This week’s Inheritance Books are from Mary Schiller, writer of rock star romances.
Hi Mary, welcome to Inheritance Books. Please tell us a little bit about yourself.
Hello, Rhoda and All! This is M.J. Schiller, romance writer/lunch lady and I’m so glad to join you today. First, a little bit about myself. I was born, raised, and still reside in the Midwest with my husband of over twenty-five years, my eighteen year old and my three sixteen year olds. That’s right, triplets! I spent a lot of time behind the wheel to get those hours in before taking their driver’s license tests, believe me. I have two collections out right now, one involving royal romances, the other centered on rock star characters. When I’m not writing or slinging hash I like to karaoke, where I can pretend I’m a rock star, play games, read, of course, and spend way too much time on Facebook.
Which book have you inherited from generations above? Why is it special?
When I started thinking about books to pass down I immediately thought of children’s books. I was a huge reader as a child and read countless books with my kids. They all have a special place in my heart, but one especially sticks out in my mind. That book, handed down to me, and countless others, was Curious George by H.A.Rey and Margaret Reyell. Something I found interesting when I was checking my facts for this post is that the couple snuck the manuscript out as they fled Paris in 1940, on bicycles they made themselves. It was originally written in French and the monkey’s name was FiFi. In the United Kingdom the chosen name was Zozo, as they wanted to avoid giving the monkey the same name as the then reigning King George VI.
There are two reasons I think Curious George books appeal to me. One, George is always getting into trouble, and I what child can’t identify with that? Second, The Man in the Big Yellow Hat always comes in at the last second to bail him out. Again, how often as kids do we have grown-ups swoop in and save the day. It is easy to identify with the warm feeling of being taken care of and the security of knowing our parents will come to our rescue.
Which book would you leave to generations below? Why?
The book that I am very excited to hand down today is a book called Listen, Buddy by Helen Lester. We LOVED this book! Still, today, if called upon to read to school children for National Readers Week, I will bring in this book and another favorite, Old Turtle by Douglas Wood. Wood’s book is beautiful, but serious, so I follow it up with the lighter Listen, Buddy. The story revolves around a little bunny with great big ears but very poor listening skills. When his parents ask him to bring them a slice of bread, for example, he brings them a slice of his bed! Buddy gets into all sorts of misadventures but my favorite part is when he doesn’t listen to directions that his parents give him, and ends up near the lair of the Scruffy Varmint, who is doing “scruffy things that varmints do” like snarling and “scratching a whole lot of itches.” Here’s where I get to use my best Scruffy Varmint voice! I mean, who can resist someone who is both scruffy and a varmint—two great words by themselves. I am in a near panic because I searched for this book to share a picture with you all and it’s missing! The family has been put on high alert and there will be no rest until I find it! (I should mention, too, that this book is wonderfully illustrated by Lynn Munsinger, who also teamed up with Lester on Tacky the Penguin, another one of our favorites.)
You’ve got to love a Varmit! Thank you for sharing your Inheritance Books with us, Mary. I might have to go and get a copy of Listen, Buddy.
Thank you for letting me share with you today! It was a great blast from the past. If you’d like to hear more about my books you can find me here:
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