We recently connected with Cindy Freland, author of seven children’s books featuring Chesapeake Bay creatures.
Tell us about yourself.
I live in Bowie, MD, and have two adult daughters, Alyssa and Andrea. They’re characters (as children) in a lot of my stories. We used to go to the beach a lot at Sandy Point State Park, which is where Andrea was stung by a jellyfish, so the beginning of my first story, “Jordan the Jellyfish,” is true.
How did you get started writing?
Maybe 10 years after the jellyfish stung my daughter, my boyfriend and I went to Breezy Point Beach, and there were jellyfish constantly coming up in the waves. I remembered about Andrea being stung. That’s when I decided to write the first story. I took some of the characters—Curtis the crab and Olivia the osprey—for my next books. I also have one about the wild ponies on Assateague Island and a purple ladybug at Deep Creek Lake.
What did you learn in the process?
I did in-depth research, reading online about animals and their habitats; I want to get everything correct about the animals’ habitats, what they eat, and even what color they are. I have learned so much.
Who does your illustrations?
I have wonderful illustrators in Bowie, Pennsylvania, India, Uruguay, and the UK, whom I found online in Facebook writers’ and illustrators’ groups. I’m very particular about my illustrations and want them to be not too cartoony, more realistic.
“Macy the Mermaid,” about a mermaid who helps watermen find fish and crabs, comes out in September.
Where can our readers find your books?
At 51 retail locations and 24 libraries in Maryland, Virginia, Delaware, New York, and even Florida, as well as on Amazon and at my website cbaykidsbooks.com.