Publisher: Waldman House Press
Interviewed By: Zanne Marie Gray
BookReview.com First let me state that the book Hooray for You! has caused quite a stir around our offices. It is easily our favorite children's book of the year. But I'll go one step further and say that the book has touched the lives of all the adults who have read it and so in addition to the "children's books" category, you'll find the review listed under "self help" as well. Would you say that all of your books are intended for both audiences, or is it a surprise to find out how strongly adults feel about them?
Marianne Richmond Thank you for those wonderful words! I was inspired to write Hooray for You! when thinking about what exactly I cherish in the people I love -- young and old. I concluded with this concept of "you-ness" or the grand collection of traits that makes someone truly unique. I would have to say I did not set out to write a children's book, but decided to illustrate it in a childlike way. I am thrilled to hear that the grown ups" in your office were equally as moved. My original intent for this book was that people of all ages found it meaningful. My other two books, The Gift of an Angel and The Gift of a Memory are geared for more of an "adult" audience, howver, I have learned that families have used The Gift of a Memory to work through grief and young kids enjoy imagining the special guardian angel watching over them when they were born.
BookReview.com The artwork in Hooray for You! is a joyous explosion of color. I understand that you are even more well known as an artist than as an author. You have several lines of licensed products available in retail stores across the country. What advice would you give to artists who were interested in pursuing licensing deals of their own?
Marianne Richmond Hmmm ... who told you that? :) I would say the writing has always come easier for me than illustration. Although after 10 years of designing greeting cards, books, and giftware, I have developed an artistic style that works for me. My advice to someone wanting to license their work would be to start developing a local or regional audience for your work, whether it be jewelry, posters, t-shirts, books, etc. You can then use this fan base to help you gain wider attention and to "sell" yourself to bigger manufacturers and/or a licensing agent.
BookReview.com Your two other books, The Gift of a Memory and The Gift of an Angel, are about the loss of a loved one and the birth of a new child. What inspired you to write them?
Marianne Richmond The Gift of a Memory was inspired by a friend who lost her little boy at 2-1/2. She educated me about the grief journey and how important it is to reach out and connect with those who are hurting -- whether it be one year or ten years following the loss. The Gift of Angel was inspired by my belief that we all have angels in our life, people who care about us, teach us, and watch over us. I wanted to give new parents a chance to belive in one of the first "angels" in their child's life.