Friday, June 26, 2009

Just Write it!

Ok, I've procrastinated long enough... I guess being an illustrator AND an author, it's about time I got around to the writing part.  I've always loved creating art and was always pretty sure I was great at it despite the fact that I wasn't.  I was given a lot of encouragement and so I lived in a world of creative bliss until my talent finally caught up with me (about age 30).  I was not encouraged in writing in the same way.  In elementary school, my writing got as far as proving the fact that I was not a good speller.  I made it through writing papers in college because my future husband taught me to use the words "inherent" and "manifest" and as long as I used both of them in the same paper, I did pretty well.  I'm still always skeptical when someone likes my writing!  Because of my lack of self confidence in this department, I always begin writing rather timidly.  For my "Journey Around" and "Hello!" books, I always start out with lists.  The teacher in me asks, "What concepts will be most interesting to my audience?". The key word in that sentence is... AUDIENCE.  This is crucial.  Whether you are writing fiction or nonfiction, get well acquainted with who you are writing for.  In my case, I was a third grade teacher on Cape Cod teaching a group of underprivileged children who didn't realize that cranberries practically grew in their backyard.  We took the kids on lots of field trips, introducing them to the rich history and endless beauty that Cape Cod has to offer.  As we were on the field trips, I noticed how the kids took home a few bits of information, making them sound like experts in the retelling.  They were so proud to have this knowledge!  When I began to write my first book, "Journey Around Cape Cod from A to Z", I started with my list of places and concepts to include and then wrote just enough to make kids "instant experts", giving them the intrigue and confidence to want to learn more.  Now, with my new "Hello, Boston!" and "Hello, Cape Cod!" books, I do the same thing, I just do it for a younger audience... toddlers!  My style varies between the two books, but ultimately, I want all of my readers to have an exciting journey.... One that will manifest itself in the inherent confidence they build along the way! 

P.S. Tell your children, that they are great in whatever they love to do, it's only a matter of time until their talent catches up to them!  Unlike me, my nephew Jake (above) is clearly exhibiting an innate talent at a very young age... This was his first art show!  


Ruth Dynamite said...

Where can I get your new books? Are they out yet?

Heather said...

I tell him he's great and wonderful everyday...and he is, no joke! I was so proud at his art show, I cried!