Welcome to another edition of Author Fridays! I encourage you to sit back and get comfortable, as you read about this week's featured author and illustrator, MJ Daley-Prado!
MJ Daley-Prado is the author of eight books: "The Superheroes Save Christmas" ISBN# 14224191238 published by Publish America, and "Borrowed Time" ISBN# 9781448923991, (coming soon) also by Publish America
"Buzz" ISBN# 9781435713529, "Grandma What Is Cancer?" ISBN# 9781435702042, "Find That Bunny!" ISBN# 9781435735354 and "Baby Duck Gets A New Grandma" ISBN# 9781435713123 published by Lulu Publishing
"It's Okay To Just Be Me!" ISBN# 9781438230740 and "PINKY" ISBN# 9781448628513 both published by CreateSpace.
MJ has also illustrated several books for other authors: "Sarah and Sally's Big Adventure" by Marsha Coles, "The Story Box" by Mary Muhammad, "Love Laws" by Mary Muhammad, "Hugs and Kisses" by Mary Muhammad, "Sunday's At Grandmother's House" by Jacqueline Rankine Van-Wassenhoven, "Peanut Bunny and the Christmas Lights" by Renee Adams Cantrell, "Gordon and the Magic Fish Bowl" by Mark Nestell (Due out in early spring)
MJ Daley-Prado was born and raised in Baltimore,Maryland. She lived in Highlandtown most of her life but found her way back to the suburbs. "I love the smell of freshly mowed grass," she tells me, "hearing the birds sing, and seeing the dewdrops form on the roses in my garden. I have a teenage daughter who seems to be following in my footsteps. She is very creative. We are very close and plan to create a project in the near future. My hobbies include drawing, making crafts, being creative (whether it's making some kind of craft or painting etc..),I also love watching some good movies on TV on a lazy Sunday afternoon or spending time with my friends. I love to read but I don't get much time to read the way I used to. I enjoy reading any type of true story and also books about angels and reincarnation. As a children's author and illustrator I spend allot of time in the library scouring over books. I have several favorite children's authors. They are: Robert Munsch, Elizabeth and Victoria Kann and my all time favorite Marc Brown. I tend to gravitate towards author's who are also illustrators. Several months ago my friend Mart had Robert Munsch autograph a picture for me and it is one of my most prized possessions. My other prized possession ,an email from Tolan Brown the son of famous author/illustrator Marc Brown. He's got a very notable resume himself and I was honored that he took the time out of his busy schedule to read my email and give me some solid advice.
When I asked MJ what inspired her to be a writer, she said, "I kept a journal for many years. I was always writing or doodling, it was a way for me to get my feelings out. I was extremely shy growing up and this creative side of me was my way of expressing my feelings. I also wrote to pen pals all over the world and often they would say to me you should be a writer as you have a unique way of expressing yourself. One friend in particular ,Diwakar Methil told me I would be a writer someday. I didn't believe him back then but here I am enjoying being able to do what I love and inspire children through my books. I have people close to me that truly believe in me and having their support is enough inspiration to keep my dream alive.
"Like most authors," she goes on to say, "I get my ideas from life's experiences. Many ideas come to me by watching my daughter and her friends grow up. There's always some kind of drama or funny thing happening. Watching "life" gives me inspirations and ideas for my stories."
MJ believes all books to be special, but thinks her's are special for many reasons. "They are a labor of love. I try to teach children in a fun way without them realizing there is a life lesson or moral to the story. In my books I talk about self esteem, bullying, not to judge a person by how they look,
and I even talk about cancer and dying. My readers will laugh, learn and be inspired."
So, MJ, is there any advice that you would like to share with those who wish to become a published author?
"There's several things I would say to a future author. I would say, don't expect to get rich from it, no matter how discouraged you get never give up on your dream. If you feel writing or illustrating is in your blood keep at it and never stop trying. Do it because you love it. Read as much as you can about the craft and hopefully you will have a great friend like my friend Mart who forwards allot of great tips and links your way as well. (Thanks Mart). There's also one quote I love and have it on my blog. It reads---
"If you can imagine it, you can achieve it.
If you can dream it, you can become it."
---by William Arthur Ward
"In closing----NEVER GIVE UP! You have to believe in yourself or no one else will."
To learn more about MJ Daley-Prado and her works, check her out on the web at the following addresses:
Thank you for joining me for this week's edition of Author Fridays! Be sure to come back next week, same time same place to read about our next featured author, Christian writer, Brenda Pearce!