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Day 12 Writer Mama Every-Day-In-May Book Giveaway: Elizabeth Rusch

Elizabeth Rusch was very generous with me with her time when I was new in town and working on Writer Mama. Liz is a freelance journalist and prolific children’s book author, most recently of a book called, For The Love of Music. Thanks for helping me welcome, Liz…

Elizabeth Rusch writes both fiction and nonfiction in the areas of science, art, sports, waves, jokes, crayons, and mud — anything that catches her fancy. She has published more than 100 articles in magazines such as Muse, Read, American Girl, Smithsonian, Harper’s, Mother Jones, and Backpacker. Her children’s books — Generation Fix, A Day with No Crayons, The Planet Hunter, and Will it Blow? — have been honored by Smithsonian magazine, the International Reading Association, Natural History magazine and the Eloise Jarvis McGraw Award in Children’s Literature.  Upcoming titles include The Mighty Mars Rovers, Volcanoes and the Science of Saving Lives, Volcano Rising, and Electrical Wizard.

About For the Love of Music: The remarkable story of Maria Anna Mozart:
By the time she was 12, she was considered one of the finest pianists in Europe, but today few people know her name. Maria Anna Mozart, like her famous brother Wolfgang, was a musical prodigy. The talented siblings toured Europe, playing before kings and empresses, were showered with gifts and favors, and lived in a whirlwind life of music and travel. They were best friends, collaborators, and confidantes. As they grew older, Wolfgang was encouraged to pursue his musical ambitions, while Maria had to stop performing and, ultimately, marry. But she was determined to continue playing the piano every day, for the love of music.  Her newest release is For the Love of Music: The Remarkable Story of Maria Anna Mozart. Publishers Weekly’s starred review describes this nonfiction picture book as “a moving portrait of an unsung musician.” In its starred review, Kirkus calls the book “an elegantly constructed work.”

1. How has writing (either just the act of writing or writing this book or both) impacted your self-confidence?

For the Love of Music began more than six years ago as simple curiosity about Wolfgang Mozart’s musical sister, turned into a bit of an obsession, and on publication has become something that I’m really proud to have done. I think perhaps the most challenging projects can be the most rewarding. Now I know I can take an inkling of an idea and through sweat, love and even some tears, turn it into something beautiful.

2. What are three words that describe your creative book-writing process?

Joyful. Challenging. Enlightening.

3. What good has your book created in the world?

I hope For the Love of Music draws attention to a forgotten musical genius, Maria Anna Mozart, while also inspiring children to make music their whole lives no matter what challenges confront them.

• • •

If a book was written about you it would be called: For the love of… (what?). Remember that it’s a story about something that was big in your life. This could either be since you were a child or the story could still be to come. Make it up if you want or imagine your future.

Answer in the comments in 50-200 words (no less and no more to qualify to win one of today’s books). Please read the complete rules at least once!

Thanks for participating in the Writer Mama Every-Day-In-May Book Giveaway! Please bring a small crowd next time you come. :)

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  • Sandy Brehl May 12, 2011, 1:41 pm

    What a terrific interview. Elizabeth’s profiles/bios are so appealing to readers, and I can’t wait to share this latest title. What a story that needed to be told, and what a great storyteller to get it right! This give-away will have my fingers crossed all day.

  • Laurie Thompson May 12, 2011, 4:14 pm

    I love Liz and am
    so looking forward to reading this book! If a book was written about me, it
    would be called “For the Love of Animals.” I’ve always loved animals. When I
    was a baby, my dad raised Chesapeake Bay Retrievers. My mom says that once I
    could crawl, I would often disappear. She never worried, because she would find
    me in the doghouse amongst the puppies. Growing up, I had practically every
    kind of pet imaginable and lived on a small farm with cattle, pigs, chickens,
    and my own horse. My dogs, my cat, my horse, and my rabbits were, truly, my
    best friends, offering constant companionship and comfort. For most of my
    lifetime, all I wanted was to become a veterinarian. I didn’t end up pursuing
    that dream, but I’ve worked in vet clinics and volunteered at the humane
    society. I learned much about animals along the way, and I love them still.
    Just ask my dog, cat, fish, or guinea pigs. 😉

  • JJ Haugen May 12, 2011, 5:39 pm

    For the love of…running! There is nothing like the invigoration of pounding the pavement for a writer OR a mama (or a writing mama!). Whether I pack my two- and three-year-old up in the double jogging stroller or let them play while I’m on the treadmill, it’s a way to clear my mind, relieve stress, and work through my novel’s latest plot problems.

  • Emily May 12, 2011, 8:00 pm

    How about… For the Love of Words? Yes, of course. This seems appropriate for the kid who began making her own writing assignments in the fifth grade.

  • Kim Kankiewicz May 12, 2011, 8:55 pm

    Oh, I can’t wait to read Elizabeth’s book. My book would be called “For the Love of Books” because books have been central characters in every significant part of my life. I fell in love with Anne of Green Gables while I was hospitalized as a child. (It was the only chapter book in the pediatric wing, so thank goodness it was a winner.) Coming of age meant graduating from Nancy Drew to Agatha Christie. The books of Geneen Roth and others helped me through an eating disorder, and Jane Smiley’s hilarious book “Moo” made 36 hours of labor less excruciating. I remember vacations by what I was reading at the time, and I’m making memories at home with the books I read my kids.

  • Renee May 12, 2011, 9:14 pm

    “For the Love of Perseverance.” Even when people told
    me I would never make money as a writer, I never fully gave up the dream. Oh
    sure, I shelved it for a while, taking jobs that should have given me rungs on the
    corporate ladder, but not surprisingly, they never worked out. My passion lies
    within the arts, and I use music and the visual arts to help inspire my everyday
    work. Sitting down and creating characters and dialogue that eventually make it
    to the page is where my passion truly lies, and maybe one day my memoirs will
    chronicle the difficult, but rewarding journey it has been!

  • Patricia May 13, 2011, 1:37 am

    For the love of adventure! For the love of being adventurous!  Although I had to sit out  it for a few years, and it was late in coming ( I was quite shy till I found my voice at 25) I always had an intense desire to see the world in a most unconventional way.   I finally grew up and into that sense and started traveling and working in an adventurous and unsual way. I love it and hope to write the book myself one day  

  • Carol J. Alexander May 13, 2011, 1:59 am

    For the love of writing…writing has always been a major part
    of my life, as I shared in a previous comment. First journaling, then poetry,
    now as a freelancer. What I aspire to in my writing is the part of the story
    that is yet to come…something that I only dream about.

  • Judy May 13, 2011, 2:21 am

     What a difficult question, for me at least. For the love of LIFE: nature, family and friends; authentic and deep relationships based on appreciation, trust and respect. I’ve always had faith as well, despite setbacks and sadness, believing the best would always happen, as my mom often said, “the silver lining inside each cloud.”  While I treasure the silver linings, I do think there is much more “good,” more life, to come. J

  • Roger Waysok May 13, 2011, 4:30 am

    For the love of creativity. Before I could write, I
    would draw stories, direct and act out plays I wrote. As soon as I picked up a
    guitar, I taught myself how to play and wrote songs until my fingers bled. With
    a creative writing degree under my belt, today I am a published author,
    self-taught musician and lyricist, and scrapbooker. I found myself through
    creativity and I hope that I could inspire my son and other young people to do the same!

  • Beth May 13, 2011, 4:32 am

     For the Love of Family.Family has been big in my life–for both good and painful reasons. But I am a true believer in the statement: Home is where your story begins. At some point, you have to reconcile with your family: past, present and future. And I hope, though I know I’m not a perfect mom, that I’ve given my children a good beginning to their stories.

  • Mar Junge May 13, 2011, 5:46 am

    A book about my life would be called “For the Love of Public Relations.”  I knew I wanted to be a writer  since I was 9 and I found out I could make money writing for PR agencies when I was 12. I got my degree in PR when I was 21. Went to work at my first agency when I was 22. Started my own agency at 42. And have been involved with my profession (while raising 3 kids) ever since. That’s true love that lasts a lifetime. 

  • Rebecca Cherba May 13, 2011, 6:15 am

    Can’t wait to pick up Elizabeth’s book, especially since it looks at a woman who in our era would have been able to make a long-term career out of music. Examining her experience must have been fascinating!

    My title would be “For the love of story.” I love stories in all mediums, nonfiction as well as fiction (after all, what is history but the story of humanity, from millions of perspectives?) It’s partly why I became a historian in the first place, because the line between fiction and reality is often fine. For me, fiction has a way of bringing historical events, settings and perspectives to life in a way that makes for more compelling reading than staid names, dates and facts. Even so, telling history is rather like telling a story, because it comes from a particular perspective, and all of us (much as we try to avoid it) do have some form of bias–but that also gives us unique angles to contribute to the broader literature of our respective fields. Story is what drives me, and I think it’s ultimately how human cultures educate themselves about their own beliefs, histories and moralities.

  • Mary Drew May 13, 2011, 6:17 am

     A book written about me could be called “For the Love of Children.”  I grew up with four younger siblings, and didn’t always like babysitting them, but I did it.  As the years passed, my older sisters had babies, and then it was up to me to babysit them.  Neighbors and friends followed, and then I had my own two daughters.  I became a teacher and spent my days with many people’s children, as well as my own.  Finally, for the past seven years I have been deeply involved in the lives of my two grandchildren.  Children have been a constant in my life, all of my life, and I have learned profound lessons from them about love and learning.

  • Cara Holman May 14, 2011, 6:41 pm

    What do I most want to be known for? That’s an interesting question. I
    thought of family, but that seemed pretty generic—who doesn’t love their
    family? Then I thought of nature, but that made me sound like a budding
    (pun intended!) naturalist. And finally I realized, “Wait, I’m a
    writer, that’s why I’m answering these prompts in the first place”, so I
    guess I’d go with: “For the love of words”. It took me the longest time
    (until four years ago, in point of fact) to realize I had serious
    writing aspirations. But I come by it honestly. Recently I discovered
    that three of my mom’s cousins are writers, and one of my cousins
    published a collection of poetry. I even unearthed a poem my grandfather
    wrote to my grandmother after he proposed to her. So now I feel like I
    am in good company.