Book Giveaway & Author Interview: Growing Up Gracie by Maggie Fechner

Welcome to Author Maggie Fechner:

About Maggie:

I was born and raised in Wyoming–the land that I love. Being a first child and having a phenomenal mother, I was read to all the time. I entered my first “Young Author’s” contest in first grade. When I won, I was able to meet the author of a children’s book (I now have no idea who this was).

I was a quick reader and I loved to write. I wrote a lot of poetry and entered poems in National Poetry contests. When I heard one of my poems was published in a book I was quite excited. I later learned that EVERYONE’s poems were published in that book and it was only a ploy to get people to buy the $50 book, which of course, my family did not buy.

It didn’t deter me though. I became the editor of my high school newspaper, won the Wyoming Journalist of the Year award, and went on to earn a degree in Journalism from Eastern Washington University. I worked as a reporter, columnist and features writer for three community newspapers. I also worked on short stories and continued my ever-expanding personal journal. It is several hundred pages and covers over 20 years of my life (which I am sure no one will EVER want to read).

I then took a major life break to, well, start my life. I got married to my best friend and we started a family. I kept up my journal, but didn’t do a whole lot of writing otherwise. That was until I had my first baby and delved into Growing Up Gracie. I wrote it and didn’t touch it again for several years. Finally I pulled it out and got back into the swing of writing and I have been going strong ever since.
I have a wonderful husband and four children who put up with my addictive love of hobbies which change frequently: photography, writing, baking, writing, genealogy, photography, running, writing, etc. etc. I usually can only focus on one thing at a time.

http://maggiefechner.blogspot.com/

Interview:

Night owl, or early bird?
Both. Early bird for writing. But night owl for having fun with friends (or taking care of babies).

Pet Peeves?
Loud clapping. Loud yelling. Loudness in general.

Tell us your most rewarding experience since being published.
Reading reviews from teen girls who don’t know me and have no reason to give me a “nice” review. I am so glad Gracie’s story is touching them!

What was your favorite book when you were a child/teen?
I loved Shel Silverstein and had “Ickle Me, Pickle Me, Tickle Me Too” memorized. Now my daughter loves the same poems.

If you could choose only one time period and place to live, when and where would you live and why?
My husband is the most amazingly handy guy you would ever meet. Dan is the guy everyone calls when they need something built or fixed. For that reason, I would pick to live in the Little House On The Prairie days in the wild west of Wyoming, of course. In a world where what you knew how to do was the most important thing, we would have been very successful (all because of him, not me!)

If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be?
In a beach house on a smaller mountain lake. We love to boat, so that would be perfect for my family.

How do you react to a bad review?
If it were downright mean, I would disregard it. But if not, I would treat it as constructive criticism and ask myself if any of the critiques were true. If so, I put the comments in a mental file on what to work on in my writing.

What’s your favorite season/weather?
My favorite season is summer because there are so many fun things to do. But, my favorite change of seasons is going into fall. I love seeing the leaves change and getting out the sweaters and apple cider.

Finish the sentence- one book I wish I had written is….
A clean version of all the books I start to read and love but then have to put down because they aren’t clean enough for my standards. Some examples are A Reliable Wife and Water For Elephants. They both had neat premises and beautiful writing, but I couldn’t finish either of them.

Give us a glimpse into a typical day in your day starting when you wake up till you lie down again.
Up at 5. Write for an hour and a half.
Breakfast, showers, prayers and scriptures, get kiddos ready for the day.
Some kids on the bus. Then we start our little “homeschool” preschool which lasts a couple hours.
Lunch
Naps. Mommy writes or cleans (only occasionally :))
Wake up and we do errands.
Kids home from bus. Chores, homework, dinner.
Bedtime. Mom and Dad watch TV or read books.
Bedtime for the grown ups as soon as the news turns to sports. Neither of us are sports fans at all.

Growing Up Gracie by Maggie Fechner:

As the fifth of six kids, it’s sometimes hard for Gracie Fremont to see what makes her special. But with the help of friends, family, and her faith, Gracie discovers that even the most ordinary girl can do extraordinary things. Told with sweetness, humor, and heart, this unique coming-of-age story will resonate with readers of all ages.

Giveaway Details:
1 copy of Growing Up Gracie
Open to US only end 3/27

Optional Extra Entry
+2 Follow Maggie’s Blog