Marcia Thornton Jones
Joliet, IL, US
Lexington, KY, US
Marcia Thornton Jones enjoys reading more than anything else. As a teacher, her favorite part of the school day was sharing books with her students. It was that love of reading that drew her to writing. She wanted to write the same kinds of stories that she and her students enjoyed reading.
One afternoon she mentioned to the school librarian that she'd always had an interest in writing. The librarian, Debbie Dadey, shared a common desire to write stories that would encourage reading skills while promoting a true joy of reading. The next afternoon, Marcia and Debbie met while their students were at lunch and began writing.
After two years of rejections, Marcia had a really bad day. For some reason, the kids in Marcia's class wouldn't behave. "I'd have to grow ten feet tall, sprout horns, and blow smoke out my nose just to get their attention," Marcia complained. Debbie and Marcia liked that idea for a story. Together, they sat down and started writing a story about a teacher that could do just what Marcia wanted to do. That story, Vampires Don't Wear Polka Dots, became the first book in their best-selling series, The Adventures of the Bailey School Kids. The book was selected for the Children's Top 100 Books list by the National Education Association and the International Reading Association's Children's Choice Award. The series became a Publishers Weekly bestseller.
Since then, Marcia has written more than 125 books for children including Champ, a mid-grade novel, and Jack Frost, and Leprechaum on the Loose, two picture books. She was the proud recipient of the 2002 Milner Award and her book Godzilla Ate My Homework was named for the 2000 Elementary Library Book Award (ELBA). She is listed as a top 100 author by the Educational Paperback Association. She has collaborated with Debbie Dadey on five additional series.
Besides writing, Marcia enjoys presenting at schools and conferences. As a veteran teacher, she easily relates the importance of writing to students of all ages. During her lively and entertaining school visits, students participate in the five-step writing process by brainstorming ideas, developing characters, and drafting stories. Marcia also enjoys working with teachers to help develop practical classroom writing programs for their classrooms.
Marcia was born in Joliet, Illinois in 1958, but spent most of her childhood in Lexington, Kentucky. She holds degrees from the University of Kentucky and Georgetown College and has 25 years of teaching experience. Marcia continues to live in Lexington, Kentucky with her husband, Stephen, and their two cats. Her hobbies include yoga, walking, reading, playing the piano, crocheting and beading.
For more information about Marcia, her books, author visits and for activities related to her books, check out Marcia's website.
Marcia is also the co-author of the adult writing guide Story Sparkers: A Creativity Guide for Children's Writers published by Writer's Digest Books.