Interview with Donna M Maguire

When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I care for my grand babies (20 months and 3 years old) three days a week, I walk Winston - AKA Silly Willy Winston - my muse and the unlikely hero of the children's book series, hike in the beautiful Nevada parks and volunteer for groups focusing on literacy.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
That's an easy question. The first book I ever wrote was "The Wacky World of Silly Willy Winston." I wrote this and the other four books in my series for my grand babies without planning on publishing them. It wasn't until a friend and author read them and told me I should publish them that I pursued becoming an independent author.
What is your writing process?
I think of Winston - AKA Silly Willy Winston - as a particular character, i.e. Super Snout, Inspector Snout, Explorer Snout or Pirate Snout. I then think of what role these personas take on when helping children discover themselves and learn about the world around them. I always do a little research to discover some unknown or rarely known gems to incorporate into the books. For example, Inspector Snout introduces young readers to the fascinating mysteries of metamorphosis from amphibians to jellyfish; Explorer Snout shares how many different deserts there are, how varied their climates and inhabitants are; where dinosaur eggs were first discovered and a bear that resides only in the Gobi Desert; Pirate Snout takes them on a marine adventure and discovers a shipwreck in the Mojave Desert and a pyramid under the sea.

Once the research is done the imagination takes over and I go where it takes me. I write some of the books first and then add images, others I write and add images simultaneously or I select images for the major categories and then develop the full story.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
With regard to children's books it is "Hop on Pop". My favorite adult books include, "The Road Less Travelled," "Plato's Allegory of the Cave," and "Toward a Kinship of Faiths."
Describe your desk
Chaos
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I am an east coaster. I was born in Philadelphia, lived in Perth Amboy New Jersey, Northfield Ohio and then back to Philadelphia.

I began writing children’s books without ever thinking of publishing them! After more than 35 years in the marketing profession, I left my consulting business and moved to Nevada to help care for my grandbabies. The change was driven by the loss of my nephew, whom I had raised as a son after providing hospice for his mother. Little did I realize that caring for my grandbabies would provide such an effective form of therapy and delight. Reading early and often to children not only makes for good times, it promotes bonding and nurtures the joy of reading, so I read to them often. Something amazing happened; my creativity and imagination were re-ignited. It seemed only natural to funnel this new-found energy into a long-term desire to write children’s books.
What's the story behind your latest book?
"The Adventures of Silly Willy Winston as Pirate Snout - Mystery in the desert and on the seas," finds two friends who live in the desert dreaming of adventures not on dry ground. Curiously enough they develop a map for their piratical adventure only to discover they will get to the first X on their map without the use of a ship. How can that be? They discover a shipwreck in the Mojave Desert that was washed into a lake, which has since dried up, by a great tidal swell. Alas, the ship's crew had to leave their booty of pearls behind in order to survive the 300 mile trek out of the desert.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
While I love writing and creating the books it is the end product that brings me the greatest joy -- watching the smiles and reactions of the children as they read the stories and the characters come to life. I picture these reactions as I am developing the stories.
Published 2016-02-20.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Silly Willy Winston in the Adventures of Pirate Snout - Mystery in the Desert and on the Seas
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 4,470. Language: English. Published: February 26, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Children’s books » Action & Adventure / Pirates, Fiction » Children’s books » Imagination & Play
Silly Willy Winston throws his hearted and first mate Aiden a bandanna and wooden sword. He readies his nose and his snout, puts on his pirate hat and grabs his telescope - in an instant he becomes Pirate Snout. On this journey they discover a ship buried in the Mojave Desert and a pyramid under the sea. Come explore with us and see all that there is to discover on the seven seas.
The Adventures of Silly Willy Winston as Explorer Snout in a Tale of Two Deserts
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 4,060. Language: English. Published: February 21, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Children’s books » Nature & the Natural World / Environment, Fiction » Children’s books » Imagination & Play
When Silly Willy Winston and his BFF LIVI set out on a journey Silly Willy Winston readies his nose and his snout. In a jiffy he becomes Explorer Snout. In this book they explore the Mojave and Gobi Deserts. They learn what creatures live there and how they survive. They also discover a rare bear that calls the Gobi its home.
Silly Willy Winston in the Adventures of Inspector Snout - The Case of the Missing Tadpole
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 3,430. Language: English. Published: February 20, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Children’s books » Nature & the Natural World / Environment, Fiction » Children’s books » Imagination & Play
Silly Willy Winston takes on the secret identity of Inspector Snout to help his friend Billy find his missing tadpole. Much more than an open and shut case, Billy along with readers are taken on an adventure of discovery into the amazing world of metamorphosis as they learn that the tadpole is not missing -- just a bit different.
Silly Willy Winston in the Adventures of Super Snout - Have No Fear
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 3,390. Language: English. Published: February 20, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Children’s books » Social Issues / New Experience, Fiction » Children’s books » Imagination & Play
Our steadfast friend and unlikely hero, Silly Willy Winston, throws on his cape and grabs his mask to take on his secret identity as Super Snout. While he does not leap tall buildings in a single bound, he helps friends understand shadows cast in the dark, climb tall high to their treehouse and more. His adventures help his friends over come fears and embrace new challenges.
The Wacky World of Silly Willy Winston - An ordinary pet with extraordinary adventures
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 2,910. Language: English. Published: February 20, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Children’s books » Imagination & Play, Fiction » Children’s books » Social Issues / Friendship
Young readers will fall in love with Silly Willy Winston, a heart-warming Basset Hound whose traits, like his big ears and large snout make him a bit of a clown at times. But as they join him on his journey of self-discovery and acceptance they will admire and relate to him as he learns his unique characteristics are just the things needed to help his friends and have amazing adventures.