All things medieval fascinate children’s author Diane Magras: 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. The Mad Wolf’s Daughter is her debut novel.
Diane Magras grew up on Mount Desert Island in Maine. She spent much of her childhood reading and writing, but also outside: racing on seaside granite slabs, darting through birch-lined marshes, and hiking mossy forests. She is the editor, writer, and chief fundraiser for the Maine Humanities Council. She volunteers at her son’s school library, and is addicted to tea, toast, castles, legends, and most things medieval. The Mad Wolf’s Daughter is her debut novel.
A Bit More
My name is Diane Magras and I write middle grade novels from a corner space overlooking the woods. The Mad Wolf’s Daughter is my first book, but certainly not my last (in fact, there’s a sequel coming soon). My books are full of adventures with castles and swords always making appearances. And forests. And questions. Many, many questions.
I love medieval worlds, especially medieval and ancient 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 the years 1000 and 1350, a broad period of monumental change for that area and the whole region. 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 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. It’s a very bookish household. My day job at a humanities council is bookish, too, and gives me many opportunities to champion history, civic engagement, and libraries: just the life!