Anna who?

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Picture Book Writer
Dragon Slayer
Dreamer

Anna Marras is what you get when you can’t say Nana Marlys.

Why I write
The greatest gifts we can give come from the gifts we are given. Children’s literature offers a way for me to use my charisms to bring truth, beauty, and goodness into the world through the universal language of imagination.

The writing DNA runs in my family’s blood. My grandparents wrote exquisite letters. My mother and brothers wrote poetry and daily journals.  A daughter writes complicated briefs daily as a litigating attorney. A granddaughter writes several picture books a day. Her writing and artwork adorns my HOME page banner and background. Words are important to us. They pour out of our souls. Newspaper articles, feature stories, and awards have come and gone. Yet, it’s the friendships and the process of sharing words that thrill, inspire, and motivate us. I’m so grateful for this priceless DNA. It’s a gift that can keep giving long after we’re gone.

Writing advice:

  • Don’t destroy your journals of youth, no matter how silly or incriminating. You’ll wish you had them for fodder someday.
  • Trust your heart.
  • Don’t bring celery to the library.

Words to live by:

  • A writer in motion stays in motion.

My ten eleven twelve thirteen fourteen fifteen most-cherished children’s books, in no particular order of genre or likeability:

1. ARE YOU THERE GOD? IT’S ME, MARGARET by Judy Blume

2. TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD by Harper Lee

3. THE GIVER by Lois Lowry

4. ALEXANDER AND THE TERRIBLE, HORRIBLE, NO GOOD, VERY BAD DAY by Judith Viorst (Ditto)

5. CHRYSANTHEMUM by Kevin Henkes

6. CLICK, CLACK, MOO: COWS THAT TYPE by Doreen Cronin, Illustrated by Betsy Lewin

7. IF YOU GIVE A MOUSE A COOKIE by Laura Numeroff, illustrated by Felicia Bond

8. THE GIVING TREE by Shel Silverstein

9. GOODNIGHT MOON by Margaret Wise Brown, illustrated by Clement Hurd

10. NEW KID ON THE BLOCK by Jack Prelutsky, illustrated by James Stevenson

11. INTERRUPTING CHICKEN by David Ezra Stein

12. IF YOU EVER WANT TO BRING AN ALLIGATOR TO SCHOOL, DON’T! by Elise Parsley

13. MOTHER BRUCE by Ryan T. Higgins

14. SOLD by Patricia McCormick

15. THE MOST MAGNIFICENT THING by Ashley Spires

Go forth! Write! Slay a dragon! And dream!

12 thoughts on “Anna who?

    • Thanks, MaryAnn. Sometimes happy dancers/grumps come in the same package. Yippee! Darn it. Come to think of it — I read about this in my Abnormal Psych textbook. Hmmm…

    • Aw, Janie, you’re such a sweetheart. The thought of anyone possessing a whole page of my hormone-induced teenage ramblings scares me just a little. How much do you want for them? 🙂

  1. Marlys,, I just love your story about how your writing career progressed! I would love to read some of your stories that you wrote over the years!

  2. Nice blog! I don’t come here as often as I’d like to. Love that song from the Mamas and Papas. I’m thinking about going to the SCBWI conf in Iowa, so my first thought was to google your name. Looks like the SCBWI website’s still down, but I’ll keep trying. See you at the Oct conf in MN!

    • Thanks Ann! Unfortunately, I didn’t register for the Iowa SCBWI conference this year, but I can vouch for their great hospitality, if you attend. I’ll definitely see you at the MN SCBWI Conference. How fun for you to have THREE books to promote! Woo hoo!

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