Welcome to author Mary McKenna! It’s always fun to learn more about your favorite authors, so I was thrilled when Mary agreed to an interview. This is one of my favorite interviews I’ve had the privilege of doing. Enjoy!
1. What is your favorite shade of Halloween?
The season is brimming with so many colors that it’s hard to pick just one. If I were forced to choose, however, I think I could narrow it down to two favorites, one cheery: rusty-crusty, goldy-moldy, flaring-glaring blaze of orange… and one eerie: slimy-grimy, queasy-peasy, snotty-rotty tinge of green. But really, I love the whole SPOOKtacular spectrum of the night, and every shivery shade of Halloween!
2. Do you carve your pumpkins or paint them?
There are so many clever ways to decorate pumpkins nowadays, with melted crayons, paint, glitter, and embellishments of all kinds, that you can dress them up and turn them into just about anything… or anyone! I really enjoy seeing all the imaginative creations that people are coming up with, and yet, for me, I still love the old-fashioned tradition of simply carving a pumpkin, scooping out the innards and roasting up the seeds (yum!), then putting out our jack-o-lantern, glowing brightly with a real candle inside, to light the way for trick-or-treaters.
3. What is your favorite Halloween treat?
I’m a big fan of all things chocolate, in just about any form, plain, or with peanuts or caramel or both. Not just at Halloween, but any time of year, it’s hard to go wrong with chocolate!
4. What are you going to dress up as for Halloween?
Though I’m not planning a full-fledged costume this year, I love wearing accessories to celebrate the season. In the weeks leading up to Halloween, I get in the spirit by wearing my dangling clusters-of-candy-corn earrings, and my ruby-bellied spider earrings. And on Halloween night, I’ll be greeting trick-or-treaters wearing a zany headband with two springy bats hovering over my head, which I fondly refer to as… The Bats in My Belfry!
5. If you could be any kind of monster (vampire, ghost, etc) what would you be?
Ooh, what an intriguing prospect to consider! Perhaps more magical than monstrous, but I think it would be wonderful to be a wizard, an enchantress with the power to cast spells and work magic… but only good, of course!
6. Do you have any new projects in the works?
Next up is a picture book coming out in February, BRINGING THE OUTSIDE IN. It’s a story-in-rhyme that follows some kids and their dog through the seasons, capturing their gleeful exploration of the great outdoors, and their exuberance as they arrive home, bringing with them evidence of their day’s adventures:
“Worms in our clutches,
Wind in our hair,
Boots full of puddle,
With their escapades brought to life by the utterly delightful illustrations of Patrice Barton, the book is a celebration of the joys of nature, and an anthem encouraging kids to get outside and play!
About the Author:
Mary McKenna Siddals is a Canadian author whose picture books include the groundbreaking COMPOST STEW: An A to Z Recipe for the Earth (Tricycle Press), the perennial favorite, MILLIONS OF SNOWFLAKES (Clarion), and most recently, SHIVERY SHADES OF HALLOWEEN: A Spooky Book of Colors (Random House). She’ll be celebrating Halloween at her home in British Columbia, where she also enjoys being close to nature and spending time with her family, as well as tending to her own batch of Compost Stew. You may find her online at www.siddals.com and on her Facebook pages for COMPOST STEW and SHIVERY SHADES OF HALLOWEEN.
About Shivery Shades of Halloween:
What color is Halloween? Why, it’s as green as an “eerie glow, evil grin, vile brew, clammy skin,” as white as “cobwebs clinging, a misty trail, a skull, a spook, a face gone pale . . .” Children will learn their colors as they follow a cute little creature on his adventure through haunted halls, moonlit forests . . . perhaps even a Halloween party! Jimmy Pickering’s stylized settings and adorable monsters add a blast of colorful creepy-crawliness that will make kids giggle. Who knew that learning colors could be such spooky fun?