Tuesday, February 19, 2013

The Jane Yolen Mid-List Author Honoree Profiles: Margo Lemieux

In addition to the winner, Valiska Gregory, two honorees were named for the 2013 Jane Yolen Mid-List Author Award:  Margo Lemieux and Barbara Shook Hazen. 

Today, I'm delighted to share with you my interview with Margo Lemieux...

Margo Lemieux, Honor Winner of the Jane Yolen Mid-List Author Award

Lee:  While it's all still fresh, tell me about finding out you are an Honor Winner for the Jane Yolen Mid-List Author Award!

Margo:  I was just taking a break from writing when the phone rang. I saw it was California and I thought, it’s probably a sales call so I almost didn’t answer it. When I heard Lin’s voice I was so relieved I wasn’t going to have to be rude, I didn’t even think what she & Steve might be calling about. It’s always wonderful to hear their voices anyway. When they told me I was a runner-up, I just hopped around the room like I was on a pogo stick, high-fiving the air, and grinning. I know they couldn’t see me. They probably thought I have a funny voice. And then all of a sudden, it was like the sun coming out on a cloudy day. Hope flowed into my heart and I thought, hey, I have peeps! I have a team. I have people in my corner! Writers (and artists) work in solitary confinement and everyone knows how lonely it can be. I had ten books out in the 90’s and suddenly it stopped. You just wonder why you stick with it. When I got the call, I felt like I was in a stadium and everyone was cheering. What Jane has done is a truly generous gesture. That’s one thing I find about SCBWI. Members are helpful, generous, and supportive. Yay, SCBWI!

Lee:  How do you see this recognition helping your career?

Margo:   I have already arranged for professional consulting. It was the boost I needed to get real objective feedback on my submissions strategies and marketing. I plan to use the recognition to make contacts at the conference. I am a very shy person and find it difficult to approach editors. The award feels like a hand at my back, pushing me forward.

Lee:  What's the project you want to get out in the world next?

Margo:   It’s hard to choose. They are like my children. I think my current favorite is GUARDIAN ANGEL, a middle grade ecological adventure with supernatural undertones. Holly and Cassidy, cousins, are forced to spend the summer with an elderly aunt on the rocky coast of Maine. The day they arrive, the sheriff is investigating a case of vandalism at the graveyard, in which the door to a mausoleum appears have been broken… from the inside out.

Lee:  I found an online artist page for you, is there an author site people should visit?

Margo:  I have several lives. I am a professor of fine art at a college and exhibit prints, mixed media paintings, and artist books in galleries and museums. I also write for other markets such as newspaper, and I currently have had a chapbook of poetry accepted for publication. And then there are the children’s literature connections. I still have a couple of books in print and I teach writing in an adult ed class. I am RA for Central New England. I also do illustration and design for music festivals and events. Unfortunately I don’t have an up & running website, but after I got the call from Lin & Steve, I have begun to build one. Stay tuned…

Congratulations, Margo!  All of us at SCBWI are cheering you on.

Illustrate and Write On,

1 comment:

The Pen and Ink Blogspot said...

Wonderful, Margot/ I adore the illustration and I am so happy for you!! Rock on!