Interviewing Author Margie Harding
Q1. Tell us about yourself. What are your favorite books to read?
A. I am wife to Charles (45 years); mother to five grown children; grandmother to sixteen grandchildren; a loyal friend and writer. While not currently enrolled in any formal school environment, I am a perpetual student in a variety of different subjects! I enjoy reading and learning new things. When not writing or reading, you will likely find me quilting!
While I have an AA degree in Early Elementary Education, (a degree earned in 2007, with an award for Student of the Year in Education), my passion is creative writing. As a writer, my goal is to write my best and allow God to do the rest! As a born again Christian, I want my writing to bring glory to God, my personal Savior.
Favorite books to read: Christian/spiritual books, historical fiction, autobiography and biographies, and how-to books—gardening, herbs, landscaping, quilting, etc... (I think it has something to do with the “whole learning thing”!) ☺
Q2. Where did the inspiration to write come from?
A. My first book came out in 2010 after a publisher I’d worked with on other projects contacted me (and other authors) about writing an Advent book from her particular perspective. While mine wasn’t chosen, I had so much time and energy invested, I decided I’d finish it. Another publisher picked it up and it’s still doing well! (The Christmas Countdown)
After my college experience, noted in question #1, I commented to one of my professors “I should write a book about this!” She looked at me and said, “You should!” I simply said, “I don’t know how I’d even do it!” She replied, “One piece at a time!” The rest is history! I wrote that one to inspire other “Older women” to follow their dreams! (More Than A Mom)
I have stories about The Christian Woman’s Journal and even the teen book set Moments With God, as well as the children’s books that came out before the Paxton Series—the latest project on disabilities and special needs for children. This project has 12 current books in the series with at least 50-60 more possible topics to write on. (I’ll be happy to share if anyone is interested.)
Q3. How did you come up with the titles of your books?
A. The titles of the books are contingent on what the book is about. For the Paxton Series, I try to keep it interesting for the children---something they can relate to without necessarily naming the “special need or disability” in the title, but relating it to the concept of the story. Sometimes this takes a lot of thought!
Q4. Anything you're currently working in 2019?
I will continue with the Paxton series. We are currently working on re-writing all the books into a toddler version. The books are written at the K-3 reading level. I’ve had preschools want them, but there are “too many words.” So, the goal is to cut the words in half! We are planning on finishing this process by late September. (One local school system has an entirely original set in each of the elementary schools across their county!) Once the re-writing is complete, we will continue the series with a book on cancer followed with one cleft palate and if time allows maybe do another Christmas book. (Last year’s Christmas book was on children with depression.) As mentioned, the list is VERY long and we will be working on this series for a very long time!
Q5. How long have you been writing?
I have been writing for about 30 years! For years I wrote devotionals for The Secret Place and The Upper Room. I’ve written for children’s magazines (Ranger Rick and others), Christian curriculum and more. It wasn’t until 2009 that I wrote my first book, which came out in 2010.
Q6. What advice would you like to give to other authors?
A. Don’t quit! No matter what obstacles you face, and regardless of the “naysayers,” if you want to write, then write! You must be determined to put words on paper daily, if possible (only skip a day or so if you must, because once you stop it’s really difficult to get going again!) Send your work out….again, and again, and again! And then revise and send it out again!
Q7. Where can we connect with you online?
https://www.facebook.com/Author-Margie-Harding-131698426842695/?eid=ARAQYihFUGmSi-Whs0OxdRJsGBRpRppaCybRbdcrkKAtv7Fim3esy9bLEK3ArNUP64FwQ23JRq3ccyJe (facebook—Author Margie Harding)
www.margieharding.com (my secular blog
http://margiejharding.blogspot.com (my Christian blog)
www.paxtonseries.com (my online store)
https://www.pinterest.com/margiejharding/ (I will be creating a business board soon!)
Q8. Do you plan on writing any more
books in the future?
A. Absolutely! While I am working diligently on the Paxton Series and that will be a lifelong challenge, I also am working on another Dr. Seuss styled book like my first one called Juice, Jam, Jelly. I have a Christmas one and farm one written, but there are priorities, and right now it’s getting the toddler version of Paxton Series done! The “Dr. Seuss styled” books go all the way through the alphabet and each letter has its own four-line rhyming story! It’s just a fun read for both parents and kids! ☺ I also have a curriculum in the “oven” and some Christian material in the works!
Q9. How many books have you written?
A. A lot! 25 and the re-writes of the Paxton Series. We have four finished with eight to go, to “catch up.” (Even though these are “re-writes” they are themselves, each a “new” book, with a new title and updated pictures.) When I’m caught up I’ll start “new topic” ones again!
Q10. Did you go to college to be a writer?
A. No. My major was Early Elementary Education! I was a coward! I had been writing for years and was afraid of having a professor of creative writing read my “work.” Silly, I’m sure, especially since all my other professors (English, humanities, etc.) loved my writing! I knew what it felt like getting a “rejection” from an editor and didn’t want the same thing to happen from a professor! An editor’s rejection wasn’t necessarily a reflection of my writing; but rather a bad day, isn’t what they needed, etc.! ☺ I couldn’t count on that from my professor! ☺
My professors kept me going, however, on my writing, while they may not have realized it and even though my plate was so full! ---Married, children, grandchildren, student (who wanted nothing less than an A in every class—I came close, but the Math and Sciences weren’t as kind as the English and History classes!) ☺ And then there was life and domestic duties! It was busy (and still is) but I completely enjoyed being a student!
I learned so much—even how to create a powerpoint and the usage of the computer! I discovered I enjoy “presenting” in front of an audience, which is wonderful since I now present with a power point my Paxton Series books to colleges, workshops, (recently The Maryland Literacy Conference), etc. College was quite the adventure and I feel very fortunate to have been a part of it!
I have been blessed and want nothing more than to make a difference. I have discovered a passion I didn’t know I “possessed.” Special needs and disabilities were not my passion during the years my children were growing up, although the writing was. Being able to put these together to do something fundamentally good and worthwhile is humbling and a huge honor.
I am privileged to be given the opportunity to provide books, I didn’t even know where needed, for both the special needs/disabled child and the one who asks, “What’s wrong with my friend?”
Thank you for allowing me to share! I am grateful!