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Emily Arnold McCully

Emily Arnold McCully Tom Bloom

I was born in Galesburg, Illinois, in 1939, but grew up in Garden City, New York. My father was a writer/producer of network radio shows, and my mother had been an actress and singer. Noticing that I was trying to draw people and objects, my mother once said to me, “Why don’t you practice that and get it right?” She saw a talent to be developed so that I could support myself when I grew up. 
 
As a child, I doodled and sketched and created my own stories, binding them into books. As class artist in school, I designed posters, backdrops, and programs for concerts and plays. I often visited the Museum of Modern Art in New York City and sketched people sitting on benches in Union Square. The city fueled my ambitions for an active life in the arts, theater, and publishing. 
 
I attended Pembroke College (now part of Brown University), majoring in art history and acting in plays. I also collaborated on an award-winning musical. For years, people stood around me as I drew, marveling that I could reproduce someone or something. If art was a performance, I wanted to try out other roles. 
 
After graduation, I worked as a mat cutter in an advertising agency and earned an M.A. in art history at Columbia University. Realizing I had no future in the advertising agency, I put together a portfolio of drawings and took it around to art directors. Gradually, jobs trickled in, mostly for book covers. Finally

Q & A

Where did you grow up?

Galesburg and Long Island

 

What one or two words of advice would you give for young authors/illustrators?Read widely and always. Reach inside for what is truthful and means the most to you. revise

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BOOKS BY THE AUTHOR

Queen of the Diamond

Emily Arnold McCully

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Available 02/17/2015Pre-Order

Strongheart

Written and illustrated by Emily Arnold McCully

Strongheart may have been a movie star, but he wasn’t always famous. He started out as a police dog who could sniff out criminals and march like a soldier, but he didn’t know how to...

Available 11/11/2014Pre-Order

Ellen Prentiss’s papa said she was born with saltwater in her veins, so he gave her sailing lessons and taught her how to navigate. As soon as she met a man who loved sailing like she...

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The Secret Cave

Emily Arnold McCully

Jacques, Jojo, Simon, and Marcel were looking for buried treasure when they explored a cave in the south of France in 1940. But the treasure inside was not what they expected, and in fact far...

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