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World Of Writing - Children's Author Interview

World of Writing - Children's Author Interview

Today we are joined by children's author Maureen Young. She and I met almost a year ago, about the time that I had begun the task of reaching out to connect with writers within the Kootenay region of BC - Canada... (Remember the film "Roxanne" with Steve Martin? It was filmed in one of the small cities within the Kootenay region). As it happens, Maureen happens to live in the same city as us. Anyway I had started the Monday Writers Meet-up event (via Zoom) where we could all network, find mentors (or become one), ask questions etc. Maureen was one of the regular attendees for a while there. Recently, Dave and I found that we had to divert our attention elsewhere and I no longer run that group. However this led to me getting to know Maureen on a deeper level - to witness, and sometimes offer advice, her journey to publication. Today we get to honour that friendship by featuring our writing friend here today. 
Here is a direct link to Sunny and the Border Patrol:

Maureen has worked in the environmental compliance field (oil and gas) for most of her career. As well as being a Park Ranger, she was extremely fortunate to be among the first all girl crew to fight a forest fire in Alberta in 1979. Maureen completed post secondary diplomas in Forestry (NAIT, Edmonton) and Environmental Technology (Mount Royal College, Calgary).

Maureen has combined her love of the natural world with her love of youth fiction to create this debut novel for young readers. A long time Calgarian, (Calgary, Alberta - Canada) she now resides in Creston, BC, Canada where she spends her spare time golfing, writing and practicing the violin.

Find her work at:

Q: I have had the pleasure of being a witness to your journey in seeing Sunny And The Border Patrol book published...What advice would you give to someone who is interested in writing within this genre?

1. Avoid themes, a message, preaching some acceptable moral behavior...just write a good story.

2. Don't underestimate your reader. They're way smarter than you think.

3. Also, it's your story, take advice graciously, but in the end write your own story and enjoy the journey.

Q: Tell us about your journey from the beginnings to publication with Friesen Press… 

Maureen: In seventh grade, my teacher noted in a story that I wrote for class that I would make an excellent writer some day. I always remember that day and I remember the story as well. Since then I knew I would write. As I grew up, I missed school days, university classes and days of work because I was caught up in a book and wouldn't put it down. Finally after all these years, I wrote my own. I just signed off on the print ready files for the companion coloring book for Sunny and the Border Patrol, so will wait until the end of July to have a little release party.

Q: I understand that your family also became involved in the creation of this book - was it your daughter, Maureen, who produced the illustrations?

Maureen: Yes, my daughter (Rebecca Popowich)  is the illustrator for all the chapter images. She is a very talented artist. She is very familiar with the story as she has in one way or another been part of the journey. Knowing the characters as she does, I knew she would do great. However the book cover (front and back) illustrations were done by Friesen Press.

Q: When you started writing this project, did you plan on it being a series?

Maureen: No, but I love a good series, so how could I start readers on a journey and leave them hanging? For fiction lovers, one book in a world you've come to know and with characters who've become your friends, is not enough.

Q: What age group did you write for?

Maureen:  Ages 8-12. Though adults can love middle grade fiction as well. I am one. This series falls within the genre of Fiction - Fantasy for middle readers.

Q: Me too! Why did you write for this particular age group?

Maureen: This was an important time in my life. It's a formative time in all our lives. Reading was a large part of my pre-teen years and I felt it set me up for a lifetime journey in books. I'm so unbelievably happy that I got caught up in stories at such a young age.

Q: How do you plan to promote this book (or series)?

Maureen: I plan to do one thing every day (writing days, which are 3-4 days/week) like send an email, make a contact or get to know another writer in this genre. But mostly, I plan to get on with the second book in the series. It's about a prairie dog town, starring Bernard. This is an urban prairie dog town as it's surrounded by sidewalks, buildings and busy roads.

Q: Is there anything in your book that is based on a real life experience?

Maureen: As most writer's at some point realize, you write what you know. The characters and their personalities reflect people who have been in my life. The interesting part is I didn't start out with that in mind. It was brought to my attention well after the book was completed.



  1. Thank you Maureen for dropping into our blog and sharing your experiences with our readers! We had over 26,000 blog readers in June :) Our largest month since this last December when we had around 45,000. (The largest of all time was just over 430,000 in December 2021.)


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