I would like to thank you for being my guest here
on Roth’s Inspiring Books and Products for Kids.
What a pleasure it is to get to know you better.
You are a multi-talented writer and author. I
would like to get to know you a bit more. So,
I’ll ask you a few questions about your writing
Do you consider yourself to be a born writer,
Actually, I don’t. I love writing but I have
taught myself how to do screenplays and novels by
reading books on these subjects for years. But
for me, the best learning process was doing the
actual writing. I think you get to be a better
writer if you keep writing. Giving up is easy,
staying in the game is hard, but in the end it’s
Have you ever suffered from Writer’s Block,
Marsha? If yes, how did you ‘cure’ it?
I haven’t really had writer’s block but there are
times when I think the project I am working on
isn’t as good of an idea and my next project. I
think writers do this quite a bit. If you keep
going you will finish your project and then you
can go on to do your next idea. And probably you
will do the same thing over and over again.
What type of books do you mostly write, Marsha?
I have written children’s books, a nonfiction
book, and a novel. I think I have a lot of fun
when I write children’s books but I also enjoy
writing adult fiction because of the freedom that
it gives you.
Can you share with us a little about your current
My New book NO SHOES, NO CLUES is my favourite. I
have written it in first person and the character
EMELINA is a young girl who knows where she’s
going and likes to succeed.
What type of book promotion works for you? Any
special strategies you’d like to share?
I wish I could say there was an exact strategy to
promoting your work but there isn’t, at least not
for me. Just when I think I have the greatest
idea to promote myself, I find something else
that I would like to try. There are so many ways
to promote myself that the only way you know what
words is if you try several. The more promoting
you do, the better.
Do you find it hard to balance your personal
writing time with your other job(s)?
Sometimes I do. Writing is so very important to
me I push myself to complete something every few
months. If I don’t write, I am usually mad at
myself and then push myself and I’m happy I did.
Do you have any other works in progress Marsha?
Can you share a little about them?
I am writing a screenplay at the moment and it
always amazes me when the story comes out with a
beginning, middle and end. Sometimes, I feel that
my story might be weak but if I make it to page
25, I know I have a story and I can continue on.
A screenplay usually has no more than 120 pages.
Tell us about your writing space?
The world of children’s book publishing is
extremely competitive, with many authors
hesitating between trying their luck with a
traditional publisher or self-publishing.
What advice would you offer writers who are
oscillating between these two publishing venues
I think you should try to traditionally publish
if you feel that you won’t be satisfied until you
do. However, if you feel like you want to start a
writing career sooner, self-publishing is the way
to go. I think finishing a project and getting it
published is very exciting, providing you had an
editor to edit your book.
Do you do first drafts on a computer or by hand
I do both. Usually when I start a book, I write
by hand in a notebook and I write down
descriptions of characters and their background.
After that I write the story on the computer and
I also write sections in my notebook to see if I
developed the characters in a way to make the
How do you see the future of book publishing,
both traditional, electronic, and print on
I think the writing world has changed so much and
writers have a lot more ways to publish their
work and also to promote it. I think there will
be a huge market for electronic publishing but I
also think that there will always be new people
deciding they like to hold the book or paper in
What is the creative process like for you Marsha?
What happens before sitting down to write?
Sometimes, I jump right into the story and then I
hold back until I develop the story a little
more. Usually my stories come to me in pieces,
but I have to begin or otherwise nothing happens.
Once I begin, my stories have their own life and
I follow with their lead.
What voice do you find most to your liking: first
person or third person?
For children’s books, I like first person because
I feel kids relate to the characters faster and
they are easier to read out loud. For adults, I
like it either way.
Which known writers do you admire most?
I admire anyone who finishes a book. So many
people say they want to write a book but never do.
If you finish a book, whether its good or bad,
it’s still a tough process. Once you complete one
book, even if you market the book and it doesn’t
go too far, keep writing and one never knows who
will be the author that makes it big.
Do you participate in competitions? Have you
received any awards?
I don’t usually participate in contests but I have
won two contests for my screenplays because
someone else entered my scripts. I neve really
liked competitions. I know a lot of writers like
to do this. But, so far, it hasn’t been something
that I have pushed myself to do.
What discipline do you impose on yourself
regarding schedules, goals, and so on Marsha?
I am very disciplined in most areas but in writing
I find that putting so much pressure to finish
something doesn’t add to the work. I like to have
all the ends tied up in my books and scripts and
sometimes that does take a little more time. I
have learned to be patient and realize slower
might be better.
What do you surround yourself with in your work
area in order to help you concentrate?
I like to work with some noise in the background.
Usually I have coffee and keep writing until I
decide to take a break. Sometimes, I lose focus
but if I finish with a few good pages, I’m
What do you recommend I do with all those things I
wrote years ago but have never been able to bring
myself to show anyone?
That’s the good news about self-publishing. Take
all your projects out and look them over. If the
topic seems good, try to self-publish. Papers in
drawers often make great books. Some of the
greatest stories were self-published.
Is there anything else you would like to share
Yes, keep writing and don’t give up. Have I never
published my books, I wouldn’t be where I am
today. It can’t be about money because this is a
tough road. But every time someone tells me after
they read my books, they enjoyed them, I know I
did the right thing about self-publishing.
I thank you Marsha for taking the time to share
with me and my readers about being an author. You
are a very multi-talented writer and I wish you
much success in your writing career.