Today I am lucky enough to be asked to publish an interview with Nancy Schoellkopf about her book called Yellow-Billed Magpie, where we follow the story of Samantha O’Malley who returns to her home town to teach.
Q. Do you have another profession besides writing?
A. For 30 years I worked with children who have severe intellectual disabilities, first as an Instructional Assistant then as a Teacher. Working in a special education classroom is never dull! It may be frustrating at times, but these kids are also more fun than anyone can imagine.
Q. Where did you get the inspiration for your book?
A. Yellow-Billed Magpie is the story of Samantha, a woman who is disillusioned by life and the choices she’s made. She’s a special education teacher, just as I was. Although the story is fiction with magical elements, I wanted to convey a classroom that is realistically gritty, poignant and joyful, because that is how I experienced it. To give Samantha a hopeful perspective, I bring her in contact with a wise and spiritual man who is based on a dear friend of mine who passed away recently. He was still alive when I wrote the first draft and he gave me permission to name the fictional Craig after him.
Q. What advice would you give budding writers?
A. Write every day if you can—even if only for 15 or 20 minutes. Don’t expect it to be good: this is only practice, like a musician doing scales. Stories and poems will come, just give it time.
Q. What is your next project?
A. My next book will be called Red Tailed Hawk. It’s a coming of age story featuring a girl who is a minor character in Yellow-Billed Magpie. She sets off on a quest—more commonly known as a road trip!
Q. If you were stuck on a deserted island, which three books would you want with you?
A. They would have to be big fat meaty tomes by my favorite authors—something like The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood, Prodigal Summer by Barbara Kingsolver, and Women Who Run With The Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estes.
You can connect with the author through her Website, Twitter or Facebook page. Follow the tour here
We have a competition for you, Although it is open to US, It is open international for the book and Amazon.Com voucher.