Read Across America Week is one of my kids’ favorite celebrations during the school year. Their district makes it fun by scheduling a variety of fun activities and by celebrating Dr. Seuss’s birthday. This year, the kids got to wear crazy socks and hats, wear something that held to Dr. Seuss’s Oh The Places You’ll Go theme and even dress as their favorite book characters. One of my daughter’s was pretty excited to dress as Cindy Lou Who from The Grinch Who Stole Christmas.
I also had the opportunity to get in on the celebrating by visiting my daughter’s 4th grade section and reading them excerpts from my Whisper Trilogy. Since the books are considered young adult and not middle grade, I was careful to select a few passages that seemed appropriate. I wanted to read part of a chapter that starred a character who was inspired by my daughter, but she wanted no part of it. Not wanting to be singled out, she asked me to read “the dragon chapter.” I conceded to it.
I read from both Callie and Joshua’s voices and explained that writing from different points of view is something I have done in both my children’s books and my adult novel. It helps me to grow closer to my characters and nail the authenticity of their actions in my stories. The fourth graders really seemed to respond to both passages and had a ton of great questions. Their questions were my favorite part of the presentation, and I thought it might be fun to post them so that parents can learn a little bit about the books their children are talking about and apparently asking to read. Below are some of the questions and answers from Thursday’s chat with 4th grade aquatics.
Thank you Anne Fetterman for inviting me in. It was a delight to me to share my books with the 4th grade!
1. 1. How many books have you written?
5 books total. One is shelved with the books and books of poetry and prose I’ve written and kept over the years. It’s printed on the old word processor paper that’s green and white striped with holes on the side. The Whisper series is a trilogy that’s available on Amazon.com, and Beautiful Secret is women’s fiction and will be released this summer from Pandamoon Publishing. I have oodles of other books started. Some I’ll finish. Some I probably won’t.
2 2. How long did it take you to write the Whisper Series?
It took me 6 months to write Whisper, 9 months to write Wake and about a year to write War and Wonder. This was just the writing. The editing takes a lot longer!
3. 3. What made you want to write a book?
I write because it helps me sort out my emotions. When I was a kid or an angsty teen, poetry flowed like tears from my fingertips. It’s just how I work. I wrote Whisper because I was sad and confused about the life-altering negative behavior I saw teens engaging in in my own community.
4. 4. Are you going to write more books?
I don’t think I’ll ever stop writing. Currently, I’m working on an anthology of travel stories. I also have two adult books that are competing for attention in my head. I jot ideas and scenes down here and there, but I haven’t decided which one I’m going to commit to first!
5. Where can we buy your books?
You can by them on Amazon.com. Here:
Or you can by them at Gifted Hands Gift Shop in Wexford!
The greatest advice I can give to young writers is write what stirs your heart. Write what you’re passionate about or what makes you feel something! Keep EVERYTHING you write – poetry, songs etc.. When you get older, it will be so fun to look back at those creations. Also, a first draft isn’t a finished product. Editing is important, even though it’s a pain in the neck! You can always make something that’s already good even better!
Happy Read Across America season, and thank you Pine Richland for working with our children to develop their love for the written word!