1) Tell us a little bit about yourself. How did you get into writing?
When I didn’t get the part I wanted in the kindergarten musical, I started making up my own plays so I could star in them. Once I learned how to write, I started writing plays (also in which to star) My friends and I would put on these plays, no doubt after much revision from the cast, for our unwitting parents (or maybe they were witting, I don’t know). In high school I wrote the homecoming skits, in college I got involved writing for and performing in and eventually directing a touring children’s theater company, and after college I started a professional theater company. By that time I had quit performing and was sticking with writing and directing. I did this for a very, very long time before trying my hand at writing books for young readers. But I think all that theater writing as well as working in an ensemble situation really helped me with novel writing.
2) What inspired you to write your book?
This particular book is the third in a mystery series, so I would have to say the other two books inspired this one! I couldn’t just leave my protagonist hanging there without finally finding out what happened to her mother! (Also I wanted to know,)
3) What theme or message do you hope readers will take away from your book?
I guess I think more about raising questions for readers to ponder than imparting a takeaway message. In any case, I certainly don’t think I could put a message into a sentence for you— As Isadora Duncan said, “If I could tell you what it meant, there’d be no point in dancing it.”
4) What drew you into this particular genre?
I’ve always loved mysteries. I like to read them; they are also my favorite kind of audiobooks to listen to, and I am devoted to British (and other) TV mystery series. So naturally I wanted to try my hand at writing them. As Eudora Welty said, “Writing comes out of a superior devotion to reading.” I find this to be true—we crave to write what we like to read.
5) If you could sit down with any character in your book, what would you ask them and why?
If I told you who and what I would ask, it would give away too much. So I guess I’d ask Francie’s grandfather just what he did in his younger life that he knows how to break out of jail, surveil people (albeit in a nursing home), and give advice on what to do if you feel you’re being followed.
6) What social media site has been the most helpful in developing your readership?
No doubt any or all would be helpful if I was better at using social media! I am very impressed with writers who write books and keep up a robust presence on social media, and also seem to navigate it so easily. I also feel I am always lagging behind, in every way possible. Of the sites, I guess I favor Instagram (follow me @margipreus—and you’ll see pictures of my dog in a kayak, bears in our backyard, and the snow we had to shovel off our dock before we took it out of the lake this weekend.) But also follow me on FB (Margi Preus Books or Margi Preus) and Twitter (@MargiPreus) Oh! And my brand new Youtube channel.
7) What advice would you give to aspiring or just starting authors out there?
Well, it’s always to READ, isn’t it? Good books are your best teachers. Read like a writer, once for enjoyment, then go back and read again to figure out how the author created tension, suspense, all the emotions, all with just little words on paper. It’s some kind of magic, when you think about it. Try to analyze it as if you’re figuring out a magic trick.
8) What does the future hold in store for you? Any new books/projects on the horizon?
I have a couple of picture books in the pipeline. Not due out til 2022 or beyond. And then I have several things on simmer burners. 2020, as crazy as it was, was my year to put out books: Village of Scoundrels, (Feb.) The Littlest Voyageur (March) and The Silver Box (October). C’est la vie!
Et merci, Anthony Avina!
About the Author Margi Preus
Margi Preus is the author of the Newbery Honor book Heart of a Samurai and other books for young readers, including the Minnesota Book Award winning West of the Moon, and the Midwest Booksellers Choice Award book The Clue in the Trees. Her books have won multiple awards, landed on the New York Times bestseller list, been honored as ALA/ALSC Notables, selected as an NPR Backseat Book Club pick, chosen for community reads, and translated into several languages. New titles in 2020 include Village of Scoundrels, The Littlest Voyageur, and The Silver Box, part of the Enchantment Lake mystery series.
Back when such things were done, Margi enjoyed traveling, speaking, and visiting schools all over the world. Now mostly at home in Duluth, she likes to ski, hike, canoe, or sit quietly with a book in her lap.
You can follow her online at:
— Blog Tour Dates
October 12th @ WOW! Women on Writing
What goes better in the morning than a muffin? Stop by WOW’s blog The Muffin and join us as we celebrate the launch of Margi Preus’s book The Silver Box. Enter to win a copy of her entire Enchantment Lake Mystery series.
October 13th @ Mindy McGinnis
Join Mindy McGinnis as she interviews author Margi Preus about how she came up with the idea of The Silver Box and the Enchantment Lake Mystery series.
October 14th @ Bring on Lemons
Visit Crystal’s blog today and read her review of Margi Presu book The Silver Box, book three in The Enchantment Lake series.
October 14th @ Reviews and Interviews
Join Lisa as she interviews Margi Preus and finds out more about this incredible author!
October 15th @ Karen Brown Tyson’s Blog
Join author Karen Brown Tyson as she interviews author Margi Preus about her book The Silver Box, book three in The Enchantment Lake middle-grade series.
October 16th @ The Frugalista Mom
Visit Rozelyn’s blog today and read her review of The Silver Box, book three in The Enchantment Lake series. You can also enter to win a copy of the entire series!
October 17th @ Carrie Sorens’ Blog
Visit Carrie’s blog and read author Margi Preus’ guest post about raising big questions for readers to ponder (that don’t always have an answer).
October 18th @ Fiona Ingram’s Blog
Visit Fiona’s blog today and read author Margi Preus’ guest post about her writing house.
October 20th @ The Faerie Review
Join Lily as she reviews The Silver Box, book three in The Enchantment Lake middle-grade series.
October 20th @ Susan Uhlig
Join us today as Susan reviews The Silver Box, book three in The Enchantment Lake middle-grade series.
October 21st @ Lady Unemployed
Visit Nicole’s blog today where you can read Margi Preus’ guest post about how all writing is political and how to weave local or national issues into storytelling.
October 21st @ The Frugalista Mom
Rozelyn goes live on Facebook with author Margi Preus. Join them as the author talks about her wonderful middle-grade mystery series.
October 22nd @ The Knotty Needle
Visit Judy’s blog today and read her review of The Silver Box, part of the Enchantment Lake middle-grade series.
October 24th @ Carrie Sorens’ Blog
Join Carrie again where you can read her review of The Silver Box, part of the Enchantment Lake middle-grade series. You can also win a copy of the series too!
October 26th @ Bev. A Baird’s Blog
Visit Bev’s blog today where she shares Margi Preus’ guest post about creating a fictional place from an amalgam of places. A must-read if you are working on your story setting today!
October 28th @ Kathleen Pooler’s Blog
Join us at Kathleen’s blog today and read author Margi Preus’ guest post about what she learned from her dog about writing.
October 29th @ It’s Alanna Jean
Stop by Alanna’s blog today where she shares Margi Preus’ guest post about finding inspiration out the window.
October 30th @ Lori Duff Writes
Join Lori Duff as she reviews Margi Preus’ book The Silver Box, the third book in the Enchantment Lake mystery series.
November 1st @ Author Anthony Avina’s Blog
Visit Anthony’s blog today and read his review of The Silver Box, book three in The Enchantment Lake series.
November 2nd @ World of My Imagination
Join Nicole as she reviews The Silver Box, book three in The Enchantment Lake series. Also, you can enter to win a copy of the whole series.
November 3rd @ Jill Sheets’ Blog
Visit Jill’s blog today and read author Margi Preus’ guest post about how not writing is probably still writing.
November 4th @ Author Anthony Avina’s Blog
Join Anthony’s blog again today and you can read his interview with author Margi Preus.
November 4th @ Crafty Moms Share
Join Carrie as she reviews The Silver Box by author Margi Preus, the third book in the Enchantment Lake mystery series.
November 5th @ Bev. A Baird’s Blog
Join Bev as she reviews The Silver Box by author Margi Preus, the third book in the Enchantment Lake mystery series. Don’t miss her review of this charming middle-grade fiction series!
November 7th @ BookMama789
Join us over at Jean’s Instagram page as she reads and reviews The Silver Box by author Margi Preus, part of the Enchantment Lake mystery series.
November 8th @ Shoe’s Stories
Join Linda at her blog today and read her review of The Silver Box by author Margi Preus, part of the Enchantment Lake mystery series.
November 9th @ Always in the Middle
Visit Greg’s blog today and read his review of The Silver Box by author Margi Preus. You’ll love hearing about this middle-grade mystery series.
November 10th @ Deborah-Zenha Adam’s Blog
Visit Deborah’s blog today and read author Margi Preus’ guest post about the magic ball of yarn and using folk and fairy tales as a guide in story writing.
November 11th @ Bookapotamus
Join Kate as she reviews The Enchantment Lake mystery series, part of The Silver Box blog tour. You’ll love hearing about this middle-grade mystery!
November 13th @ Choices
Visit Madeline’s blog today and read author Margi Preus guest post about how research can be a cure for writer’s block.
November 14th @ Reading in the Wildwood
Visit Megan’s blog today she reviews The Enchantment Lake mystery series, part of The Silver Box blog tour. You’ll love hearing about this middle-grade mystery!
November 15th @ Shoe’s Stories
Visit Linda’s blog again today where she shares author Margi Preus’ guest post about whether or not you should know the ending before you start writing.