What is the best way to contact you?
Please send me an e-mail at madelynruth (at) gmail (dot) com. I’d love to hear from you! You can also find me on twitter at @madrosenberg and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/madelynrosenbergbooks.
Where can I get a signed book for the holidays or other days?
One More Page, the independent bookstore near my house, will ship you a personalized, signed book if you contact them. (Basically: You call them, they call me, I go sign, they go ship.) If you’d like a signed bookplate, send me an email at the above address and I’ll send one your way.
What kind of writing do you do?
I always tell people I’m a one-trick pony, the trick being: I write. All kinds of stuff. I write stories for adults and stories for kids and stories for teens. I write stories for newspapers about engineers and strawberry farmers and murderers and musicians. I wrote a one-act play once. And I was doing a little medical writing for awhile, but I kept getting symptoms of whatever I was writing about, so I’m not sure I should take that up again.I currently write about affordable housing for a nonprofit and do as much writing for kids as I can. We’ll see what comes next.
Have you written any books?
Have you published any books?
I have a counting book that came out without my name on it. The first books with my name on them came out in 2012, The Schmutzy Family and Happy Birthday, Tree, followed by a middle-grade novel called The Canary in the Coal Mine in 2013. To date, I’ve written more than a dozen books for kids of all ages.
How do I purchase your books?
Books can be purchased through your local book store (order if you don’t see them on the shelves) or at any number of online retailers. If you want a signed copy, you can order through One More Page Books, an independent book store not far from my house. They’ll have me sign a copy and then will mail it your way. I can also sign stickers that I can mail out and you can place one in your book.
Who is your favorite writer?
A lot of my friends are the best writers I know, but I’m always afraid if I list them I’ll accidentally leave someone out. I love the writing community in Virginia and urge you to seek out writers near you!
Who are your favorite musicians?
Prince, Big Star, The Ramones, Dolly Parton, Anyone in Hamilton, The Replacements, Gram Parsons, Elvis (or is that Elvi? Costello and Presley), Lucinda Williams, The Monkees, KISS, anyone who worked on Schoolhouse Rock.
Did you always know you were going to be a writer?
I always knew I wanted to be a writer. I always thought I was going to have to be something else because I didn’t think I’d ever be able to make money at being a writer. When I discovered journalism in college, it was like a lightning bolt hit, but to everyone else it was sort of “No duh.” I made an amazing bunch of friends at my college newspaper. I’ve kept many of them. And yep, they write, too. For a long time, my only friends were writers and record store clerks.
Do you have advice for other writers?
Oh, tons. I’m one of those annoying people who tries to solve other people’s problems when I’m presented with them. I am trying to get curb that habit and only give advice when actually asked for it. Otherwise I’m just going to listen. Those of you who are asking can go to the “for writers” link you’ll find to your left. Everyone else can just read on and pretend I didn’t say anything.
Do you have any bad habits?
Do you have any hobbies?
I play the guitar, albeit not very well. I keep a good rhythm, though. I also spend a lot of time in the garden.
What was your best job where you had to go into an office every day?
Music and features writer at The Roanoke Times
What was your worst job?
Waitress at a place called The Sports Page (note that it still had a newspaper theme). It was the home of the Belly Buster Baked Potato. I was a horrible waitress, and the boss let me go half-way through the summer, but the potatoes were good. I spent the rest of high school working at Wendy’s.
Where did you go to school?
N.C. State for undergrad (English), Boston University for grad school (creative writing).
What would you be if you weren’t a writer?
My friend Ron always says I wish I’d invented the Pet Rock, which is about right. I have a list of inventions and schemes a mile long. Does schemer count as an answer? Idea person? Namer of things? And — although this one gets back to writing — I really wish I’d been one of the people who wrote 90210 screenplays (the first time). Oh, and the person who gets to name the colors on paint swatches. I could do that.
What are your new year’s resolutions?
I’m famous for making these (and failing to keep them), but my favorite one, which began when a very wise 5-year-old made it HIS resolution, was to do something I’d never done before. It’s a lot easier when you’re 5 than when you’re … whatever. I still make that resolution every year. And it’s one of the few that I actually keep.
If you have other questions, ask, and I’ll consider adding them to the end of my FAQ.