August 20, 2012

Writing and Inspiration

Today, Children's Writer's World presents a guest blog by author Maggie Lyons.

Sometimes, asking writers what inspires them is like asking people how they got their big toes. They don’t know. The toes just sprouted. Some ideas fly in from outer space. Other ideas pop up if I ask the what-if questions: What if he did that? What if she said that? What I can tell you with some certainty about my middle-grade adventure story Vin and the Dorky Duet is that I wanted to write a quest story, that very old genre describing the exploits of an optimistic adventurer who sets out on an apparently impossible mission. I’m addicted to challenges—which I admit I don’t always meet.

I was trained as a classical pianist and music has always been my favorite language, a refuge. Vin, my twelve-year-old main character, is learning to play the trumpet, one of the most difficult musical instruments. So he is battling with a challenge from the start, long before taking up his sister’s challenge to befriend a nerdy boy he doesn’t like and introduce his sister to the nerd’s hunky brother. 

As a writer, I’m challenged to encourage reluctant readers to turn a few pages. I’d be thrilled if my books succeed on that level because enthusiasm for reading as a child is critical to success as an adult.  I’ve always loved words, so perhaps it’s not surprising I would eventually try stringing a few together. I started out as a nonfiction writer in the business world where inspiration wasn’t an issue. I wrote on whatever topic marketing and public relations demanded. I got the urge to write fiction for children because I’ve always been fascinated by the humor and creative freedom that bubbles out of children’s literature.  I hope my stories reflect that exuberance too.

About Maggie:

Maggie Lyons is a writer and editor who was born in Wales and crossed the pond to Virginia. With no regard for the well-being of her family and neighbors, she trained as a classical pianist. Then came a career of putting rear ends on seats—that is, orchestral management, marked by reams of marketing and fundraising writing and program note scribbling for audiences whose first priority was usually to find their names in the donors’ lists. Editing for academic publishers also brought plenty of satisfaction. Maggie admits she has a fondness for nerds—but nothing like the magic she discovered in writing fiction and nonfiction for children. Several of her articles, poetry, and a chapter book miraculously appeared in Stories for Children Magazine and knowonder! magazine. She hopes her stories encourage reluctant young readers to turn a page or two.

Her books:
Vin and the Dorky Duet is a middle-grade adventure story available as an e-book at MuseItUp Publishing’s bookstore (MuseItYoung section), on Amazon  at , and as a paperback at Halo Publishing International at Another middle-grade adventure story, Dewi and the Seeds of Doom will be released as an e-book by MuseItUp Publishing in October. Halo Publishing International will release the paperback. More information at:, and


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Author’s Name or Pen Name: Maggie Lyons
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About the book: Magnetic compost heaps, man-eating bubble baths, and other disasters erupt when an inventive seventh-grader meets a challenge to win a David Beckham autographed soccer jersey if he can befriend an unsociable nerd and introduce his sister to the nerd’s hunky brother.


Casey Sean Harmon (Bestselling author) said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Virginia S Grenier said...

Thank you for sharing a wonderful guest post and hosting Maggie Lyons today on your blog.