TTLG Author/Illustrator Profiles
“I was born in Newton, Mississippi and then grew up in Jackson. I was a quiet child, and I spent most of my time roller-skating and climbing trees. When my family moved north to a suburb of Chicago, people made fun of my accent, so I grew even more quiet. That’s when I began a journal. I took a stack of notebook paper and strung it together with yarn and recorded all of my thoughts. In this way, I got in the habit of writing, so that now, if a week goes by and I haven’t written anything at all, I just don’t feel right. Writing has become like breathing for me.
I have a wonderful husband and son and we have a Golden retriever named Samantha who is usually asleep at my feet when I’m writing. We keep a big garden in the summer and in the fall and we make a lot of pesto, tomato sauce and butternut squash soup for the winter months. My husband just planted a lot of fruit trees, too. We spend a lot of time with family in Mississippi, usually on holidays. The three of us love to travel, and our work often takes us out of the country. My husband filmed a documentary in Italy one year, and this year I’m researching a new book, which will take us to southern France.”
Margaret McMullan is the author of five novels including In My Mother's House, Cashay, and When I Crossed No-Bob, a 2008 Parents' Choice Silver Honor, a 2007 School Library Journal Best Book, a 2008 finalist for the Willie Morris Prize for Southern Fiction, and a 2008 Horace Mann Upstander Honor book. Both When I Crossed No-Bob and How I Found the Strong won the Mississippi Arts and Letters Award for Best Fiction (in 2004 and 2008) and the Indiana Best Young Adult Book (in 2005 and 2008). How I Found the Strong also won the 2006 Award for Fiction from the Mississippi Library Association, was named an ALA 2005 Notable Social Studies Book, and a Booklist's Top Ten First Novel for Youth. Her essays and short stories have appeared in Glamour, the Chicago Tribune, Southern Accents, the Indianapolis Star, TriQuarterly, Michigan Quarterly Review, The Greensboro Review, The Southern California Anthology, Mississippi Magazine, Other Voices, Boulevard, Ploughshares, The Pinch, and The Sun among several other journals and anthologies. She received a Special Mention in the 2005 Pushcart Prize collection and twice she received the Individual Artist Fellowship from the Indiana Arts Commission and the National Endowment for the Arts. She was the 2007 Eudora Welty Visiting Writer at Millsaps College in Jackson, Mississippi, and she received her M.F.A. in fiction from the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville. She is currently a board member of the New Harmony Project and a professor of English at the University of Evansville, in Evansville, Indiana, where she's working on a collection of stories and a new young adult novel for Houghton Mifflin due out in 2010. She lives with her husband, Patrick O'Connor and their son, James.