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Author Alice Schellhorn Magrane

 Author Alice Schellhorn Magrane

About Alice – 

Alice Schellhorn Magrane earned a B.A. and M.Ed. from Tufts University. Her love of New England plays a large part in all of her writing. She’s found herself drawn to the incredible mysteries and stories of her everyday surroundings. Ms. Magrane enjoys having the freedom to write fiction, now that she has retired from her 30-year career as a guidance director in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. She lives in Haverhill, Massachusetts with her supportive husband and adorable dog.

Questions –

1. When did realize that you wanted to be an author?

I never really realized it…it just happened. I’ve always had “stories” in my head and a vivid imagination, but my demanding profession really kept my creative side at bay. I was a Director of Guidance for a highly-rated public school system and throughout my professional career, I designed forms and wrote policies and procedures…very, very dull. However, I always wrote poems for friends’ birthdays and retirements, and colleagues would request them and would often frame them, so it was one way of exercising that creative side of my brain! Once I retired, I wrote and published “Snoshoo the Stowaway Bunny” a Christmas poem for children because I’d always loved the “Night Before Christmas” poem when I was young. And then I decided to try my hand at a novel: The Stone Wall Crossing. It was aimed at the Young Adult market, but the older adults who have read it have enjoyed it as much as the younger audience.
2. How long does it take for you to write one of your books?

It took me about 2 years to write The Stone Wall Crossing, from inception to publication. I had to let it “sit” for a bit and then make some changes before I was ready to publish it.
3. How do you balance your work schedule when you’re busy writing?

Easy…I’m retired!
4. What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

I am just not good with commas! I always have to ask my son, a professional writer, to go over my manuscript because I either overuse commas, or leave them out where they should be! And I am a stickler for grammar, so I want those commas to be in the right place!
5. How do you come up with ideas for your books?

I truly love New England. All around me I see artifacts of our American past that pique my imagination.
6. When did you write your first book?

In 2011 I published “Snoshoo the Stowaway Bunny”, a Christmas poem for young children. I had no idea how to go about self-publishing, but I found an illustrator online and she worked with me to produce what I think is a wonderful little Christmas story, in verse. The children I’ve read it to have been spellbound and that is so very gratifying!
7. What are your hobbies when you’re not writing?

I love traveling, spending time with my husband, caring for my dog and reading. I am always reading the British mysteries I have loved since I was in my early teens.
8. What does your family and close friends think of your writing?

All of them have offered me encouragement and support and take pride in talking about my books.
9. What was one of the most interesting things that you learned about yourself when you published your first book?

I guess it’s thinking of myself as an “author”. People have read articles I’ve written for local publications, as well as publicity for my books and will stop me and ask, “Are you that author?” I still feel somewhat embarrassed when I answer, “Yup, that’s me!” I guess working in the field of education for so many years (30) without much recognition has made me feel surprised to be recognized locally as an author.
10. How many books have you written? Which one is your favorite?

To date, I’ve only written 2, and I love them both. They were labors of love. Truly.
11. What do you think makes a good story?

I think if a story makes people want to see what happens next and care about the main character, that is the most important characteristic of a good story. The people who have read The Stone Wall Crossing have told me they stayed up late to finish it! That is so very gratifying to hear.
12. Where do you like to kick back and write your books?

Believe it or not, I write in my kitchen, looking out into the woods in back of our home. I like to have my husband and dog close by and could never hide away in an attic and write.

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