Where did you get the idea for Eleanor Mason's Literary Adventures?
As a kid, I always found adventures in books. I was a lot like Eleanor in the fact that I think I had more fictional friends than real ones, even from a young age. And that continued as I grew older. It just seemed like a really fun idea for a book. I loved reading time-traveling chapter books.
Why did you choose to write middle grade?
I first read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone as a middle-grade reader, and that's what fueled my love for books, and for reading. It's such a crucial age to inspire literacy at, and that's my main goal in this venture. I want a child to pick up my book, fall in love with the magic inside, and continue to devour books. Plus, it's a fun age to write for--their imaginations are amazing, so you can throw anything at them--especially a magical glowing forest filled with fairies, a crabby dwarf, and gargoyles.
How do you name your characters?
Well, I have always loved the name Eleanor, so that was a given. Elfie just seemed to fit the adventurous fairy character that I had in my mind. Milo actually started off as Griffin, but his name changed for a few reasons. For Nightshade Forest, I didn't really do any name research, but in books two and three, the characters are solely based on what their characteristics are. For example, Fenek is a rabbit in book two, which literally translates to rabbit.
Did you always want to be a writer?
In a way, yes. I was always writing stories and making books from notebook paper when I was little. Even in high school, my best friend and I would write stories and talk about how we wanted to publish books when we became adults. Then, I kind of let it go for a while. I went to college for something completely different, until I realized that I loved reading and writing too much to give it up. I switched schools and majors, focusing on journalism. I just recently started writing creatively again.