As the blog coordinator, it never fails to amaze me how the Lord provides writers for us. When a blogger has to leave or take a break, there is always someone who the Lord bring to fill her place! This time, Ellice Wong, our radiographer/blogger from Australia, has been working very hard and needs a break. We will miss her first-of-the-month Monday devotional articles! But in her place, the Lord sent us Marianne K. Hering. Look for her first post this Thursday; after that she’ll be blogging the first Monday of the month.
Please sit back and enjoy this e-mail interview which Nancy Sanders –a new W2I team member–conducted with her. –Carol Baldwin
Marianne Hering brings her skills, know-how, and old-fashioned fun to Write 2 Ignite’s blogging team! We’re so excited to welcome our newest blogger, author of the bestselling Focus on the Family’s Adventures in Odyssey The Imagination Station chapter book series. Marianne wears many hats in the publishing world. Her experience as editor for a prominent Christian children’s magazine as well as editor for Christian children’s books combines with her love for writing high-adventure early readers for kids. Come join us as we get to know Marianne and her heart for Christ, kids, and crafting stories.
Write 2 Ignite: How did you get started in the world of children’s publishing?
Marianne: Roll back the clock to 1987. I needed a job in the Pasadena, California, area because my husband was going to seminary there. I put on a nice suit and applied for a job in the correspondence department of Focus on the Family because my friends worked in that department. But that area was full, so the HR person asked me to take a typing test. I did, three times, and finally got a 45 wpm score. Then they offered me a job as the receptionist in the periodicals department. Soon, Clubhouse magazine was started, and I was asked to be an editorial assistant. So, I got to learn writing and editing on the job.
W2I: You have written so many different books. Do you have a couple of favorites?
Marianne: The one I’m going to start next. 🙂 I’m always looking forward. But one book I learned a lot from is Battle for Cannibal Island. Those Methodist Missionaries in the 19th century who went to New Zealand and Fiji were so courageous it made me feel awe struck.
W2I: Which is your favorite genre to write?
Marianne: Anything adventure.
W2I: Which is your favorite genre to edit?
Marianne: Hmmmm. I get bored so my favorite would be something new that’s a challenge.
W2I: What are some of your all-time favorite children’s books to read yourself?
Marianne: Anne of Green Gables. Chicka-Chicka-Boom Boom, and any German fairy tale.
W2I: How has your Christian faith influenced you as an author?
Marianne: Well, sometimes I think about trying to write for the ABA market and I just can’t. I have to point kids (and adults) to Jesus. It’s just what comes out of my keyboard. Christianity and grace are part of my life in every aspect, so it just gushes forth.
W2I: What advice would you give to new writers?
Marianne: Do something else. This is a tough way to make a living. But if you’re stubborn, I’d say pay for a writing coach. You don’t want to practice writing poorly. You wouldn’t let a child play an instrument that’s out of tune, right? Imagine a violin out of tune, screeching. So, you hire a coach, just like you would with an instrument or a sport. You need someone to correct those awful mistakes. I had so much editing my first few years, sometimes the only thing that wasn’t changed or challenged was my byline.
Marianne Hering was a founding editor of Focus on the Family Clubhouse magazine. Since then she’s been writing for children and editing Christian books for adults. Find out more about the Imagination Station book series that has sold more than 1 million copies at MarianneHering.com. To schedule a free 30-minute children’s book coaching call, email HeLovesMeBooks@gmail.com.