Happy 2021! We’re kicking off the new year with another local book spotlight. Meet Cynthia Magriel Wetzler and learn about her road to self-publication below!
1.) What sparked the idea for your story?
SMW: One summer day on Nantucket I discovered a little cove, an isolated secret place. I sat on a big driftwood log facing the ocean waves and claimed this log as my own. I watched the sandpipers fluttering on the sand, listened to the crash of the waves and let the salty sea air tickle my nose. I took out my little sketchpad that I carry at all times and a little girl, around 9, sketching a horseshoe crab, popped into my imagination. There she was, Maggie. I could see her sitting next to me doing what I did at that age, draw and write, draw and write all the time. She became real and I put her in a story. My dream for this book is to help empower and encourage young middle-graders to find out who they are inside and to feel strong about it.
2.) What was an important lesson you learned in self-publishing?
SMW: After struggling to get published in the traditional way, I turned to self-publishing. I’m so glad I did! The book turned out to be my exact vision for Maggie and I was able to design the pages and have complete input with the illustrator. I am very grateful to my editors for putting me through umpteen drafts until it was exactly as I meant the story to be.
3.) What ways have you been reaching readers during the pandemic?
SMW: Since my marketing should entail lots of school visits and direct contact with children, I am trying to reach readers and parents through Instagram and Facebook. I’ll admit I’m struggling.
4.) Have you been able to write and stay creative in quarantine? Who are some writers and artists in the children’s book world that you admire?