a writer. Develop a thick skin, but always be open
       to suggestions, and know which ones to take and which ones to
       leave.

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6 thoughts on “INTERVIEW WITH MARGARET FIELAND

  1. Irene, you asked if my name was Margaret or Peggy. My mother named me Margaret so she could call me Peggy. I use Margaret when I write. My family mostly call me Peggy (or Peg, or Mom, or hey, you).

    Thanks for hosting me today.

    • Hi Margaret,

      Thanks for the clarification. I think that is so enchanting. My Mom called me Sunny. I still love that nickname. It was such a blast interviewing you. I got to know you better as well. Thanks so much.

      Irene

  2. It’s nice to learn about Margaret because usually she’s the one doing the interviewing on her blog! Thanks for the interview and some insight into Margaret’s writing world! 🙂

  3. Margaret, my favorite book when I was a child was also Alice in Wonderland. I got a copy when I was very sick. I think I was 8 and still have it! I have reread it so many times. When I read Alice Through the Looking Glass I loved that too. It’s a shame that they have mixed up both books for kids with the Disney version.:)

    I was privileged to be one of the first people to read The Angry Little Boy in our critique group and I knew that she had a great book then. After going through a similar experience, only we didn’t lose any family members, I can understand how he felt. I haven’t read the final version yet!

    As for your poetry, I am always surprised how you can say so much in rhyme. I look forward to seeing your take on the prompts each Wednesday. Margaret and I post our poems on a poetry comments board.

    Thank you for featuring Margaret and now you should come over to my blog and visit there along with a spot on my radio show.:)

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