Today on Paws4Thought I welcome Margo Dill. Margo’s new book Caught Between Two Curses will be released later this month by Rocking Horse Publishing. Tell us a little bit about yourself, Margo.
I am a writer (I know you are surprised about that!), freelance editor, and former elementary school teacher, living in St. Louis, Missouri, with my husband, daughter (who is 3) and stepson (who is 13). I have a dog named Chester who is our third child, and I am also very close to my parents. I detest winter, so this one has been terrible for me, and I am anxiously awaiting spring and baseball season! (Me too, DMK) I love to be outside with my family, going for walks, riding bikes, reading, swimming, and relaxing!
When did you first start writing?
Like many writers, I have very early memories of creating little books at home with a stapler and paper and some absolutely horrible illustrations (which wouldn’t look much different if I did them today). I started seriously writing, as in trying to pursue a career, in 2000.
Who are your favorite authors?
I am a HUGE fan of J. K. Rowling/Harry Potter and Suzanne Collins, both The Hunger Games and Gregor the Overlander. I also love Philip Gulley, who wrote a series of books set in Harmony, Indiana, and Alexander McCall Smith—the Number One Ladies’ Detective Agency books. As for local authors or those I know. . . I have recently really enjoyed Brian Katcher’s YA books and Jadie Jones, too.
What inspires you to write?
I’m not sure if anything really inspires me. I write because I have to. I have always loved to read and to be creative, and writing is a good fit. It is also very challenging, and I thrive on challenges.
Tell us about Caught Between Two Curses.
I am so excited about this book! It’s a YA light paranormal about 17-year-old Julie Nigelson who is literally caught between two curses that are affecting her family. One is a curse I created—brought on her family by a scorned lover. The other is the Chicago Cubs Billy Goat Curse, and the two curses are connected somehow. In order to save her uncle who has fallen into a coma because of the curses, Julie has to figure out how to break them both, and this involves having to attend Cubs games, which she hates! In the meantime, she is a senior in high school, and her boyfriend is pressuring her to sleep with him, and she keeps thinking about her best friend, Matt, in an inappropriate way. So, the book’s got a little magic, a little romance, some sports, and a lot of humor.
How much research did you do for your story?
Not too much—I knew a lot about baseball and the Cubs because my dad is a huge baseball fan. I looked up a few details about the Cubs curse just to make sure I had them right. I also used to live in Champaign, IL, and we went to Chicago a lot, which is where the book is set.
I know you do a lot of school visits. What’s the one piece of advice you would give a young person who wanted to write?
Never let someone tell you that your work isn’t good enough. Don’t worry about the capital letters and periods and spelling—the most important thing is the content and organization. The conventions can always be fixed!
What are you currently working on?
I am writing a YA novel about a community shooting, and I am trying to find an agent. I have a middle-grade novel that I have finished and was hoping to snag an agent with. I would also like to write another book about a curse and create a series, so I’ve been researching some curses.
Are you planning any release events?
Yes! I hope to have a book launch party on March 21 at Fuzzy’s Tacos in Webster Groves, MO, but we are still working on the details. I will also be at the Missouri Writers Guild Conference and the Missouri State Library Association Conference in April. Finally, I hope to have an online party because I have a lot of friends who live out of state, and I want to celebrate with them!
How can readers connect with you?
I have a website that is under construction—but enough of it is up to find me! It is http://margodill.com/blog/ I am also on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest, which you can get to from my website. If you want to email me, please do. My email is margo (at) margodill.com.
Find out more about Caught Between Curses and Margo Dill on the RHP Kids website.