Sunday, November 25, 2012

Photographer and Children's Book Author, Margie Carroll Says Yes to Her Passion

As an author, one of the best groups that I belong to is the Christian Author's Guild and I was excited to learn that the author/speaker for last Monday evening's meeting was Margie Carroll. For more than 30 years, Margie was a media/technology specialist for Cherokee County, Georgia. When she retired from that profession, she followed her passion for photography and began transforming her images into engaging, clever and gorgeous children's books.  

An authentic and energizing speaker, Margie began by sharing her mission statement for her books:
  •  Nothing bad happens in her books
  • Photographs should tell a story rather than be simply informational 
She went on to say that you will never find an animal dying in her books or even killing another animal for food.  Her audience nodded in agreement when she said that she always felt for instance, that Bambi's mother should never have died in the movie so you won't find anything tragic in her books.  Instead you will find stunning photography and a clever story line where Margie's sense of humor shines through.   Each story involves Margie getting into the mindset of the animals she has photographed and telling a story from the point of view of the baby animal.  Her books are clever, informative and heartwarming.  In my personal favorite, ZZ's Daydream, Margie's cats stage a beauty contest for birds in order to create a better dinner option for themselves.  In typical Margie style however the cats are outwitted by the birds and nothing bad happens to any of the feathered characters. Margie has created six books in all. There is one on  Grandella the gray fox, Portia the polar bear, Salvador the sandhill crane, Barnabas the bluebird, Lindbergh the blue heron and her own three cats.

An inspiration to other authors to follow their heart, Margie talked about the gift of an idea that insists on being born.  Her innovative idea was a children's book that told a story through photographs rather than being simply informative.  Margie had been an avid photographer for years but until she retired she didn't put her expertise to work.  She had thousands of photographs of animals she had taken over the years.  She had traveled throughout the United States taking pictures and meeting other photographers on photo shoots.  One of the photographers that she has become fast friends with is Daniel J. Cox who has photographed for National Geographic among other publications.  

He collaborated with Margie on one of my favorite books, Portia Polar Bear Makes A Birthday Wish. As a school counselor, I particularly recommend this book as it makes a great classroom lesson on the importance of being yourself and not listening to the criticism of others.  It is the story of a polar bear who discovers she is pigeon toed and tries to correct this problem... until she discovers that all polar bears are pigeon toed and she is perfect just the way she is! As in all Margie's books, there is a page of vocabulary words and a page of facts about the animals in the back of the book.  

Margie is a character in herself.  She describes being an author as something like being pregnant, not that she has ever birthed any children herself.  Maybe that's why she says she "didn't realize that after you birth a book, like children you have to raise them" which has resulted in her currently spending most of her time promoting and selling her books.  She pours herself and her energy into her passion.  "I have horrible clothes and horrible furniture and great camera equipment," she jokes with her audience who were enthralled with her story.  

She leaves us all with some very savvy advice, "Just say yes to your passion" she encourages her audience.  "You never know the people you will meet and the journey you will find yourself on."  Certainly her example is an inspiration to us all!

You can find Margie's books on her website:   Margie Carroll's website

If you like this post, please share it with your friends on Facebook and Twitter.   Want to say yes to your passion?  Consider attending the Called Woman Conference 2013!  


  1. Loved this post! I love how her books don't contain violence. When my daughter was younger she used to be very sensitive to any form of violence and there were many a book that I was unable to finish because she would run off in tears before we could reach the end. Some would even give her nightmares...and these were children's books! We naturally stayed away from any Disney books at that time..they are full of such things!

    Sounds like a wonderful author with a compassionate and beautiful heart.

  2. You are so right about the violence in children's books and especially Disney movies! My daughters were also especially sensitive to this. Thanks for stopping by!