Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Q&A with Terri Clemmons




Terri Clemmons is the author of the new children's picture book Mara Hears in Style. A longtime educator, she lives in Illinois.


Q: What inspired you to write Mara Hears in Style, and how did you create your character Mara?


A: It’s the book I wish my three children had when they were young. I want children who wear hearing aids to see themselves in a book and be seen, but I also want Mara’s character to be relatable to all children.


Any child who feels different and worries about making friends, especially at the beginning of a school year with new classmates, will connect with Mara’s story.


Q: What do you think Lucy Rogers' illustrations add to the book?


A: Lucy created a gorgeous cover and beautiful illustrations that bring all the characters to life. Her ability to show emotions is phenomenal. The way she was able to illustrate sign language is fantastic and accessible.

Q: How was the book’s title chosen, and what does it signify for you?


A: The title was a collaborative effort to convey Mara’s lively character while showing the reader what the book was about. I love that the title signifies positivity about hearing aids.


Q: How did you first get interested in writing children's picture books?


A: As a young mom, I read many picture books with my children and fell in love with them. As a teacher, I used picture books at every level because they are truly for everyone. I’d get ideas, write the stories, and tuck them away because the publishing process felt daunting.


But it was always something I thought I would eventually pursue, and when I realized it was time to get serious, I joined SCBWI, and the journey began.


Q: What are you working on now?


A: I have a picture book out on sub, and I’m working on others with my wonderful critique group. I’m also revising a middle-grade novel that features a main character who wears hearing aids in a story about friendship and sports.


Q: Anything else we should know?


A: It’s never too late to pursue your writing dreams!


--Interview with Deborah Kalb

No comments:

Post a Comment