Talkshow Thursday: Welcome Marie Sontag!
Marie: As a resident of California for over 58 years, I never heard the story of how non-Native Americans first entered Yosemite. The more I researched, the more I realized this "'clash of cultures" story needed to be told.
LM: You had a full career as a middle-school teacher. Was it a natural progression to become an author of YA fiction? What can you tell us about your journey to publication?
Marie: I always had a hard time going to sleep at night, and as a little girl, I’d make up stories in my head to pass the time. I started writing them down in junior high, but never thought of writing as a career. While teaching social studies and language arts in middle school, I couldn’t find adventurous historical fiction to help my students relate to the time periods we studied in class, so I began to create and share them with my students. When publishers bought the books, it moved me into a fun and challenging career as I retired from teaching.
LM: What is your favorite aspect of writing?
Marie: My favorite aspect of writing is sharing the adventurous stories in my head with young readers and getting them excited about history.
LM: What do you do to prepare for writing?
Marie: Since I write historical fiction, I do a lot of research. I also visit places I write about, if possible. I continually attend writer’s conferences and read books about writing to improve my craft.
|Photo: Pixabay/David Mark|
Marie: I initially envisioned the Whitcomb Discovery Series as only one book, but as I wrote it, I saw it would be too long, so I made it into two books. In the first book, the main character, Daniel, is thirteen. In book two, almost three years have elapsed and Daniel finds himself in the California gold fields. Book one is for middle grade readers, while book two is more for young adult readers. Friendships Daniel has in book one blossom into romance in book two. At this point, I only envision this as a two-book series.
LM: You’ve accomplished quite a lot. What is one thing you wish you could do?
Marie: I wish I was still young enough to teach in the classroom, but time moves on! I am so thankful for the young, dedicated teachers who give their all for today’s students.
LM: What is your next project?
|Photo: Pixabay/Sasin Tipchai|
LM: Where can folks find you on the web?
Marie: I love connecting with readers. Here are some of my social media links:
Author Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorMarieSontag
Google Scholar: tinyurl.com/2jmkj6p7
About Yosemite Trail Discovered:
Purchase Link: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B09TTMZJHB