Maryann B. Sawka lives in a small town named Hiller in south of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with her husband of nearly 10 years and two daughters. She studied Early Childhood/Elementary Education and earned a Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood/Elementary Education from the California University of PA in 1993 and a Master’s of Science in Reading and Literacy for Elementary Grades from Walden University. Sawka’s career path includes working as an alumni director, technical writer, software trainer and special needs preschool teacher.
Sawka has always had an appreciation for the written word and has been an avid reader since she was a child. Along with the love for reading has been a love for writing. As a technical writer, Sawka documented software programs for end users, which was very process-oriented. When she started her own company, Charming Manners, Sawka began writing the curriculum after much research in the area of manners and etiquette.
Her current book Good Table Manners Made Easy was born from her etiquette workshops and curriculum, a collection of tips for diners of all ages. Sawka stated, “While still somewhat process-oriented, the writing of my book allowed for some creativity mixed in with the processes.”
The etiquette workshops Sawka presents have primarily focused on children, which did indeed lead her to write for children. Good Table Manners Made Easy has wonderful information for diners of all ages though, and the illustrations and easy-to-understand cadence captures children.
Sawka stated, “Writing a book is hard work! There are many drafts, revisions, new ideas, thoughts of ‘I wish I had included this or omitted that’ that go with the process. Writing for children is different because you have to put yourself in the mind of a child. You don’t want the book to be too long so it loses their attention, but at the same time there is a point that needs to be expressed. Finding the balance between the right information and too much information is challenging.”