Friday, July 29, 2011

Author Spotlight: Author Gregory Maguire, Illustrator Elaine Clayton

Gregory Maguire: Author

Gregory Maguire grew up with a great affinity for books, most notably fairy tales and fantasy fiction. Add to that his experiences throughout childhood living with his journalist father and poet stepmother, and it makes perfect sense that the young Maguire would someday become a writer.

Two years after receiving a B.A. from the State University of New York at Albany, his first book for children was published: The Lightning Time (1978). From there, he went on to write several other books for children, and stayed active as author, teacher, and advocate in the area of children's literature. He taught for eight years at Simmons College Center for the Study of Children's Literature, and is founder and co-director of Children's Literature New England, Incorporated - a non-profit educational charity established in 1987, which "focuses attention on the significance of literature in the lives of children."

Mr. Maguire earned his Ph.D. in English and American Literature from Tufts University (1990). In 1995, his first novel for adults was published: Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West, and from there he has gone on to write several others, as well as more children's titles.

Born on June 9, 1954, Gregory Maguire has lived in Dublin, Ireland, and London, England. He now makes his home in Concord, Massachusetts, with his family.

Gregory Maguire: About Gregory (author official site)
An Interview with Gregory Maguire
Gregory Maguire (Wikipedia)
Gregory Maguire (GoodReads)
Gregory Maguire: Biography
Meet the Writers: Gregory Maguire

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Elaine Clayton: Illustrator

Elaine Clayton comes from a large family, and she says that while growing up in such an environment: 

"I...learned the importance of lively conversation and storytelling. As I grew up, my private world was one involving characters I drew, whole families of people with stories I made up."

This childhood immersion into story and art seems a solid foundation for the artistic paths she has followed as an adult: fine artist, and children's book author and illustrator. 

Ms Clayton earned a BFA in 1984 from Atlanta College of Art, and went on to receive her MFA in Illustration from the School of Visual Arts in New York City in 1996. She has taught elementary school in Atlanta and Boston, and has worked as a community organizer in Cesar Chavez camps for Spanish and Indian migrants.

Her first children's book, Pup in School, was published in 1993, while she taught at the Atrium School in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Since then, she has gone on to write and/or illustrate many other books for children, including those for which she may be best known: her illustrations in Gregory Maguire's Hamlet Chronicles series for middle grade readers. Her work has also appeared in such publications as the New York Times. In addition to her illustration work, Elaine Clayton accepts commissions for various fine arts projects, including murals, portraits, studio and landscape painting.

Born in the Texas Panhandle in 1961, Elaine Clayton has lived in Texas, Kansas, and Georgia. She now lives in New England with her husband and two sons.

Elaine Clayton: About the Artist (official site)
Elaine Clayton (
Elaine Clayton (1961-) Biography - Personal, Address, Career, Writings, Work in Progress, Sidelights (
Elaine Clayton (

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