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In Conversation with Author and Bookstagrammer S MCPHERSON

Recently, I had the opportunity to sit in conversation with S McPherson, a USA Today Bestselling author and young British ex-pat, by virtual entry into her home and writing space in Dubai. A longtime lover of fantasy with a background in teaching has led S McPherson on a path into an insatiable need for storytelling that has translated to a full-time writing career and a growing presence in the Instagram #bookstagram community. From my home and newly minted COVID 19 quarantine compatible office in the States, I sat down to get to know Ms. McPherson a bit better.


MALORIE: First off, thank you so much for letting me interview you. I hope that you are doing well, even with all of the coronavirus disruption. You are a British ex-pat living in Dubai, is that correct? I was curious to know how publishing and your experience with the book and publishing world have differed residing in both the UK and the UAE. Can you tell us a little bit about that?

S MCPHERSON: Thanks so much for having me. Yes, all things considered, I'm doing well. I am a British ex-pat living in Dubai. I actually moved here when I was seven and have been here most of my life, so a lot of my book publishing experience has been based here. However, thanks to the internet, I have managed to share my books worldwide through platforms like Amazon and have a readership in various countries. The publishing process is certainly a learning curve, but once you wrap your head around it, it's a lot of fun. I actually made a course this year that helps authors through the publishing process and will hopefully make it easier for them. Other than online, I have attended a few book fairs, done a few readings, and am currently in the process of getting one of my book series into stores.

M: The Internet is truly the great unifier! It is fantastic that we are having this conversation and that your work can reach so many, both through your books and your presence on Instagram. With a background in teaching, how did you first come to writing and publishing, and then ultimately creating your beautiful and interactive images on Instagram?

S: The first book I ever published was a rhyming verse picture book for the children in my class. I actually started out just making up stories for the children for fun and as a way to exercise their imagination. We would come up with what the characters looked like, names, places, etc. and just make a game of it. However, when they kept asking me to repeat certain stories, I decided to write them down. And their favorite, Shania Streep Wanted to Sleep, I eventually went on to publish :) After the success of that story, I went on to write my first novel and a couple more children's books and the rest, as they say, is history haha

In terms of my Instagram images, I am always looking for creative ways to express myself and my imagination. I love to dance and make up dances. I write songs, poems, and stories (of course). So, when it came to Instagram, I decided it was another platform for me to try to wield my imagination! It took a lot of practice and time with Photoshop, but I'm finally--finally--getting the hang of it.

M: What a beautiful beginning for your writing journey! Working with kids can be so rewarding, and clearly also very inspiring. How did you make the transition from writing picture books for children to writing fantasy novels? 

S: I've always loved all things fantasy and wrote a few fantasy scripts whilst I was growing up as I wanted to be a screenwriter. And I always said that I wanted to try my hand at a novel one day. So, when I ended up writing the children's story and really enjoyed it, I decided it was time to finally write that book!