Award-winning author Mayra Calvani writes fiction and nonfiction for children and adults. She’s a reviewer for The New York Journal of Books and co-editor of Voice in the Dark ezine. She's had over 300 reviews, interviews, stories, and articles published in print and online. Mayra is a member of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) and the Children's Writer's Coaching Club.
1. Hi, Mayra. Could you tell us a little about yourself?
I started writing when I was about twelve years old and since then my life has been surrounded by books. During my teens I wrote short stories, school plays, and even tried my hand at a novel. Later, I majored in Creative Writing in college. So yes, writing has always been a part of my life. I've also had the fortune of living in various countries, something that has influenced my writing. I've done teaching in the past but now I write fulltime, except for when I do replacement teaching once in a while. I live in Belgium with my husband, two kids and a loveable golden retriever, Amigo.
2. Describe your desk/workspace.
I have a little office all to myself, with a big desk and bookshelves all around. I like my desk to stay tidy. I love office supplies and make sure I always have a surplus supply of them. I sit on a leather swivel chair. I keep an exercise mat nearby and sometimes take breaks to do situps or stretching exercises. My neck and shoulders tend to get very stiff when I write.
3. Do you have a favorite quote?
"Writing is a horrible, exhausting struggle, like a long bout of some painful illness. One would never undertake such a thing if one were not driven on by some demon whom one can neither resist nor understand." -- George Orwell
4. What is the best advice you've ever received?
"Leap, and the net will appear."
5. If you could have coffee with anyone (living or dead, real or fictional), who would it be and why?
Fun question! I think that would have to be either Sherlock Holmes or Lestat, both fascinating characters in their own way.
6. What are your top three favorite books and why?
The Stranger, by Albert Camus; The Awakening, by Kate Chopin; and Come Closer, by Sara Gran. I love them because they're short and very powerful.
7. What was your favorite book as a child and why?
That's a tough one. I didn't like to read as a child. It wasn't until I was about 11 that I discovered Agatha Christie and from that moment on I was hooked. So I went straight into books for adults. I didn't read any books for kids for pleasure, except for the ones that teachers assigned at school, which were incredibly boring! It takes one special book or author to get a kid hooked on reading and that author for me was Christie. I just loved the way I had to keep wondering who the real killer was until the end.
8. What are your current marketing strategies for Frederico, the Mouse Violinist?
Besides doing this virtual book tour, doing interviews and requesting reviews from mom and kidlit bloggers, I've also contacted music/violin magazines and catalogs. One of my plans is to go on another VBT later this year where all hosts will be violinists and music teachers. You have to target your niche market, right?
9. Where can people find your book, Frederico, the Mouse Violinist?
The book is available on Amazon, B&N, and Guardian Angel Publishing.
Link to the publisher: http://www.guardianangelpublishing.com/frederico.htm
You can also order the book from any brick and mortar bookstore.
10. Is there anything else you'd lke to share?
I'd like to invite readers to visit my website and blogs at:
Mayra, thank you for stopping by to answer some questions.