Just one more school visit and the 2014-2015 school year will be done for me. I’ve said it before but for me, school visits are a beautiful reason to be a children’s writer. Trust me when I tell you, that, like teaching, you do it because you love it. I enjoy talking to kids and hearing their perspectives. Children always come up with beautiful reasoning and unique ideas. Yes, there are comments and questions that I hear over and over but that doesn’t mean they aren’t good questions. Everybody wants to know why I write about pirates and who my favorite children’s writers are. I love to answer those questions because they are thoughtful and apply to my everyday life as a writer.
For the record, I write about pirates because I’ve always loved them. They wear the coolest outfits and their vocabulary is just amazing. Who doesn’t like saying, “Shiver me timbers, Matey! Thar be some fine swashbucklers!” When I was a kid, I’d bury my mother’s earrings and draw treasure maps. She loved that! When I decided to write for a living, Helen Fellers, then a Barnes and Noble associate, informed me that there weren’t a lot of children’s books about pirates. At the time it was true. Thanks, Helen, I think you started something.
I do have my favorite questions/comments and pictures from kids. You can see some of the pics in this blog
From a letter: “Your books are so good they made my bald head grow hair.” From a kindergarten girl: “How do you write so small in all those books?”
Kids never cease to amaze me with their creative questions. One asked me recently what I hoped to teach kids with my books. I don’t try to teach anything except a pure joy for reading. If you can learn that, then you are set for life because books will take you anywhere you want to go.