contemporary middle grade / Meet the Author / Swanky 17s

Meet the Author: Mary E. Lambert


When Mary E. Lambert was eight years old, her grandma told her that she should be a writer. Mary said, “No.” She thought she’d rather be a teacher. Many years later, Mary realized there was no avoiding one of her grandma’s pronouncements, and she started to write novels. In 2014, Mary graduated from Vermont College of Fine Arts with an M.F.A. in Writing for Children and Young Adults. She lives in Arizona where she spends her days explaining to students that five paragraph essays really do have five paragraphs, while most evenings she can be found writing in local coffee shops and consuming truly lamentable quantities of caffeine.

Her debut novel, FAMILY GAME NIGHT AND OTHER CATASTROPHES (Scholastic, February 28, 2017) is a MG Contemporary. Annabelle Balog’s life is a mess. Literally. Her mother refuses to throw anything away. Life gets even more complicated when Grandma Nora decides to clean house against the wishes of Annabelle’s mother. Now Annabelle, who can usually be found trying to sneak her mother’s collections to the nearest dumpster, must decide if some things are worth saving.

Fun Facts:

The two or three items she needs to have with you when she sits down to write: When I sit down to write, I need my computer, iced coffee, and hope. Writing is a leap of faith, a hopeful thing to do.

The literary character she’d most like to meet: Wow. That’s a hard question. There are so many I want to meet, but I like to think that Elizabeth Bennett and I would be best friends. So I guess I have to choose her.

Her favorite childhood book: The two books that made me fall in love with reading were RAMONA THE PEST by Beverly Cleary and THE BFG by Roald Dahl. But the first books I remember voraciously rereading were the ANNE books by L.M. Montgomery.

Her hobbies when she’s not writing/reading: I teach fulltime, so when I’m not reading or writing, I can often be found grading papers. I occasionally paint with acrylics, work on various half-completed needlepoint projects, and fail at line dancing. I also love to travel and visit new places.

Her favorite Muppet and why: When I was in preschool, frogs were my favorite animal. I even had a frog collection on my dresser, so naturally I’ve always liked Kermit best.

The craziest thing she did when she was 17: I’ve never really been what you could call wild or crazy. I guess the silliest thing I remember doing when I was seventeen was playing hide n’ seek tag late at night in WalMart with my brother and some of our mutual friends. Needless to say, the WalMart employees were not appreciative.

If she could travel anywhere in the world, she’d go: Can I go to Hogwarts? Or Narnia? If it has to be in the real world, recently I’ve been intrigued with the idea of driving Highway 1 in Australia, which circumnavigates the entire continent.


Where to Find Her:





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