Hola my lovelies! Welcome to Interview FoxSeat with guest author Mary Feliciani
Mary is a Canadian author, independent publisher and a former elementary school teacher. She attended UTM where she studied psychology and still lives in Mississauga, Ontario. Mary’s background in psychology, work with children and passionate interest in the human condition, which stems back as far as she can remember, are all evident in her writing.
Book Samples: I have three titles that I would like to share with your audience:
The Magic Leaf is about a small-town boy who learns the value of friendship. A medieval, Italian town named Roseto serves as the backdrop. The beautiful and colourful illustrations – all done in paper collage style – depict different parts of the town and journey. Although the story unfolds in a different time and place, the message is universal and timeless. The Magic Leaf is appropriate for children ages 5-7 or grades SK – grade 2.
Big and Small in the Mirror is about bullying that happens in the school environment. The two main characters, Carlo and Marco, learn the effects of bullying on their self-images and how positive relationships help them grow. The audience for Big and Small in the Mirror is an older age group (ages 8-10, grades 3-5).
I provide discussion questions at the end of the book to help parents and teachers facilitate a discussion about bullying, and to put the story in perspective.
Humanitarians, Visionaries, Heroes, and You, was published in 2012. This book is a collection of seven inspiring mini-biographies. I use the voices of Mattie Stepanek, Martin Luther King Jr., Mahatma Gandhi, the Dalai Lama, Mother Teresa, Terry Fox, Craig Kielburger, and my own reflections to encourage the reader to join a growing movement towards social responsibility and global citizenship. The book is for an older audience than the other two books I talked about (grades 5 – 8), but I think that adults will like it as well.
Why do you write? I feel compelled to write about certain subjects that I feel passionate about. A book will start off as a general idea. The subject will linger in my head for a long time while I work on other projects or tasks. Whenever those tasks are less demanding, more specific information will surface in my mind about the story line in question. I jot down sentences, events and even phrases, as they come to me on scrap paper or on my iPad. By the time I sit down to write a story most of it has been written in my head, and I am not faced with the daunting task of staring at a blank page. The student in me doesn’t like the blank page.
When did you decide to become a writer? I published my first children’s book, The Magic Leaf, in 2006. The manuscript had been written about 20 years earlier while I was in university studying psychology. It basically sat on a shelf as I went on with a teaching career. As I grew older I realized that there were so many things that I had been interested in when I was young – a bucket list of sorts – one of them had been publishing that manuscript.
How do you think you’ve evolved creatively? Good question. I think that I have evolved creatively. I am not sure how that is measured, but I know that I feel a greater appreciation for all of the arts in general. It seems easier for me now than it was before to have one idea mushroom into many others.
Writing is like all other disciplines. Practice makes any task easier. But besides the conventions of the written word becoming easier, when you write, one idea will evolve into something else, or at the very least lend itself to another idea.
There are people that I know to be good writers that say that they don’t have a book in them. Write about what you know. If you write about what you are interested in, or what you are passionate about, the words will write themselves.
Just get that first manuscript done! The first book will lead you to the second. Most authors don’t stop with one book. Lucky for us. Image wanting to read more and there not being more.
What is your favorite movie or TV show? My favourite movie has to be Cleopatra with Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton. Elizabeth Taylor was my idol in the 70s.
Who is your favorite fictional character and why? One of my favourite genres is mystery. Agatha Christie’s famous Belgian sleuth, Hercule Poirot, has to be my favourite fictional character. I love his quirky personality and the fact that his “little grey cells” can unravel any mystery.
What one person from history would you like to meet and why? I have great respect for many people in history who have wanted to make the world a better place, and so I had to give this question some thought. I would be curious to see who most people would choose.
I would have to choose Mahatma Gandhi. He believed in using nonviolent civil disobedience in order to solve political problems. He influenced other great humanitarians and visionaries such as Martin Luther King Jr., Nelson Mandela and the Dalai Lama.
If there was one thing you could do to change the world, what would it be? I think that everyone of us can change the world from our own little corner of it. Teach your children well.
Here are two of Gandhi’s quotes that apply:
“Be the change you want to see in the world.”
“If we are to reach real peace in this world, and if we are to carry on a real war against war, we shall have to begin with the children.”
Who inspires your writing? I write for children and I am inspired by them.
Many thanks Mary for sharing! For more about Mary and her work follow the links below: