About Maura


 

Read the Doubleday Religion Author Spotlight for Maura Poston Zagrans

My favorite author is Jack Kerouac. In Big Sur, Kerouac shares a whimsical operational definition of memory and follows that idea to a luminous description of God as Creator. He writes that memories are like “…pleasant mental movies brought up at will and projected for further study—–And pleasure——As I imagine God to be doing this very minute, watching his own movie, which is us.” I thought of this image often as I wrote Miracles Every Day. In March of 2007 I answered the call from a friend, Charlene Kalo, and, at her request, found myself driving to The Culinaire, her bakery and cook’s store. Charlene had just read an unpublished book I wrote and illustrated with my photography, and she loved it. Knowing that her friend, Kathy Nemeh, had been searching for the right person to chronicle her husband’s amazing life story, Charlene played matchmaker between Kathy and me. So, on this day, Kathy Nemeh sat at a table in The Culinaire turning the pages of my book and glancing at the pictures. After a minute or two, she looked at me–but then again it seemed she was looking through me, or past me. Her eyes changed. They took on the appearance of someone who was feverish. And she said, “You’re the one.” I began working on the book two days later. As the specific events taking my book to publication began to unfold, I came to understand that I was just one little playing piece in an intricate game of chess The Great Chess Master had been strategizing with precision and patience for quite some time. Random, disconnected people appeared on the chessboard all at once and a series of brilliant moves going back decades brought Gary Jansen into my life. Gary, the Religion Editor at Doubleday Religion, read my pages, saw the glimmer of something beautiful and important in this story, and made the impossible come true. God surely was chuckling at His chess match . . . His “movie, which is us.” I hope Miracles Every Day pleases Him.


I spent my formative years in Elyria, Ohio, one of eight children. My mother was an Irish immigrant whose parents settled in New York; my father a multi-talented man who grew up on a tobacco farm in Kentucky. For the Poston children, there was dinner on the table every night, church every Sunday, and encouragement to take advantage of a wealth of opportunities available in school: sports, drama, band, choir, and service clubs. One childhood memory stands out from a montage of happy remembrances: reading. I would walk to the Elyria Public Library, browse in the subterranean children’s section, and borrow ten books–the limit–each visit. Back home, I treasured time free from homework, practicing the piano, and chores because I could immerse myself in my library books. At night, I read by the light of the streetlamp outside my bedroom window. In the summer, I packed lunch in a brown paper bag, grabbed my book, and climbed a high tree, where I would perch on a thick branch and read for hours. From the zillions of books I read, I learned the art of imagining and picked up a feel for the rhythm in writing. Most important of all, I fell in love with the process of learning. Books, music, writing, and photography have been my creative outlets all throughout my life, as much a part of me as my name and the color of my eyes. These are the basic elements upon which I relied in creating a sense of home for my family.