Joan Wright Mularz, mystery author and sometime author and illustrator of picture books


It all started when...

I was born into a large family on an island in the middle of New York Harbor. It's where I read my first mystery and learned to love reading, writing and drawing.

Through books and art history, I developed an interest in seeing other places. So, as a college student, I scrimped and saved and headed across the ocean for the first time.

My experiences as a traveler, parent, teacher and graduate student made me want to write for young people.

Two and a half years living in Italy became the inspiration for my first E. T. Madigan mystery, Upheavals at Cuma.

Six years in Germany led to the writing of the second mystery, White Flutters in Munich.

My picture book, What I Like About My Friends, celebrates the diversity I found through both teaching and travel and another, Island Times, celebrates the multiplication and diversity of animal and plant life found on islands.

I love learning languages and exploring new places but my husband and I  loved having New England as a home base. Our base has moved south but we still have Maine. More than 30 years ago, we were drawn to the beauty of the Rangeley Lakes region of Maine and built a vacation home there with our own labor and the help of family and friends.

Rangeley is the inspiration for my alliterative alphabet book, “Down West — the Other Maine” and my picture book, “The Color of Western Maine is….” The fact that the area is dotted with Abenaki place names, but few if any Abenaki residents, gave me the germ of an idea for the third E.T. Madigan Mystery—“Maine Roots Run Deep.”

Many excursions to the Maine Coast led to another picture book, “The Color of the Maine Coast is…”

I have also written curriculums and educational grants.  



Society for Children's Book Writers and Illustrators

Palm Beach Gardens Fiction Writers

Newburyport Writers

Independent Publishers of New England