Name, location? Do you have a day job?
My name is MaryAnn Sundby and I live in Castle Rock, Colorado, located east of the Rocky Mountains. I am blessed to be retired from a regular job. This allows time to write, travel and spend time with loved ones.
How did you hear about Ripple Grove Press?
I was thrilled when in 2013, the SCBWI summer bulletin mentioned Ripple Grove Press was accepting submissions for picture books. I immediately sent in Monday Is Wash Day for consideration.
What’s your work style? Early morning, late at night? All at once, bits at a time?
I enjoy writing at my office desk in the early morning and while watching the pine trees sway in a breeze. My best editing is done with a bowl of ice cream by my side.
Who are some of your creative idols?
I enjoy the writing of Linda Sue Park. I heard her read The Third Gift and thought it was a wonderful picture book story. Sylvia Long’s beautiful illustrations capture my heart.
Where does your inspiration come from?
People often say “write about what you know”. Monday is Wash Day is based on my family experience growing up on a farm. My writing centers on stories and themes that are wholesome and entertaining for all ages to read.
What are the biggest wins/challenges writing for children?
The greatest satisfaction I receive in writing is when others understand the heart of my story. I was thrilled when readers understood the message I was trying to convey in Monday Is Wash Day. Ripple Grove Press took a chance with my story and I am grateful for the opportunity they provided me.
It is easy to get discouraged when manuscripts are not accepted. These situations provide me opportunities to examine my story and determine the missing ingredients. I welcome suggestions from critique partners and editors as a way to improve my writing.
What are you working on right now?
I’ve just started a story about Maria, a girl who leaves the family’s failing homestead to work in a boarding house kitchen. She doesn’t know what the future holds but she is secure knowing she is helping those she loves.