Sunday, November 11, 2012

An Interview with author M. C. Arvanitis


Welcome to Meet The Author! Today Margaret Arvanitis has stopped by to give us a little insight into her life and her books.  So let’s get started.
Please tell us a little about yourself.

I live on the coast of Oregon with my twin sister, Mariah Matthews, who is also a writer and the cover artist for my mid-grade fables. I am a retired preschool and elementary teacher, and am a graduate of the Institute of Children's Literature and am also a member of the Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators (SCBWI). I spend the majority of my time on my Macintosh, writing and researching.

When did you start writing?

Basically, while in high school, my favorite class was Journalism.  Later, when I ran my pre-kindergarten school, I wrote children stories and puppet dialogues. I finally "graduated" to mid-grade fantasy and history-based YA books.  I also write short short stories whenever I find a contest to enter. Now I write fables for mid grade. Can't call them fairy tales, but they are fantasy based with a lesson to learn.

What projects have been published?

Two short preschool stories, “Marty’s Song” and “The Rabbit who Ate the Snowman’s Nose.” My work has also been published in various magazines. My First mid-grade fantasy, “The Legend of ELPanda Paws,” an adventure about a sad, lost panda cub that brings the negative disease to ELvanland, and how two ELVanites bravely face death in order to rescue it, was e-published this year, and is now available in paper back from Amazon. Just recently “Forbidden Wings; a Mermaid’s Story” was e-published. Two of my short stories have been published in Unearthed, and Time, anthologies by Literary Underground.


 Tell us about “Forbidden Wings: A Mermaid’s Story.”

Nadeea, small among the other Mermaids, finds life unbearable. She meets two fairies and notices their beautiful wings. She thinks if she has wings she could escape the teasing of the other mermaids. When Sir Cecil, the Snerg, promises to help her find wings, she agrees to go on a long dangerous journey to Wyre, the home of the Damselflies. Sadie Squarette, a magic-making, bug-like poet, is their guide. They cross the Island of Egilssay where she meets Zasta, of the Selkies, who becomes her best friend. There is danger on the Island, however. They must cross the land of the Trows where a mighty battle is going on between the Sea and Hill Trows who kill anyone who passes. Sadie uses her unique magic to save them. Finally they reach the Island of Wyre where Nadeea hopes to get wings. She bravely faces Gwitihn, the Goat Witch and saves the queen of the Damselflies. When she learns that her Mer family has been captured by the dreaded Sea Lions and taken into slavery, she has to make a decision. Will she wait for her wings or go home to rescue her family?


 How did you select the title of your novel?

It is forbidden in the Mers Realm for Mers to be different. So if Nadeea receives wings she would have to hide them from the other Mers.

 What was your inspiration?

I collect mermaid memorabilia and was shopping at a curio shop where I noticed a figurine of a beautiful mermaid with fairy wings. I had never seen a mermaid with wings so my inquisitive writer’s mind wondered why and how she would have wings.  Needless to say, I bought her, brought her home and set her on my desk.  It took a few months but eventually her story came out. Thus “Forbidden Wings: A Mermaid’s Story” was written.

 What are you currently working on?

Another fantasy fable, which takes place in our beautiful Oregon country, called “PIXIES OF THE FERNS: Fernella's Magic.”  And am editing and  having covers designed for my History-based YA series, “Hank of Twin Rivers,” which I hope to launch in 2013.

 What are you reading at the moment?

I usually finish a normal-sized novel on my Kindle within two or three days. I’ve enjoyed “The Macgregor’s Daughter” by Dee Julian, and for lighter reading, “Our Husband” by Stephanie Bond.  At this very moment I am rereading “Destinies” by Karleene Morrow.  I also find mid grade or story books of other writers to read and if I like them I leave reviews for them.

 What do you like to do in your free time when you're not reading or writing?

I like to make flowers grow, either in the ground or in pots, travel when I can, and of course keep track of my five adult children and their families who live in Nebraska, Texas, and California.

Do you have any advice for other authors?

Number One.  Get involved in a critique group. My group of six writers meets once a month and have heard, reviewed and greatly improved all my books.
Number Two. You wouldn’t serve a half-baked cake …so finish your writing with good editing.  Have someone edit your manuscript carefully. Hire someone if necessary.
Number Three: Don't think negatives “As you think, so you are.” Think: I am a writer.
Number Four: Follow your vibes. Sometimes characters and events come to mind when you think you should be sleeping.

And finally, can you tell us some fun facts about yourself, such as crossed skydiving off my bucket list.

Facts about me: I’ve never lost my kid inside, thus my lifetime occupation, teaching keeps me enjoying all kid stuff.  At the other end of life’s circle, I created and still run an Online Single Senior club where I've personally met many friends from the US and Canada. We meet at bashes in various cities. I can speak in public but feel better if I have a puppet in my hand.

 To find out more about Margaret Arvanitis, please visit:
 Face Book fan page:
Amazon Author’s page is:

To purchase Margaret Arvanitis’ books, please visit:

 For “The Legend of ELPanda Paws”

 Also visit:
Smashwords (For other ebook providers.)


1 comment:

  1. What a lovely interview. I totally enjoyed it and might add that I have read both of the books mentioned above. They are delightful and as I said in reviews of her books, Ms. Arvanitis has a big child inside her. She's gentle, positive and cheerful, all of which comes out in her stories.