A Kansas Author ~ Interviewing Marcia G Riley

Today we’re saying hello to the weekend with a lovely interview from a children’s author. Marcia is the author of the children’s picture book, The Pillow Fairy. Look at MG 2 Pillow Fairythis cover! It’s absolutely adorable.

Welcome, Marcia! Thank you for being here. Tell me about The Pillow Fairy. What is about and what inspired the story?

M: It is the true story of our sons, Justin and Matt, and what we did to get them to sleep in their own beds when they were little. I wrote the book over 20 years ago, and with the encouragement of family and friends, self-published it on August of 2012. The beautiful illustrations of Joni E. Patterson have enabled The Pillow Fairy to become a family favorite. It has helped thousands of little ones sleep in their own beds, and is asked to be read over and over again.

Wow! First of all, congratulations! Second, I’m glad your family and friends pushed you to get this book out into the world.

M: Thank you.

You’re welcome. Okay, now let me go back to where I normally begin. You’re a Kansan! Where did you grow up?

M: I grew up in Overland Park, Kansas, and I have lived in Lawrence since attending KU in 1971.

Ah, KU! Are you a die-hard fan or is sports not your thing?

M: I am a devoted Jayhawk basketball fan and football fan when my former student, Clint Bowen was coaching.

How cool is that!

When did you know you wanted to write?

M: Creative Writing has always been my area of emphasis in my teaching. I have written short stories since I was in the 6th grade. I wrote a manual called ‘Sending Your Kid to College-What You Need to Know,’ and I have helped many parents and high school students navigate those treacherous waters of college preparation.

I’m sure they appreciated that. Is it still available?

M: Yes, it can be purchased directly from me.

Great! Do you have other published works?

M: The Pillow Fairy is the first (and only) book I have published.

What makes The Pillow Fairy so effective?

M: The Pillow Fairy (in the words of a pediatrician), is actually a children’s book written for parents. It tells the parents how to have the Pillow Fairy enter their lives and exactly what to do. Matt becomes real to them. As one parent said to me,while holding his daughter Stella, “Yes, we know Matt. The Pillow Fairy comes to our house too.”  As all families are different, I have depicted The Pillow Fairy as a light – I have not put a face on her. Each child and family can imagine the Pillow Fairy to look just like they want. Matt’s was blue with long blonde hair and Justin’s was green with a big hat.

I see that it has wonderful reviews on Amazon. What kind of feedback have you received otherwise?

M: I have had parents come up to me with so many stories. Some are hilarious, whileMG1 others are poignant and touching. One parent told me that her child literally took his entire bed apart while looking for the gift the Pillow Fairy left for him(the parent had forgotten to put something under his pillow). Another family in Tanzania told me that her daughter now sleeps with a flashlight and the book under her pillow waiting for the Pillow Fairy. They run an orphanage, and they use the Pillow Fairy with one little girl. She is afraid that when she leaves the orphanage that the Pillow Fairy won’t know where to find her. In Swahili, there is no word for fairy, so they call her the Pillow Angel.

How sweet!

M: Parents and grandparents(who especially love my book) have come to me with stories of how their marriages are in trouble because they have a child-sometimes as old as 9 or 12 years old, still sleeping in their parents’ bed or on pallets on the floor by their bed. It is a huge issue and also a best-kept secret when the child is older. Parents have used my book with their children when they have moved, have a terminally ill child, a parent deployed, or a parent in prison. It takes the child’s mind off of the problem and puts it squarely on the magic and the wonder of the Pillow Fairy. My website is full of testimonials and stories from parents on the success of The Pillow Fairy.

That’s wonderful.

MG 4What’s you next book? Are you working on something now?

M: I am constantly asked that question. There is no next book. I wasn’t even going to sell this book, because it was just going to be a family memoir. Happily, it has helped so many families, and now it has become in sorts a mission for me.
I tell parents to keep a journal. My son’s are now 31 and 28, and they still love to read all of the stories concerning the Pillow Fairy.

Oh, I’m sure it’s near and dear to their hearts.

What do you like to do when you’re not promoting The Pillow Fairy?

M: I love to to travel, plan my travel, and look forward to future travel.  I also love being with family, friends and working out.

Ah, traveling! I wish I could take more vacations. What has been your favorite destination so far?

M: That is like asking which child is your favorite.

Haha! I can see you’re serious about that.

M: I am in New Orleans now, eating beignets and drinking cafe au lait.

Oh, I was just there in September. I loved New Orleans!

Enjoy your trip, Marcia! Thank you so much for sharing your story!

M: My pleasure!

Folks, if you’d like to connect with Marcia or buy The Pillow Fairy, here are some links to take you there!

Marcia’s Website

Marcia’s Facebook Page

Marcia’s Pinterest

Have a beautiful day, Peeps!