Hi there, welcome! Although I began this site as a way to introduce my books to new readers, it seems more and more of my other interests are finding their way into the posts, as well. I work at a public library and have a great love for art, history, music, and travel. With a dash of photography and a few recipes and crafts sprinkled in, you’ll find the essence of this New England-based blog.
I also love to share what I learn about authors and artists from bygone times, as well as present day—what they’ve achieved, what advice they have for the rest of us, and interesting details about their personal lives. I hope you’ll click the ‘follow’ button and join me on my adventures.
I am a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. After numerous magazine and anthology contributions, I now have several published books. The novels are aimed at tweens (ages 9-12) but, to my happy surprise, are read by all ages. The first, Call Me Amy, was chosen for BankStreet College of Education’s Best Books of 2013. Its sequel, Amy’s Choice, was released in fall, 2014. Both stories take place in a tiny fishing village on the coast of Maine. For reviews and more information, please click the ‘Books’ tab. UPDATE: My third novel is forthcoming. Keep an eye out for Roller Boy!
If you’d like to know more about my writing, here are two links to interviews with me:
Click here to read a Writer’s Digest interview.
Click here to watch a portion of a Tv interview.
Although Call Me Amy and Amy’s Choice are completely fictional, the setting was partly influenced by vivid memories of my grandparents’ home on the coast of Maine. Here I am in Maine at age six and as a young teen. If you click on the below photo, you can read a letter I wrote to my teen self as published on Dear Teen Me. (Sorry, there is no longer a link for online viewing.)
Other than a few fish and a tiny long ago turtle I owned as a kid, my first brush with marine animals was at SeaWorld. I won first place for a birthday card I created for Shamu in a nationwide contest. My prize was a star-studded trip to Orlando where I got to pat Baby Shamu at her extraordinary birthday celebration. She was the first Killer Whale born and raised in captivity.
More recently, I collected over 250 cereal box tops in order to adopt a puffin through Project Puffin. This small effort will help ensure puffins remain on the Maine coast. Here is a picture of my puffin, Abigale:
To celebrate the publication of Call Me Amy, I adopted a seal pup through World Wildlife Fund.
Amy’s Choice, the sequel to Call Me Amy, was launched at Barnes & Noble on Nov. 1, 2014. For more pictures of events, please click on the Events and Launch Photos tabs at the top of this page.
I’ve got to include one last picture—my kids a few years back. 🙂
I’d love to hear from you. Please click the above CONTACT button to send a message.
A few quick book reviews–
“Well-drawn, sympathetic characters and the developing spark between Amy and Craig combine to create a pleasant, satisfying read.” —Kirkus
“Strykowski lovingly captures seaside Maine and the travails of adolescence in her quiet, sweet-natured debut novel.”—Publishers Weekly
“Strykowski ably depicts Amy’s insecurity and self-doubt, Craig’s bravura and pain, and Miss Cogshell’s wisdom with a deft, convincing touch. In essence, Amy comes of age as she fights to find her voice in the outside world and shed some of her debilitating insecurity. Readers will cheer her on, and her splendid team, too.” —Booklist
“To do a good deed, we can find friendship in the most curious of locations. “Call Me Amy” is a novel from Marcia Strykowski following the struggles of Amy Henderson, who finds an injured seal and seeks to nurse it, with the help of a scorned aging woman and an unusual youth. Set in the early 70s and exploring the essence of loneliness, “Call Me Amy” is a powerful read that should prove so very hard to put down, highly recommended.”—Midwest Book Review
“Every once in a while, a book comes along that you just can’t put down. This book draws you in so deeply, you just have to keep reading. Set in the 1970s, it is a heartwarming story of friendship and coming of age. The story is well-developed and has enough twists and turns to keep even a reluctant reader interested.” —Library Media Connection
“This character-driven novel is told from Amy’s point of view. The protagonist grows throughout the story, from a shy loner to having two friends and speaking her mind in front of her adversaries at school as well as to the whole town. …Amy is a reliable narrator and easily relatable.” —School Library Journal
“Infused with a strong sense of place, this 1970s-set novel…will have appeal for Amy’s fellow animal lovers.”—Horn Book Guide Reviews