Maryann Macdonald is the award-winning author of more than thirty books for children of all ages. She grew up in a large family near Detroit and has used many of her childhood experiences and enthusiasms in creating her books. Maryann graduated from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, and attended the Université de Paris, Sorbonne. She and her husband lived in France and England for 24 years, and raised their two daughters there. She now lives in New York City.
My life in my own words:
“Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken.” Oscar Wilde
Angela, in my book The Costume Copycat, is insanely jealous of her older sister Bernadette, who aces the Halloween costume competition every year. Her solution? Copying her older sister. Does it work? Not so well.
I learned this the hard way, growing up with a perfect older sister. Joan and I lived outside of Detroit in a family with eight kids and lots of pets. We spent lots of time skating, exploring, and playing Clue and Spud and kickball. Our home was always crowded and noisy. My Irish grandmother sometimes lived with us. She was a good storyteller and so was my father. Grandma Mooney told us about all the sneaky things she did when she was a child (true) and Dad told us about his exciting adventures when he was a cowboy (not-so-true). Dad also read us Grimm’s Fairy Tales and took us to the library every single week. Sometimes he took us to see movies about faraway places, too. I borrowed stacks and stacks of books, began to write stories of my own, and developed wanderlust.
But travelling didn’t happen in my family. We worked instead…the goal was college. Driving a Good Humor truck and packaging automobile parts during the summers was worth it…I loved going to the University of Michigan! But on my twenty-first birthday, I flew to London, and finally discovered the joys of seeing the world. In time, I met a man on the move and married him. Together, we lived in London and Paris for many years. One of our daughters was born in France and the other in England. Our family travelled all over Europe, and to north Africa and to the Middle East.
After our daughters grew up, my husband and I moved to New York City. I still skate once in a while, and I love to play games and look for places to explore. There’s never enough time for reading and writing. And every now and then, I can get just a little bit jealous…