We recently interviewed Maddie Lowe about her newly released children’s book, Pie, Oh My! She did a great job with it, and we want you to learn more about her and her writing/publishing process.
Editor—Maddie, I’m delighted to be able to feature you on ASA. Tell us a little about yourself and how you got interested in writing.
Maddie—I’m a small-town girl from upstate New York and currently reside in North Dakota with my two dogs, Neo & Neika. I graduated in 2018 with a bachelor’s degree in English and am writing children’s books. In my free time, I love sitting in coffee shops, creating content, and writing the day away.
As a young child, writing was always a passion of mine. I grew up extremely introverted and found my voice in journaling and poetry. Books were my best friend, and I dreamed of becoming an author from a young age. During my college days, I studied abroad in England, where my love for literature was ignited. During my time abroad, I began writing children’s literature in hopes of publishing my work.
Editor—There are a lot of different paths you can take with writing. Why did you focus on children’s books?
Maddie—Although I enjoy different avenues of writing, I’m especially drawn to children’s literature. As a young child, my parents read to me almost every night, which fed my imagination. I have many fond memories from children’s books that imprinted me well into adulthood. I believe books help educate and inspire creativity, and I’d love to help provide positive memories to a child in their growing-up years.
Editor—Very nice. Reading inspires us to grow in so many ways. So, what is involved in creating a children’s book? Did you self-publish it or go through a publisher? And what about the illustrations? How did you find an artist you liked?
Maddie—Creating a children’s book can be a lengthy but rewarding process. It involves a lot of little details like finding the right illustrator, deciding on the size of your book, and of course, editing your manuscript and hiring someone to design the layout of your book. I think, more than anything, passion and creativity are important when writing and creating a children’s book. If you let your imagination soar and love what you do, the rest will fall into place.
I self-published my first book. I found it cost-effective, and I had more creative freedom with self-publishing. When choosing an illustrator, I researched Instagram and other illustration websites. I looked through dozens of portfolios and found several illustrators with styles I felt would complement my storytelling. I ordered simple mock-ups before choosing an illustrator to make sure they were the right fit for my book.
Editor—Great. It sounds like you had a well-thought-out plan as you put all the parts together. Is there anything you will do differently when you prepare to publish your next book?
Maddie—Although I double-checked everything before publishing, I will triple-check details before publishing my second book. I had originally missed some things and had to contact my layout designer, which resulted in extra costs. Whenever you check your content before publishing, always read your work out loud because your brain will not catch the mistakes if you read your content silently.
Editor—Yes, as an editor, I am amazed at how typos slip through all the proofing and show their “ugly faces” after publication. I don’t like those kinds of surprises. What kinds of feedback have you gotten from your readers, friends, and maybe your former professors? Are you being encouraged? If you have a couple of positive responses, we’d love to read them.
Maddie—As a writer, when you put something out for publication, it’s a humbling experience because it can make you vulnerable to criticism. Fortunately, I’ve only received encouraging and positive reviews and feedback on my book. I’m very grateful for this positive experience thus far. I’ve received wonderful ratings on Amazon from readers; here are a couple: “I bought this for my 1-3rd Grade classroom. It has lovely drawings, unique rhymes, and even recipes in the back. This pairs perfectly with fall and studying harvest or apples. It’s also an anytime fun read-aloud book. Love it!” And then, this one: “I purchased the book for my granddaughter, but as soon as it arrived, I had to read it myself. It is very well written, and recipes are added at the back of the book! I will be patiently waiting for the next book that the author writes.”
Editor—That’s great. Maddie, thank you so much for sharing a part of your story. We love what you’re doing and want to encourage you to keep going!
Maddie Temple-Lowe was interviewed by Rich DuBose via email.