Headstone at Arlington National Cemetery
Section 31 Grave 1018
Sadly, on August 16, 2014, after almost three years of fighting triple-negative breast cancer, Margot lost her valiant battle, joining God in heaven.
On December 18, 2014, a Catholic Chapel Service was held at Ft. Myer, VA followed by an Arlington National Cemetery graveside ceremony.
“Rags: Hero Dog of World War I” was Margot’s 10th and last book. It was published three weeks before her death. The world has lost a very wonderful, caring, sincere person and a talented author.
Except for a few minor edits and new information, all the words below were written by Margot when she created this web site.
“Since all creative works need a beginning, I’ll start my web-story by answering the three questions that I am asked most often.”
WHAT KIND OF BOOKS DID I WRITE?
Believe it or not, this question is the hardest to answer. As a genre, I write Historical Fictions in the Children’s Picture Book Trade, but in essence I write true, inspirational stories that touch hearts of all ages — five to 105 – in 32 short pages!
Length is the deep magic of my work, because my books are actually 300 page novels carved down to the very heart of the story by lots and lots of rewrites. A picture book is the perfect marriage of word and art, so I spare you what you don’t (really) need to know; unveil what delights the heart; and leave the right amount of room in a manuscript for an illustrator to bring my “picture words” to life. With so much to accomplish in such little space my words can never get greedy or the finished-book won’t sing.
One of the great American writers of the 20th Century, Willa Cather, said perfect writing is the sound of a fish slipping in water. Children’s Book authors joke that we write War and Peace in Haiku..
WHEN DID I KNOW I WANTED TO BECOME AN AUTHOR?
When I was seven years old my second grade teacher was the first to tell me something important about myself. She penned: “Margot, God has given you a genuine gift with words, use it well,” on the back of a book report assignment.
Her insight was especially kind considering the circumstances. In the middle of my written facts about the Revolutionary War, I had (awkwardly) dropped in three pages of made-up dialogue between a British soldier and a farmer from Concord, Massachusetts. I remember being so caught up in America’s freedom story that I imagined how people must have felt and what they would have said to one another. The result was a passionate mini-play landing where it shouldn’t have.
That dear teacher, rather than taking me to task for such odd formatting, validated my creative “explosion.” I took her words to heart and pledged (to myself) that I WOULD use my words for good. In fact, I pledged to help defeat Communism! Now, that may seem like a big goal for a seven year old (well, it was the time of the Cold War and bomb shelters), but I truly believed then, as I do now, that words used well can change the world for the better.
WHERE DO I GET MY IDEAS?
Story subjects find me, because tales of courage, honor, selflessness, and love need all the voices they can find to deliver hope to the world. It seems every time I turn around I stumble on such a story in a newspaper or magazine or on in my readings of history. I know that my immediate interest in the subject wasn’t an accident. Good is calling again! I have always felt so blessed to be the vehicle for the great acts of others. Writing (while hard work) makes me happy!