Q&A With Children’s Author Maria Matthews

I was delighted and honored to be given this chance by Shana. Thank you, Shana.

Rosco's Reading Room

Please welcome Maria Matthews, Irish author of the delightful chapter book, The Runaway Schoolhouse, to the Reading Room today.

Q. Welcome, Maria! Please tell us a little bit about yourself and your books.

A. I live north of Dublin city, Ireland, in a rural village. Like every other writer, I grew up reading and loved to daydream. It wasn’t until my children were grown that I had the time and confidence to begin writing. I began by submitting short stories to magazines and was successful, having stories published in women’s magazines, and being runner up in a short story competition.

Nanowrimo encouraged me to try writing longer works and for the past four years November has been a no housework month, as writing consumes me. Becoming unemployed was a boost to my writing time, but to live, we need to work so I work twenty hours a week.

I was…

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The hunt for the Snow Dragon.

Snowflakes twirled and danced about Molly. ” I love snow,” she said.

“Woof” Bob said jumping around her.

Molly whispered, “Quiet Bob. A  Snow Dragon might hear us and run away.”

The dog nudged her with his nose, making her giggle.

They began their search in the garden. No Snow Dragon. They walked through the gate, looking right and left. Molly walked past Gran’s kitchen door. They looked in the garden shed, and behind the coal bags but didn’t find a Snow Dragon. They did meet many birds and Gran’s fat cat.

They walked to the front garden. They met the postman. “Hi Molly. Where are you going?” he asked.

“We are going to catch a Snow Dragon.” She whispered.

“Well – don’t let him catch you.” He said.

“No we won’t.” Molly told him.

Bob looked behind every tree.  Molly looked at the bare branches. No Snow Dragon. “Not even a squirrel, Bob.” She said.

Molly looked behind them. The snow was falling onto the ground covering her footprints. She couldn’t see her house. “Let’s go home,” She said.

Molly made a snow ball. She threw it. “Go get it Bob,” She said.

He sat and watched it land.  Molly sighed. Bob never chased tennis balls.

“Lets make a snowman instead.” She began by making a small ball and then dropped it on the ground. As she rolled it along the ground the snowball changed from being a round ball into a wobbly, wonky shape. It was big and getting bigger. Finally she reached her garden,  they left it there and went indoors .

It was warm inside. Molly felt tired. She forgot about her snowball but told dad about her search for a Snow Dragon.

“I think there are no Snow Dragons,” she said. Molly felt sad.

“Maybe they are shy, creatures. Perhaps you should send an email to one and see what happens.”

“What would I say?” She liked this idea.

“That you believe in them but you would love to know what they look like. Wait then and see what happens. Granddad always said, they were magical creatures.”

Molly wiggled her nose as she thought about this. “Let’s do it, can you help please?”

The email was sent and Molly went to bed.

Next morning she got up and peeped out the window.

Her heart jumped for there in the garden was a large dragon. He was white and very still. Molly raced outside to see him. “Its a Snow Dragon.” She said to her dad who came to look at it. “He is not alive though he is just made of snow, how did he get here?”

“Molly you did say you would love to know what they look like, didn’t you?”

dragon-for-snowdragon

“I did. Now I know they are amazing.” She giggled, “he looks like Bob does when you say no to him.”

They took pictures of the Snow Dragon and a large picture hangs on Molly’s bedroom wall in case she forgets what they look like.