Diane Magras (pronounced MAY-gris) is author of the NYT Editors’ Choice The Mad Wolf’s Daughter, as well as its companion novel, The Hunt for the Mad Wolf’s Daughter. All things medieval fascinate Diane: castles, abbeys, swords, manuscripts, and the daily life of medieval people, especially those who weren’t royalty. Diane lives in Maine with her husband and son and thinks often of Scotland, where her books are set.
Diane Magras, author of the NYT Editors’ Choice The Mad Wolf’s Daughter, as well as its companion novel, The Hunt for the Mad Wolf’s Daughter, grew up on Mount Desert Island in Maine surrounded by woods, cliffs, and the sea. She is addicted to tea, toast, castles, legends, and most things medieval. Diane lives with her husband and son and thinks often of Scotland, where her novels take place.
A Bit More
My name is Diane Magras and I write middle grade novels from a corner space overlooking the woods. My first two books are the NYT Editors’ Choice The Mad Wolf’s Daughter, and its companion novel: The Hunt for the Mad Wolf’s Daughter. My books are full of adventures with castles and swords always making appearances. And forests. And questions. Many, many questions.
I love studying medieval worlds, especially in Scotland. I find inspiration in my historical research, which I do through books and sometimes on the ground. My settings are right now rural lowland Scotland between AD 1000 and 1350, a broad period of monumental change. 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 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 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 an avid reader as our son (who is also an important editor for me; he’s the first reader of all my books, and he makes sure I get my pacing and details right). It’s a very bookish household. My day job at the Maine Humanities Council is bookish, too, and gives me many opportunities to champion history, civic engagement, and libraries: just the life!