Interview with Margaret Dilloway by Lily Schultz
Margaret Dilloway is the newest member of the SDWI board. She is author of The Care and Handling of Roses with Thorns, Winner of the American Library Association’s Literary Tastes for Best Women’s Fiction; How to Be an American Housewife; and the upcoming Sisters of Heart and Snow, all from Putnam Books.
How did you become a member of the board? What is the process?
I had a couple of friends on the board and I asked them about it. The next thing I knew, Patrick and Kristin were interviewing me! Then the board discussed it and invited me to be a member.
What drew you to your particular literary niche?
I write middle grade fantasy and women’s fiction. MOMOTARO, my middle grade series with Disney-Hyperion, was inspired by my childhood and my mother telling me this fairy tale. My women’s fiction books are inspired by history and family drama. Basically, I wrote the stories I wanted to write, then figured out where they fit into genre categories.
What got you into writing in the first place?
I started writing in kindergarten. I was very very shy and basically never talked in school, so writing was how I communicated.My stories helped me process my environment and also entertained people, which helped me make allies in school.
I notice “The Care and Handling of Roses With Thorns” follows a similar naming convention to “How to Be An American Housewife” Is there a reason for this, or did it just fit the book?
The books share a similar theme in that both have a fictional book-within-a-book guidebook.
How did you first get involved with SDWI?
I actually won an SDWI Edgar Allan Poe short story contest in like 1996. I remember coming in and volunteering with envelope stuffing too. Then I started teaching classes here a few years ago.