Marybeth Whalen: Author Spotlight

Marybeth Whalen stopped by today to tell Traveling With T about #literaryconfessions, #literarycrush, and much more. Enjoy getting to know a bit more about Marybeth Whalen, author of The Wishing Tree.


Author Spotlight


Marybeth, when you are not writing- what are some of your favorite things to do?

Read. Watch movies or crime shows. Go on dates with my husband. Hang out with friends.

Could you tell us some of your favorite authors?
Elizabeth Berg, Jodi Picoult, Sarah Addison Allen, Joshilyn Jackson, Lee Smith


What book (or books!) will you always make room for on your shelf?

Just one shelf? 🙂

I have a collection of all of Lee Smith’s work, dating back to the first book of hers I ever got—when my father had some people move out of his rental house and leave boxes of books behind. (Can you imagine?) Before he donated them, he let me go through them because he knew how much I loved books. I was 14 years old and plucked a book called Black Mountain Breakdown out of the box. I didn’t know it at the time, but that was the beginning of something. I fell in love with southern writing from that moment on, and realized that not all writers have to live in and write about New York City. It gave me hope.

Sometimes I go to my shelves just to run my hands across the book spines, visiting with them like the old friends they are.

Do you have any #literaryconfessions?

So many great works of literature I’ve never read. <Hangs head in shame.> Seriously. It’s sad.

Do you have a #literarycrush?

Ah, Finny from A Separate Peace. I just loved his wildness and his tragic death broke my heart. (Spoiler alert!)

What are some of the books that will be in your beach bag for 2013?

Take a look at our June books at She Reads—that’s my reading list for this summer!

The Books of Summer

There is truly a glut of wonderful titles out this summer. None of us have any excuse to not be reading every minute!

What was your favorite childhood book?

Just one? 🙂

Harriet The Spy taught me what it meant to be an observer and cataloguer. Mandy by Julie Andrews Edwards taught me that there were other little girls who existed on the outside of things and longed for a space of their own. From The Mixed Up Files of Mrs Basil E Frankwiler taught me that other kids longed to run away and live on their own terms.  Danny The Champion of the World by Roald Dahl taught me that parents are just doing the best they can, and sometimes that’s enough. And The Lion The Witch and The Wardrobe made me fall in love with the mighty and amazing Aslan.

Was there a person or a book series that helped start your love of reading?

My mom tells me that when I was old enough to walk, I would toddle across the room and bring her a book to read. When she was done with that one, I would go get another. This would go on as long as she would keep reading. I credit her for continuing to read the books I brought her for hours on end. I really did come with a powerful, voracious hunger for words and she had the wisdom to feed it early on.
If you were not an author, what would you want to be?

A Food Network star a la Pioneer Woman. Me, my husband and kids, my wild and crazy house, and easy dinners served up with southern flair.

If you could be a character in a book, who would you be? Why?

Pippi Longstocking. I love her spunk, her daring, and her refusal to live on anyone else’s terms


ICYMI: Interview with Marybeth Whalen author of The Wishing Tree and Traveling With T’s review of The Wishing Tree by Marybeth Whalen.

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