Margo Candelario is a California native, who moved to Harlem at the age of 17 where her interest in the arts and culture flourished. Married ten years later, had a daughter and the three-some relocated to the state of Georgia seeking a slower pace and healthier environment for their family. Tragically her husband Phil suffered a massive heart attack at the age of 34 leaving three children with questions about fear, death and separation.
Ms. Candelario resurrected her talent for storytelling and writing to create an income while helping others who have or are presently suffering from the loss of a parent.
What would you like readers to take away from your book?
A method for children to cope with the loss of a loved one through dialog, memories and photographs.
Why did you choose to write a children's book?
There are many self help publications on grief but they are written in technical jargon, with an introduction to death & dying using age appropriate terminology. I couldn't find a realistic discussion between sisters about their heartfelt loss, and nothing representing children of color.
What did you learn while writing this book?
I learned that children are more resilient then adults, and that the book was probably more therapeutic for me than my children.
What was your favorite scene from the book?
The scene with the girls dancing on their fathers foot, holding on and laughing.
What one thing about writing do you wish other non-writers would understand?
The importance of having a stress free environment, to nurture the creative energy necessary to connect thought, fingers and paper.
What is the best lesson you have learned from another writer?
Not to force the creative process, allowing it to happen naturally, because whatever you internalize sets the tone for the script. The characters should remain separate from the author, always retaining their individuality.
What is the toughest test you've faced as a writer?
Battling my EGO. Learning to accept that everyone will not appreciate, embrace, relate or love my style and the stories I choose to tell. I have a painting with a verse written on it that says " In the graveyard of memories, the toughest ones to keep buried are the ones where I'm rejected."
What is something readers would be surprised you do?
That I am a working visual artist, I paint and exhibit art professionally.
What are three things you wish you'd known before you reached where you are now?
1. That having the gift of storytelling doesn't make you a good writer, practicing the craft and developing the skill gets you closer to "Better."
2. Even if you feel your book should be an over night success, media & publishers dictate public interest.
3.How little authors are paid for their years of observation, transcribing, recollection, research, and perseverance, $1.50 or less per copy.
What advice would you offer to someone whose book is about to be released?
Have a strong marketing strategy, have professional people executing your marketing plan, prior to the release of the publication, and rely on your intuition.
If you could have dinner with 3 authors to talk with about their writing (living or deceased) who would you invite and why?
(Carter G. Woodson) "The Mis-Education of the Negro" I'd like to ask him how it felt to write about such a controversial reality, knowing that those who'd benefit from the information, would possibly reject it, while validating the European American stereotype of the Lazy Negro.
(Alexandre Dumas) " The Three Musketeers", Despite his success, allowed his bi-racial ethnicity to plague him throughout his life, inspiring him to make the comment "my father was a mulatto, my grandfather was a Negro and my great grandfather a monkey." So i'd like to ask how he was able to write with racial anonymity.
(Sidney Sheldon) In his book Master of the Game how was he able to go back and forth in time, developing characters strong enough to carry their own epics, and yet tie them all together as a whole, without over powering the concept.
Can you give us one do and one don't for those aspiring to be a writer?
Write about subjects that move and inspire the writer to share that excitement with the reader.
Do not write on a subject you know nothing about .
How can readers get in contact with you? (mail, email, website)
Our theme for this month is Writing the book, what advice do you have for staying motivated to complete the book?
Seeing the finished product.
Looking to the Clouds for Daddy
This story is inspired by the real-life loss of the author's husband at an early age. She deals with her grief through the eyes of her three daughters, who share their memories of their daddy. They soon discover that he is always with them in many ways. They can even see him in the clouds!