Kicking off a new week with me is children’s author Maggi Nicholas. She’s chatting with me about Sophella’s Birthday Wish.
During her virtual book tour, Maggi will be awarding a $10 Amazon or Barnes and Noble (winner’s choice) gift card to a lucky randomly drawn winner. To be entered for a chance to win, use the form below. To increase your chances of winning, feel free to visit her other tour stops and enter there, too!
Maggi Nicholas was born and grew up in the UK and later moved to Canada with
her husband and sons. Inspired by her grandkids she started writing stories for and about them and is currently working on her next book about time travellers.
Welcome, Maggi. Please tell us about your current release.
Here is a modern fairy story about a little girl who has the gift to move between the fairy world and the human world. Her birthday wish comes true when she wishes to fly with the fairies, and so she is able to go on a magical journey with the fairies whilst using her human side to rescue animals and kids in a way that fairies cannot do.
Throughout the journey she comes to realize her own strengths as she protects the penguins and rescues the dolphins with great bravery and compassion. During her heartwarming adventure. Sophella forms new friendships and demonstrates life-affirming lessons that can inspire us all.
What inspired you to write this book?
Quite simply I was inspired to write a story for and about my grandkids because I know so much about them – their strengths, aspirations and interests. It started as a limited edition for the family but, like the fairies, took flight and became a larger project.
Excerpt from Sophella’s Birthday Wish:
Fairies fine and fairies good
We are in your neighborhood
In the flowers in the trees
Flying, dancing in the breeze
Magic wands and fairy wings
Fairy dust and sparkly things
We are big, we are small
You may never see us all
In the towns and in the cities
On the beach and in the sea
When the world is sad and lonely
Happy daydreams set you free
What exciting story are you working on next?
I can’t wait to publish my next book! This one is also inspired by family but I wanted to include my three grandsons more prominently in a time travel adventure. All 5 grandkids appear in this story and I think it will equally appeal to boys and girls. It is of course fantasy but with a little bit of conjecture on how today’s world issues might be solved in the future.
After that I will be working on a sequel to Sophella as there is still much waiting to be put to rights by an imaginative little fairy girl with a burning ambition to make the world a happier place.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I always enjoyed writing stories when I was growing up but as an adult with a busy life it remained just a dream to write a book. Even now, the concept of being a writer is new to me so I feel I still have to earn my “wings” in that respect.
Do you write full-time? If so, what’s your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
No I don’t write full time. I’m retired and busy but life has looked rather different in the past year with the pandemic. I have many interests, some of which have not been possible to pursue recently. My 5 grandkids are always in my mind but I have not been able to see them and hug them in the past year.
I love gardening and I’m very committed to environmental issues which comes out in my book when Sophella talks about pesticides “Our world needs the bees”. In my garden I grow bee friendly plants and there is a space and a rose bush for each of my grandkids.
At the age of 30 I took up figure skating, and ice dancing has been a passion for me ever since, so I had a little fun with putting figure skates on the snow fairy and ice fairies in my story.
What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I’m a bit whimsical! I like re-iterating good qualities in my characters – “so they thought and they thought again”. I love alliteration for names, and many of the names I choose come from real people I encounter. When I meet a person who does something nice for me I offer to name a fairy or character after them. I have a long list of names and sometimes I worry that I’ll have too many fairies in my next book!
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
When I was about 6 my dad put a swing and a trapeze on a tree branch in the garden. I was a pretty good gymnast so I wanted to be a trapeze artist when I grew up!
Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
I really enjoy music so one thing I would like to have done was to bring Sweetpea’s song to life with a simple music score that any child playing the piano could actually read and play. Unfortunately, the logistics of this were too complicated but I would welcome an offer from anyone reading this to write me a simple musical score for my next Sophella book.
Thanks for being here today, Maggi!