Flinch-Free Fiction: Author Mari Lumpkin

Saturday’s Pick: Author Mari Lumpkin

Mari Lumpkin, Author
Author Mari Lumpkin

It’s Saturday again, and that makes it time to introduce you to another Indie author: Mari Lumpkin.

I love featuring some of the best fiction from Indie Authors on Saturdays. Because I have positioned the Elle Burton series to a younger audience, my goal is to provide safe recommendations for both adults and kids. Today’s author, Mari Lumpkin has provided a wealth of books to inspire our young readers.

It’s important to Mari to share her love of books, too. She claims that all of her dolls were excellent readers by the time she finished teaching them.

Over the years, Mari has created and implemented several reading enrichment and tutoring programs for young people from preschool to high school. At one time, she facilitated two book clubs for youngsters.

Mari is an avid (occasionally successful) gardener and an amateur naturalist. She enjoys walking, kettlebells and riding her bike, the Lucy2. She has two children, three grandchildren, and lives with The World’s Greatest Husband in Hammond, Indiana. Her efforts on her recent bicycle tour fundraiser and her tenacity in training for the experience are humbling. She made us all proud.

Mari, I loved your newest book, Cracked Magic. From sea creatures to fairies and dragons, you will delight in the adventures of two girls as they begin their training as Offlanders in this fantastical dimension where the creatures who previously roamed the Earth now dwell. What was your inspiration for this book?

I’m so pleased that you liked the book. Your books set the bar quite high!

The idea came from several sources. One was a young lady who said she wanted to see strong girl characters who were different from the ones so often seen in movies. Another was a “what if” that I posed to myself. What if all the animals that we thought were extinct hadn’t died but had only moved?

You’ve written some books for children. Which character has been your favorite and why?

I love both Aiko and Candace in Cracked Magic, but my favorite character is Squiggle, in Ruby’s Red Squiggle. She’s so confident, even if it’s a bit misplaced and she’s hopeful. I wish all young people could have those traits.

In writing books for children, what are some of the primary lessons you intended for children to learn?

I’m very focused on children using their imaginations. I’m a great proponent of diversity in children’s books. I want every child to see themselves as citizens of the multi-verse, with unlimited opportunities and potential.

You love gardening as much as I do. This time of year I love to march out to the garden and grab something fresh for dinner. What are some of your favorite things from the bounty of your plot?

Ordinarily, I love growing greens—collards, kale, chard, and corn. This year, I only had raspberries, which require very little help from me. We’re remodeling our deck, and the yard looks like a weed museum!

Mari Barnes 3

I understand you have also written two books for adults, Parting River Jordan and Crossing River Jordan. One reviewer wrote: “There’s a fascinating combination of church politics, social regulations (and the judicious or otherwise breaking thereof), and real faith, fun, and feeling in the tale. The elderly deacon’s suggestion that we just “split this old church down the middle” when factions can’t agree is just the beginning–well, maybe building the wall and glassing in the baptismal pool so it can be shared… “The battle was over, but the war was just beginning!” the author writes.” I think every church has experienced a bit of politics thrown into the temptations of faith. I’m curious how your growing up in the church inspired the characters.

I tend to see the world in absurdities. Church politics—and I went to more than one type of church growing up—just like world politics, has all the earmarks of classic comedy. I think it’s because people tend to get weighed down by their fascination with themselves. I took the people I’d known and made them just a little bigger in their silliness.

a Rafflecopter giveaway Win a copy of Cracked Magic! Congratulations to our winners Cat Michaels & Laura Lynn Rose!

Mari Barnes 2
Win a copy of this delightful fantasy for your daughter or granddaughter!
If you could take a trip anywhere in the world, where would you go?

I want to go to Nova Scotia very soon! And of course, I’d love to visit you.

Mari Lumpkin, is there an author who has inspired you more than any other?

Louisa May Alcott and Langston Hughes were my first loves. Then Octavia Butler showed me that black women could write speculative fiction.

You also work as an editor. I know because you polished my manuscript which had already been through three levels of editing and you did a fantastic job! How much time do you devote to editing?

Well, thank you! Editing is my day job. I’ve been at it for more than 30 years.

Thank you for visiting us today, Mari! I love your books. Please share with my readers how they can keep in touch with you as you continue your writing journey.
I love to hear from readers and writers. You can find me at:







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7 thoughts on “Flinch-Free Fiction: Author Mari Lumpkin

  1. Hi Peggy! I enjoyed your interview with Mari today.
    Mari, how exciting that you created reading enrichment and tutoring programs for young people. I also loved the idea of your book clubs for youngsters.
    Thanks again for this great article! 🙂
    Rosie Russell

    • Peggy McAloon

      Thank you for stopping by to cheer Mari on, Rosie!

    • Rosie,
      Thank you! I recently spoke with a former member of the boys’ book club, now a freshman in college. He’s still reading for fun!


  2. Peggy,
    Thanks you so very much for featuring me on Flinch-Free Fiction! I had fun with the interview and I hope your readers enjoy it too. You’re the best

    • Peggy McAloon

      I’m delighted you were able to join us today, Mari, and provide information on the beautiful children’s books you’ve created and your unyielding tenacity to help others! I am so impressed by all you’ve done and proud to call you friend!

  3. Laura

    My dog always calmed me when I was young. She was a shetland sheepdog. Very sweet girl!

    • Peggy McAloon

      Oh, Laura, I had the same breed of dog when I was little. We found her at a shelter and at first we had to keep her in a pen because she tried to bite everyone. Within a few weeks, she was out mingling with the family and eventually she tolerated me dressing her in doll clothes and taking her for rides in the big basket on my bike. Penny was the greatest dog ever! I love that we have them in common!

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