Mary Ann Fraser is the author/illustrator of 60 fiction and non-fiction books for children. Her latest picture book, Alexander Graham Bell Answers the Call (Charlesbridge), was published in August.
Fraser is also the Regional Advisor for SCBWI’s Central-Coastal Region. She talks to Kite Tales about her prolific career and shares lessons learned over the years.
Erlina Vasconcellos: Congratulations on your new book, a nonfiction look into the childhood of Alexander Graham Bell. How did you choose him as the subject?
Mary Ann Fraser: First, thank you for the opportunity to share my journey toward this latest book. As always, I am so grateful for the support and encouragement of my friends and peers that make up this amazing community we call SCBWI.
In 2012 my husband and I visited the Alexander Graham Bell Historic Site in Baddeck, Nova Scotia. I was amazed at Bell’s endless curiosity, inventiveness, and desire to help others, particularly the deaf, and was struck by how his life’s work seemed inevitable from the time he was a young lad. His mother was deaf and his father and grandfather were speech therapists. At the museum bookstore, I asked if they had any picture books on Bell. The cashier said they didn’t but wished they did. That’s when bells (excuse the pun) started ringing, and I realized I had my next project.
EV: After 60 books, how do you stay inspired and keep things fresh? Is your method for generating ideas different from when you began?