About Diane

Snapshot Bio

Diane Magras (pronounced MAY-gris) is the award-winning author of the New York Times Editors’ Choice The Mad Wolf’s Daughter, as well as its companion novel, The Hunt for the Mad Wolf’s Daughter. The upcoming Secret of the Shadow Beasts is her third book. An unabashed fan of libraries (where she wrote her first novel as a teenager), history from all voices, and the perfect cup of tea, Diane lives in Maine with her husband and son and uses the pronouns she/her.

Short Bio

Diane Magras, award-winning author of the New York Times Editors’ Choice The Mad Wolf’s Daughter, its companion novel, The Hunt for the Mad Wolf’s Daughter, and the upcoming Secret of the Shadow Beasts, grew up on Mount Desert Island in Maine, surrounded by woods, cliffs, and the sea. An unabashed fan of libraries (where she wrote her first novel as a teenager), history from all voices, and the perfect cup of tea, Diane lives in Maine with her husband and son and uses the pronouns she/her.

A Bit More

My name is Diane Magras (my pronouns are she/her) and I write middle grade novels from a corner space overlooking the woods. I wrote my first novel in my middle school library during study hall and took notes on it at my public library downtown. My first two published books are the award-winning New York Times Editors’ Choice The Mad Wolf’s Daughter, and its companion novel: The Hunt for the Mad Wolf’s Daughter. Secret of the Shadow Beasts, which introduces a brand-new world to my readers, is my third book, coming out on June 14, 2022. All three books are full of adventures with castles and swords making appearances. And forests. And secrets. And questions about which stories tell the truth.

I love studying history and the stories you don’t often hear—especially from cultures that rarely have their side of the story told. “Truth” is an interesting concept in history. It’s sometimes challenging to hear, though if we’re brave, humble, and unafraid to to learn, we’ll get closer and closer to understanding.

I find inspiration in research, which I do through books and sometimes on the ground. I grew up on Mount Desert Island in Maine surrounded by a dramatic natural landscape—think granite ledges by the sea, towering cliffs, and silent forests—which is one of the reasons that natural worlds always feature in my writing.

I love to write. I sketch ideas in notebooks, then write a very brief outline, figure out the storyline for each of my major characters, and write the first draft. I use the outline as a guide but depart from it when I need to. (Yes, my characters tell me what to do, so the story often changes.) But I always have a handful of key scenes that stay, enough to make a skeleton. I then write a full and very detailed outline, which helps with my revision process. With it and with readers’ notes, I revise and rewrite; my novels generally go through three to five full drafts. Writing from scratch is great fun, but revision and polishing is a true pleasure. (It didn’t always feel that way!)

For over a decade, I’ve lived in the woods in southern Maine with the sea a short drive away. I’m married to book critic Michael Magras and we have a high schooler who is also a very avid reader as our son (he’s also been an important editor for me; he’s been a reader and advisor for all my books). It’s a very bookish household!

For more about me and my work, here are some interviews, articles I’ve written, reviews, and lists!

Review (The Mad Wolf’s Daughter): The Historical Novel Society

Starred Review (The Hunt for the Mad Wolf’s Daughter audiobook): Sound Commentary

Review (The Hunt for the Mad Wolf’s Daughter): Portland Press Herald

Review (The Hunt for the Mad Wolf’s Daughter): LitPick

Interview: Brunswick Times Record

Brightly: “Unexpected Paths: Encouraging Middle Grade Readers to Look Beyond the Obvious”

School Library Journal: “Hearing Their Voices: Supporting Female Empowerment in Middle Grade Fiction for Tweens and Teens”

Review (The Hunt for The Mad Wolf’s Daughter): Kirkus

Review (The Mad Wolf’s Daughter): The New York Times

Portland Press Herald: Book Review

MG at Heart Writers’ Toolbox: Using Imagined Conversations to Draw Character Relationships

Review: The Late Bloomer’s Book Blog

MG Book Village: “My Audience”

Nerdy Book Club: “Bridging Sides and Understanding Villains”

BookPage: “Finding the Real Hero: Dismantling Gender Roles in the Middle Grade Adventure”

Interview: Brunswick Times Record: “A Hero’s Journey”

Pop! Goes the Reader: “Feminizing the Classic Adventure”

Interview: Beth McMullen’s Blog

The Loud Library: “The Power of Book Covers”

Kid Lit Exchange: Review

Interview: BN Kids

MG Book Village: “My Audience”

Galley Talk: The Mad Wolf’s Daughter (PW)

12 Extra-Exciting Action-Adventure Books with Girls at the Center

18 of the Most Buzzed-About Middle Grade Books of 2018

photo: Michael Magras