Skip to content

An Interview with Michelle Elder, author of Magic in Marigold Meadows

elder 1

Chicago native Michelle Elder and her family now call North Carolina home, enjoying life between the mountains and the sea. Her days are filled with the company of her favorite people: two curious and very strong-willed daughters, a coffee-snob husband, and one very hairy dog. An avid reader with a passion for fantasy, she also loves to travel to new places, wander through bookstores, and firmly believes dessert is a non-negotiable daily treat.

What inspired you to start writing this book?

The inspiration for writing Magic in Marigold Meadows came from a blend of two things: my profound love for fantasy literature and the precious moments spent reading with my children. Over the last nine years, I’ve read with my children almost daily, meaning we’ve encountered a lot of great books and quite a few that were not so great. At the close of every book, a recurring dream sparked within my head: What if I wrote a tale where my daughters were not just participants in these magical worlds but the heroes of their own story? The thought of weaving their personalities, our favorite things, and our shared moments into a narrative felt like a unique opportunity to not only celebrate our bond but also to inspire them to see the potential of their imagination and hard work.

Tell us the story of your book’s title. Was it easy to find, or did it take forever?

The title—Magic in Marigold Meadows—came to me even before I had figured out what would happen in the story. It was one of those things that just felt right and magical, and I instantly knew that Marigold Meadows was the world I wanted to explore in my first children’s book. It seemed like a place full of enchantment and possibilities, a place that I believed children would feel connected to as well. This seems to be a recurring theme for me; I already have a title for the second book but haven’t written anything else down yet. Just embracing what works for me!

What other professions have you worked in? What’s something about you that your readers wouldn’t know?

My career has always been rooted in marketing, but it has spanned through many different industries. From the fast-paced world of Ford Models to the holistic field of natural health & wellness, then to the vibrant atmosphere of restaurant groups and ending in the impactful realm of healthcare nonprofits. I’ve learned and grown through the unique challenges and opportunities each has offered. And now, as I embark on this new journey into book publishing, I’m finding that, despite my extensive experience in marketing, the publishing industry presents a whole new set of nuances to master.

What books did you read (for research or comfort) throughout your writing process?

Magic in Marigold Meadows strikes a balance between classic fairy tale charm and whimsical fantasy. During this period, I fell in love with a few books that greatly influenced my direction. Tress of the Emerald Sea by Brandon Sanderson, along with the Once Upon a Broken Heart trilogy by Stephanie Garber, were particularly meaningful to me. My children and I also really enjoyed The Spiderwick Chronicles by Tony DiTerlizzi and Holly Black. I believe the sibling storyline from the Chronicles was especially helpful in shaping the familial dynamics within my own story.

What is one thing you hope readers take away from reading your book? How do you envision your perfect reader?

I really hope readers find my book to be magical. I wish for it to become a family favorite, one that they’re drawn to read over and over again. I hope they find it whimsical and enjoyable, while also valuing the positive messages woven throughout. I hope that children cherish this story and the special moments it creates when being read aloud, and eventually, pass on the tradition of reading it to their own children. These hopes are indeed lofty, but then again, if authors can’t dream big, what else are we to do?

atmosphere press

Atmosphere Press is a selective hybrid publisher founded in 2015 on the principles of Honesty, Transparency, Professionalism, Kindness, and Making Your Book Awesome. Our books have won dozens of awards and sold tens of thousands of copies. If you’re interested in learning more, or seeking publication for your own work, please explore the links below.