Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Interview with Cheryl C. Malandrinos, author of 'Macaroni and Cheese for Thanksgiving'



Cheryl C. Malandrinos is a freelance writer and editor. She is the author of Little Shepherd and A Christmas Kindness. A blogger and book reviewer, she lives in Massachusetts with her husband and two daughters. She also has a son who is married.

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About the Book:

Ten-year-old Macy is waiting for her grandparents to arrive on Thanksgiving. When the front door swings open, Grandma and Grandpa are covered with hugs and kisses. Crash! Everyone rushes in to find the dog gnawing a meaty turkey leg. Can Macy’s quick thinking save dinner?

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Thanks for this interview, Cheryl.  Can we begin by having you tell us about yourself from a writer’s standpoint?
Sure thing. I’m a freelance writer, children’s author, and editor. A 2005 graduate of Long Ridge Writers Group, I began my career focusing on article writing. In 2008, I switched to fiction writing for children. I’m the author of Little Shepherd, A Christmas Kindness, and Macaroni and Cheese for Thanksgiving.
I’ve edited numerous manuscripts in a variety of genres and ghostwritten a Christian chapter book. In addition to being a book reviewer and blogger, I am on the planning committee for a local writers conference that takes place each fall at Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, MA. Though it’s been a few years, I’ve also held numerous writing workshops in our local school district.
When not writing, what do you like to do for relaxation and/or fun?

I’m a busy mom, but I do try to take some time for myself. I read most days and I garden when I can.

Congratulations on your new book! Can you give us the very first page of your book so that we can get a glimpse inside?

On the first page the reader meets ten-year-old Macy and her twin brothers. Macy is taking a breather from helping her mom with holiday preparations when Mark and Billy get into a fight over a video game.

Would you say it’s been a rocky road for you in regards to getting your book written and published or pretty much smooth sailing?  Can you tell us about your journey?

Since this is my third book, I know what to expect. The waiting time for an illustrator to be assigned to the project was the hardest part—it took a while because Guardian Angel Publishing (GAP) is such an active publisher of children’s books. Artist Marina Movshina created beautiful illustrations for this story. I can’t wait for you to see them.

If you had to summarize your book in one sentence, what would that be?

Ten-year-old Macy uses what she learned about the first Thanksgiving to help her family when the dog swipes the turkey off the table.

What makes your book stand out from the rest?

It’s not a Thanksgiving book about being thankful. When I first told our children’s librarian about the story that was what she liked about it. There are plenty of books out there to teach kids about being thankful. Macaroni and Cheese for Thanksgiving isn’t one of them. It might also stand out to readers of my books because it’s not the sweet story they find in my previous work. While there is a good message, it’s a zanier story than the others. 

If your book was put in the holiday section of the store, what holiday would that be and why?

Thanksgiving because the setting is Thanksgiving Day at Macy’s house.

Would you consider turning your book into a series or has that already been done?

This is really a stand-alone book. Little Shepherd and the next book that GAP has under contract, Amos Faces His Bully, are books in a series where I place fictional characters in the middle of Biblical events. Little Shepherd was about a shepherd boy on the night of Christ’s birth and Amos Faces His Bully is about a young boy who stands up to his bully when he hears about David facing Goliath.

What’s next for you?

I’m hoping to finish a middle grade historical novel I’ve been working on for the past few years. Feedback from my writing group has been very positive. In addition, I have several other picture books waiting for homes, so I want to focus on that in 2017.