Between Tweens – Interview with Middle Grade Author Madeleine McLaughin

During the month of April four of us middle grade and tween authors are interviewing each other in a blog hop. Today Madeleine McLaughlin answers my questions, and my answers to her questions are on her blog at

Madeleine writes from Canada, and her first tween ebook Beggar Charlie and Hickory Dick is releasing this June with Muse It Young.

Sandy: Where do you like best to write, and is there special music you like to listen to as you write, or do you prefer silence?

Madeleine: I like to sit in my easy chair with my tiny computer on my lap. I often have the television on but don’t hear the program when I’m writing. It’s just to have chatter, although when I write early in the morning, I prefer silence.

Sandy: Great. Are any of your characters based on people you’ve really met?

Madeleine: A lot of them are based on aspects of myself. The children I write about are based on what I know of children and their psychology, not any specific child. I have a diploma in Child Psychology so I know something about how their minds work. At least I think I do.

Sandy: That’s a difficult thing to comprehend, indeed. So, as a writer, what are some things you do overcome writer’s block?

Madeleine: I never really get writer’s block but sometimes get stuck on a story plot line. In that case, I just leave the story alone for a while until I get an idea. I do all my heavy thinking in bed, right before I go to sleep. That’s where I got the idea for Beggar Charlie. I wrote the first paragraph using a tape-recorder. I think it turned out well.

Sandy: Me, too. Can you tell us about your revision process.

Madeleine: First, I write the first draft which is just typing out ideas, then I get critiqued by some interested readers. Then just keep re-writing until I’m happy with it. It can take over 60 revisions until I’m happy.

Sandy: Sixty revisions is a lot, but I’m sure it turns out the best it can be after all that. My final question is: What are you doing or planning to do to grow as an author?

Madeleine: I’m always reading non-fiction to learn new things. You’d be surprised how many ideas history can give you. Other than that, I’m just trying to expand my readership. Also, I’d like to try other genres. I’ve already done horror and I may go back to that, but I’d like to do other things, too.

Sandy: It sounds like you have varied writing talents, Madeleine. Thank you for joining us this week. Good luck in your sales and with future books.

The other two middle grade writers participating in this month’s blog hop with their own questions and answers are Heather Fraser Brainerd ( and  Suzanne de Montigny (

3 thoughts on “Between Tweens – Interview with Middle Grade Author Madeleine McLaughin

  1. Madeleine, Gathering ideas from reading non-fiction/history is a great idea. Do you do the what-if thing as you read? I’ll watch for your book’s release in June. Congratulations!

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