Interview with Margaret Ross Lane

Describe your desk
My desk?!
My desk is cool. Besides my computer and printer, my desk sports a Chicago snow-globe, a wee jade Buddha, a California souvenir redwood pen holder, Newman's Own Organic Ginger Mints (they're AWESOME), two pictures of my son, a Burt's Bees Ultra Conditioning Lip Balm, a timer, a cool 4-inch in diameter round rock, a big chunk of Quartz crystal, assorted Post-It-Pads, some Bob Dylan and Classical CDs, eyeglass cleaner, some L'Occitane Hand Lotion, a losing Hoosier Lottery Scratch-Off ticket and a metal back scratcher. And sometimes our cat turns around in a circle and plops down on everything.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I have been writing for as long as I remember. Some stories I started twenty years ago are still waiting for an ending! I decided to publish on Smashwords because my husband and I download A LOT from the site and we love it. I starting being disciplined with my writing after I retired from being a bookseller for thirty years.I thought, "No time like the present."
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
The blank page is the writer's world. It belongs to me. I can create, destroy and reinvent entire societies. I'm responsible and that's why I love it.
Who are your favorite authors?
So many! Rainer Maria Rilke. William Butler Yeats. I love Anne Morrow Lindbergh's Gift From The Sea--I read it every year. I love Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby. Eudora Welty. Harper Lee. Gloria Steinem. Shirley MacLaine. J.K. Rowling. Barbara Cooney. Bob Dylan. I count him as an author--go to his website and read his lyrics--pure poetry. Donald Hall. Susan Wittig Albert--love her China Bayles herbal mysteries. Mark Twain. Dorothy Parker. I enjoy David Baldacci. Erin Hart is good. She writes mysteries set in Ireland. Albert Brooks. I love Robert Pirsig's Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. So many!
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I read! I garden. Most of my yard has been turned into a Wildlife Habitat and a Monarch Waystation. We need to save the bees--grow stuff they love. I love feeding the birds that visit my yard. I grow herbs: thyme, pineapple sage, lavender, three or four different basils, parsleys (for cooking and for the butterflies), rosemary, cilantro, sage (I hate the flavor, but my husband likes it.) I grow tomatoes and peppers. But my heart belongs to flowers: Coneflowers (in the winter I see goldfinches atop them pecking out the seeds,) red hot pokers, columbine, nigella, daffodils, daylilies, Black-eyed Susans, cosmos, zinnias, butterfly bushes, sunflowers, oh, and weeds. I grow a lot of weeds, which is okay because insects and other lovelies adore weeds.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
Letters to a Young Poet--Rainer Maria Rilke. A Polish friend turned me onto Rilke and there is so much wisdom in that book.
Gift From the Sea--Anne Morrow Lindbergh. The first time I read it, it just resonated with me. I read it often.
Miss Rumphius--Barbara Cooney. It's a children's book and it's just lovely.
Harry Potter series--J.K. Rowling. From the first scene on number 4 Privet Drive, I was hooked. Love, love, love. I'm in awe of Rowling.
My fifth favorite book is the one I'll read next!
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
I'll let you know when something pans out! (insert a "LOL" here)
What do your fans mean to you?
I don't have fans now, but when I get some, it'll be terrific and I'll be appreciative!
What are you working on next?
I'm working on a book about three sisters. I go to bed each night and they're in my head. I say to them, "Well, what do you want to say?" They haven't answered me yet. Dang it!
What do you read for pleasure?
Mysteries--what the industry describes as "cozy mysteries"
Irish History
Romances--but only if they're set in 1) a bookstore, 2) Ireland, 3) a garden 4) an island (I know, I'm picky)
Magazines--The Smithsonian magazine is wonderful!
Biographies-- just finished autobiographies of Dick Van Dyke, Alan Arkin, Peter Falk and Kelley Carlin (George's daughter)
Travel Brochures
Published 2015-10-30.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Clyde Owen: Tree Whisperer (The first in the "Easties" of Lake Manitou series)
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 3,360. Language: English. Published: January 19, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Children’s books » Entertainment
Clyde Owen is an arborist who lives on the east side of Lake Manitou in Rochester, Indiana. His business is called "Tree Whisperer." When his friend phones about a strange shaking in her mountain ash tree, Clyde researches the odd occurrence and comes to a fantastical realization. Clyde Owen: Tree Whisperer is the first of five stories on the "Easties" of Lake Manitou.
Bertha, Ivy and Alice
Price: Free! Words: 1,670. Language: English. Published: August 29, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Children’s books » Family / Siblings
Three sisters lived in the designated "spooky" house on the block in Crawfordsville, Indiana. No neighbors would visit, until Ivy and Alice hit upon a surefire way of getting people over to visit--FOOD. They made one of Bertha's bland meals into a delectable delight, and the neighbors followed their noses straight to the sisters' house.
The Artist Reva
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 2,800. Language: English. Published: December 1, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Children’s books » Entertainment
Reva Autrey is one of the artists who sells her work at The Eclectic Bone art shop in Nashville, Indiana. Phoebe is a shy teenager who expresses interest in Reva's art work and asks the older woman to teach her how to paint. Much to the delight of Reva, Phoebe shows true promise and is on her way to becoming an artist who paints from her soul.
Rainbow Blue
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 1,330. Language: English. Published: November 23, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Children’s books » Entertainment
When Rainbow offers her blue color to the storm-ravaged brown murky Ocean, she has to find something blue to substitute. After all a rainbow needs her blue along with her red, orange, yellow, green, indigo and violet. A boy helps her in the quest: Will flowers or his grandmother's navy dress do? Rainbow tries on a variety of things, all to the Sky's amusement.
The Comfort Shell
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 880. Language: English. Published: November 11, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Children’s books » Entertainment
Elizabeth was vacationing on Sanibel Island in Florida and dreading the start of school on Monday. As she sat on the beach Elizabeth thought of her grandfather who had passed away a few years earlier. Her grandfather was Elizabeth's confidant as well as one of her favorite people. Elizabeth finds a huge whelk shell whose coloration seemed to resemble a man's face. Would the shell provide comfort?
Stories From Ireland & Other Beautiful Places: ORANGE HAIRED ANGEL
You set the price! Words: 2,240. Language: English. Published: November 9, 2015. Categories: Nonfiction » Entertainment » Astrology, Nonfiction » Entertainment » Biography
This first story from my Irish travels centers on Angel B. Halloran and her baby named Bradpitt. I meet her in the town of Ballymagill in the West of Ireland. Sweet as she was, Angel was also crazy about actors. We go from Ron Howard to Brad Pitt to Peter O'Toole and end up with a story about Robert Redford. I hope you enjoy the Orange Haired Angel.
Queen Bee Cindy
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 1,860. Language: English. Published: November 8, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Children’s books » Entertainment
Walking through her farm's wildflower meadow Cindy notices there aren't as many honeybees buzzing about as in past years. With help from her husband Amos Cindy is determined to remedy the problem. Studying throughout the winter season Cindy learns all about bee-keeping and the next spring sets up three hives near the meadow. Cindy hopes that in her own small way she can help the endangered bees.
The Eclectic Bone
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 3,460. Language: English. Published: November 3, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Children’s books » Entertainment
Bog Molly is a young artist who carves objects from pieces she finds in the boggy woods around her home. After the local art shop owner refuses to carry and sell her art work, Molly and her grandmother devise a plan to open their own art gallery called The Eclectic Bone in the touristy small town of Nashville, Indiana.
Lavender Lady
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 1,530. Language: English. Published: November 2, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Children’s books » Entertainment
Young Willie McFinn works for Miss Alice Flanagan in her Irish Lavender Lady shop. He loves to help customers, but gruff Mr. McNabb is troublesome and demanding. He barks orders to Willie, and is generally unbearable. Alice thinks she knows the root of McNabb's problem and sets out to help him become a more pleasant person.
Mermaid Lil
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 980. Language: English. Published: November 2, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Children’s books » Entertainment
After 600 years of dreaming the same dream—to be more human, less fish—the stars finally grant Lil's wish. For one night Lil becomes more human, less fish. She skates. She dances the Charleston. She dons toe shoes and pirouettes on the Lake Michigan Ballet Company stage. Will she return to the Lake Michigan shore happy with her evening of being more human, less fish?
Mashulaackamooka
Price: Free! Words: 490. Language: English. Published: October 30, 2015. Categories: Nonfiction » Children's Books » Poetry / Humorous
Fantastical thoughts are buzzing in his head: Shoes appear as crocodiles, he becomes smaller than an elf, he jumps rope with a dinosaur, flies the skies with aviators and more. Are the adventures real or has he eaten something that has invaded his sleep?
The Birdseed
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 880. Language: English. Published: October 28, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Children’s books » Entertainment
After being told that the strange striped seed he had found was “birdseed,” Matthew planted it in anticipation that it would grow into a cardinal, or woodpecker or blue jay. “When will the birds come?” Matthew questioned his grandmother. He was disappointed when it bloomed and he saw “just a plain old flower.” That is until his grandmother told him, “Just wait. The birds will come.”
Straw Man of Donegal
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 1,770. Language: English. Published: October 26, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Children’s books » Fairy tales & fables
Lorcan and Grace are an old Irish farm couple. Lorcan gets angry when the crows eat his crops. Grace is a gentle soul who doesn't begrudge any animal food, but Lorcan wants the crows to go away forever. His wish is granted, but in the most unexpected way—he literally becomes a straw man amid the crops and scares away the birds. Grace must find a way to help both Lorcan and the birds.
Mean Boy and the Fairy Thorn Tree
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 1,070. Language: English. Published: October 26, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Children’s books » Fairy tales & fables
The Mean Boy has done a series of mean things: Spread paste on his sister's chair, plucked all of his mother's parsley from her garden, and thrown stones at a neighbor's cow. He gets his comeuppance after he kicks and pulls on the Irish fairies, gnomes and pookas' favorite tree. Will he learn his lesson and atone?
Old Ben
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 1,350. Language: English. Published: October 26, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Children’s books » Entertainment
Old Ben is a 4000+ pound steer stuffed and encased in a glass house in Kokomo, Indiana's Highland Park. Through a young boy's kindness Old Ben finds friendship and hope.