Interview with Mom’s Choice Award-Winner Shannon K. Mazurick

Shannon K. Mazurick MCA Interview Series Featured image

Mom’s Choice Awards is excited to announce another post in our interview series where we chat with the inventors, designers, publishers, and others behind some of our favorite family-friendly products.

Hello, Mom’s Choice readers! Welcome to another interview with a Mom’s Choice Award-winning author! Today we’ll hear from popular children’s author Shannon Mazurick, whose refreshing books have been delighting young readers for years. During the interview, we’ll learn more about her two latest—My Robot Grandpa and Lizard Lessons—and the valuable lessons these books contain.

MCA: We’re so glad to have you with us today, Shannon. Please tell us a bit about yourself.

I have loved writing since a young age. I graduated Avon High School in 2004 and the University of Saint Joseph (formerly Saint Joseph College) in 2008. I received my bachelor’s degree in English with a minor in Psychology. In 2013, I received my master’s degree in Interactive Media through Quinnipiac University. I am the proud author of Poetry As The Year Goes By • Reflective Poetry: Petals of the Heart • Gemma: The Search for the Gem • Gemma: The Treasure Hunt With Griffin • Gemma: The First Day Of School With Honoray • Toto’s Tale: An Adaptation of L. Frank Baum’s The Wonderful Wizard of Oz • Shannon K. Mazurick’s Inspirational Artwork Book 1 • The Four-Leaf Clover • Shannon K. Mazurick’s Inspirational Artwork Book 2, The Wonders Of Summer • Lizard Lessons • and My Robot Grandpa.

I write in hope of illustrating how everyone is an individual and everyone has a purpose in life. I also find writing as a way to express myself and as a means of reflection. I enjoy the creative aspect that writing offers. I also like the creativeness and ability to express oneself that artwork offers. Artwork and writing are both means of communication.

Being born with birth trauma, I have speech difficulties so all forms of communication are important to me. My two poetry books feature two of my art pieces on the covers. For the three Gemma children’s books, I worked with the illustrator to make sure every detail, even the colors, matched my vision. The Wonders Of Summer is the first book I digitally illustrated. All three of my Gemma books, Toto’s Tale: An Adaptation of L. Frank Baum’s The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, and The Four-Leaf Clover have been previous Mom’s Choice Award recipients! The Four-Leaf Clover is the first book I illustrated myself.

In addition to being a Mom’s Choice Award recipient, The Four-Leaf Clover is also a Story Monster’s Purple Dragonfly Book Award recipient and a Story Monster’s Royal Dragonfly Book Award recipient! I plan to publish more books in the future. Besides writing and artwork, I enjoy spending time with family and friends, have a love for animals, and like staying active. I hope my artwork, books, messages, and story inspire others as I try to have a positive outlook on life while trying my best.

MCA: What was your path to becoming a writer like? What inspired you?

My path to becoming a writer started in elementary school where my classmates and I would write stories, which were made into books with wallpaper-like covers by the school. I still have the books from elementary school. Writing has always been a love of mine as it’s not only a tool to help me communicate but allows me to be creative. As I mentioned previously, being born with birth trauma, I have speech difficulties so all forms of communication are important to me. However, writing also allows me to create stories. When entering college, I didn’t declare an area of study and English became one of my favorite types of course. As I previously mentioned, I received my bachelor’s degree in English. After receiving my bachelor’s degree, I completed the Writing for Children and Teens Course through the Institute Of Children’s Literature. Around the same time, I compiled and added to the poems I wrote in my poetry courses at the University of Saint Joseph, which then became my first published book. I’ve been writing and publishing books ever since, as my love for writing continues to grow.

MCA: What was your inspiration for writing My Robot Grandpa and Lizard Lessons?

My Robot Grandpa was inspired by my own grandpa. While the story is fictional, he loved my books—and the last thing he said to me before he passed away was to keep writing and to write a book titled My Robot Grandpa.

Lizard Lessons was inspired by a class. When I had the pleasure of Zooming with them as an author, the students mentioned that I should write a book about the lizard that was in their classroom. It warmed my heart to see and hear their reactions when I told them that I had—and they enjoyed the book.

MCA: What are some of the key lessons found in the book?

In both Lizard Lessons and My Robot Grandpa, the two key lessons are to never stop learning or being curious and that everyone has unique qualities that they should embrace.

MCA: What kind of response from readers have you received?

I have received wonderful positive responses from readers. The readers have told me that they read the books over and over because they enjoy them so much.

MCA: Shannon, you’re an author and illustrator with quite a few books published already. So I’m wondering: What’s next? Do you have anything in the pipeline right now?

Yes—I plan on publishing additional books in the future. I have many more ideas and inspiration is continuing to be seen daily.

MCA: We certainly wish you the best in all your endeavors! Thanks again for taking the time to speak with us.

You can learn more about Shannon K. Mazurick and her award-winning book, My Robot Grandpa and Lizard Lessons by visiting her MCA Shop pages.

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