Welcome to #TheQuickSixInterview with Marg Gibbs!
One of our seasoned guests is back, and we couldn’t be more delighted to learn about another of her enchanting books for families and children of all ages! You may remember Marg Gibbs and her beautiful stories and poems; Jasper’s Jumbled Up Words, The Post Office Pup, Goose at the Gate, and Blue Bucket Cousins. Today, Marg is taking us, and our furry pals, on an animal adventure with her illustrated junior fiction, The Waiting Room of Weathervane Vet.
Thanks, Marg, for sharing your story. 🙂
About the Author
Marg Gibbs, or MJ Gibbs is inspired to write children’s stories and poems, having self-published 14 books.
From The Post Office Pup, a picture story book, to Backpacks and Paper Planes; travel poems for kids, her style is poetic and realistic with a hint of mystery and magic.
A highlight in Marg’s literary career was the Bologna Book fair in Italy a few years ago. Currently, she enjoys visiting and presenting in schools, Romancing the Stars, and attending Voices on the Coast, Book Links and SCWBI conferences.
Marg is passionate about family, positive friendships and the welfare of animals. Nature and its beauty also feature in her writing. Her latest releases are two junior fiction books with black and white illustrations, suited for ages 7+: Jesse Wins Through and The Waiting Room of Weathervane Vet. Marg’s poems appear in the NSW School Magazine and internationally.
Please visit Marg at M.J.Gibbs | Author, Blogger & Poet (mjgibbs.com.au)
WHO wrote, illustrated, and published this book?
Marg Gibbs, (M J Gibbs) has written and published a new illustrated junior fiction called, The Waiting Room of Weathervane Vet. Mac Hewitt, graphic artist from Melbourne, skilfully captured the animals and activities in the story in his spot illustrations. Ellen Giannikos partnered with Mac to create the art and design.
WHAT is it about?
Leonardo Watts, or Lenny, as he prefers, is a nine-year-old who cares for a range of rescued animals on his Uncle Jack’s Pigeon Farm. It’s the story of how Lenny and his friends solve a mystery, deal with a school bully, and bring the community together. With perseverance, courage and compassion, Lenny overcomes the challenges of transforming his life after his parent’s accident.
What is your favourite part of this book?
My favourite part – ah! That’s tricky. I like all the times Lenny interacts with his animals, Dug the terrier, Slop the echidna and Bill, a wombat. I like the ending too, because it is uplifting and hopeful.
WHEN did you begin writing this book?
The story emerged one year ago with a scribbled scene in the waiting room at the vet. It grew from there with daily writing, research, and several drafts until I finished.
When is its release / launch date?
March 2023, book launch in May.
WHERE did the inspiration for this book come from?
Initially, I took an online course in writing Junior Fiction with Lesley Gibbes, through the AWC. Her exercises allowed me to develop a scene that established an idea set in a veterinary clinic. I asked myself, what if mysterious and strange things occurred inside the waiting room? Then the fun began.
WHY is this book meaningful to you?
I have dedicated it to my long-life friend and childhood neighbour, Joy Vine Webster. She was my first beta reader. Joy loves animals and wildlife and lives in Brisbane.
Why would its message resonate with readers?
Lenny’s grief is raw after losing his parents. He goes to live with his grumpy Uncle Jack on a farm, which helps readers understand the differences between people, their moods, personalities, and reactions. Identifying Lenny’s feelings about the ups and downs of life on a farm are evident throughout. The story aims to develop resilience, determination, and empathy.
Author Jen Horn says, “The Waiting Room of Weathervane Vet is a sweet and positive story for young animal lovers of all kinds of species. It is a heart-warming tale touching on the power of furry friends, standing up to bullying, schoolyard kindness and working as a community for good.”
HOW do you feel about the illustrations / cover design? How do they convey the feeling or mood you envisioned?
The internal illustrations by Mac Hewitt capture the mood and ideas in the story. As for the cover, I gave Mac a colour scheme and a few photographs to consider. He worked his magic, sending me drafts, a rough layout, and different stages of progression. I love the cover. It shows farm folk with their animals as they wait patiently to be called upon. The paw prints add a special humorous touch and fun feeling.
How have you promoted this book and how can we find it?
This book will be taken to local markets, shop signings, the library, Amazon and on social media, via YouTube, Instagram and Twitter. You can buy a copy on Marg’s website, www.mjgibbs.com.au
A book launch held in a real country vet practice will take place on 6 MAY in Montville, Queensland. Children will be a part of the waiting room experience.
I will be organising book signings, and have created craft, quizzes, mask making and puppets.
OTHER information or experiences you’d like to share?
Asking a Vet assistant for an opportunity to speak at the book launch is a highlight. She is passionate about helping animals maintain their well-being and life. I enjoyed researching facts about some Aussie animals, like the echidna and wombat.
Also, at the local Mapleton primary school, a teacher offered to send me photos and insight into the fun colour run they held recently. Thank you so much, Karen.
Shaving one’s hair for a cause is a worthwhile event. Congratulations to those young people who wish to do this.
Thanks so much for your insights into The Waiting Room of Weathervane Vet, Marg! 🙂
#thequicksixinterview #thewaitingroomofweathervanevet #animalcare #bullying #kindness #community #juniorfiction