The Heroine’s Journey of Roxie Munro

What is the best thing that I love about my work? When I’m able to get an idea, develop it, execute the art (or manuscript), and get it published (or shown in art gallery). The most fun is seeing if I can make my idea work. The final published book or painting in the art show is anticlimactic.

What is my idea of perfect happiness? Being in the “flow” in my peaceful sun-lit studio here in New York City, working on an exciting piece.

What is my greatest fear? Getting ill or infirm and not being able to work. Going blind.

What is the trait that I most deplore in myself? Impatience.

Which living persons in my profession do i most admire? I really respect my editors – they are unsung heroes, or heroines. So many authors wouldn’t be where they are today if it weren’t for a great editor. Sometimes just a word or two from a great editor does the trick…

What is my greatest extravagance? Renting a beautiful studio to work in.

On what occasion would I lie? To not hurt a person’s feelings.

What is the thing that I dislike the most in my work? Having to ask and wait for payment for books or art sales.

When and where was I the happiest, in my work? Trying to figure out maze paths in some of my books. It’s like a puzzle – I do “real life” mazes, so it has to be logical, yet game-like. And then, the color. I love to paint! I remember once saying to myself, working on a large oil painting, that I wish there were more colors in the world.

If I could, what would I change about myself? I’d be more patient.

What is my greatest achievement in work? Professionally, getting covers published by “The New Yorker” magazine. 

Where would I most like to live? Right where I live – in the middle of the island of Manhattan, looking uptown toward the Chrysler Building. But still, while traveling, I love visiting the Scottish Highlands, islands, seacoasts…

What is my most treasured possession? Boring to say, but I love my iPad. It’s a wonderful invention, particularly for travel. Plus, I make interactive iPad apps, and that’s one of the creative pleasures of my life.

What is my most marked characteristic? About one of my books, a reviewer wrote, “Like so many of Munro’s books, this one is hard to categorize.” I like doing books that are different, unpredictable, not a typical genre.

What is my most inspirational location, in my city? Views out of my apartment window… I see all sorts of architecture – am high up overlooking Park Avenue and the Chrysler Building, great light, sunrises, evening light, magical nighttime, the bustle of city streets, but above it all…

What is my favourite place to eat and drink, in my city? At home – my husband is a GREAT and enthusiastic cook (I don’t cook).

What books influenced my life and how? “Visual Thinking” by Rudolf Arnheim and “The Neurotic Distortion of the Creative process” by Lawrence Kubie. Both books deal with art and perception, particularly Arnheim’s. Kubie makes the case that doing art is the result of a healthy creative mind, not psychosis.

Who are my favorite writers? So many! I will limit myself to short stories: Somerset Maugham, Chekov, de Maupassant, Dorothy Parker, Carson MacCullers, John O’Hara, Flannery O’Connor, Roald Dahl, John Cheever, John Steinbeck, O’Henry….

You Only Die Once. What music would I listen on my last day? Probably Mozart’s 21st concerto.

Who are my heroes and heroines in real life? Lately I am respecting the few people – writers, politicians, and leaders – who have spoken out and stood up with courage to despots, dictators, the vulgar, and the craven.

Which movie would i recommend to see once in a lifetime? “The Seventh Seal,” by Bergman. Blew my mind when I saw it at university.

What role plays art in my life and work? Incredibly important. At 19 years old I basically, in an almost religious way, gave myself to art. That was the only valid reason (I was reading a lot of existentialism ;-)) for living, I decided. So I studied art, and have done art all my life. I have never had a job (and it was and can still be financially difficult). I always supported myself by my art, never lived with a roommate or partner, and only got married at 40, to another creative person.

Who is my greatest fan, sponsor, partner in crime? My Swedish husband, Bo Zaunders (also an artist, writer, and photographer)

Whom would I like to work with in 2018? Bo Zaunders

What project, in 2018, am I looking forward to work on? A new book about coral reef creatures!

Where can you see me or my work in 2018? I have a new book out, called “Rodent Rascals.” I call it my “rat’ book,” although it has many more fascinating creatures than rats.

What do the words “Passion Never Retires” mean to me? “Retires” is a word for people who don’t love their work.

Which creative heroines should Peter invite to tell their story? Vicki Cobb, author of more than 90 books for children and founder of iNK Think Tank ( ) and The Nonfiction Minute ( ) Julie Gribble, Founder of KidLit.TV (

How can you contact me?

or through 

Links to videos:Making Masterpiece Mix  –
a NEW KidLit TV Storymakers interview with Rocco Staino…
click here:

KidLit TV interview with Roxie by uber librarian Susannah Richards at the  21st Century Nonfiction Conference.
Click here:

Here’s a short 3-minute video of me painting in the studio, created by the Simie Maryles Gallery in Provincetown, MA.
Click here:

Cool KidLit TV video with Rocco Staino of School Library Journal with Roxie about KIWi (Kids Interactive walk-in) Storybooks.
Click here:

Six-year-old dino expert, Julian, interviews Roxie in her studio for Children’s Book of the Month Club: “In The Kids Seat With Roxie Munro”
Click here:

Links to Amazon (recent books):

Rodent Rascals


Market Maze


Slivery Snakes

Busy Builders

Inside-Outside Dinosaurs

Desert Days, Desert Nights

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s