“If we’re not taking risks we’re not growing”: WoFo’s Educator Spotlight is on Principal Eric Fieldler

Write on Fight on’s Teacher Spotlight features awesome educators who are dedicated to teaching and inspiring young people everyday.

In the second edition of the 2017-2018 school year, WoFo features elementary school Principal Eric Fiedler.  I would like to thank Eric for his interview and dedication to the educational enterprise.

Taking risks in both teaching and learning yields far greater growth and achievement then playing it safe.


Who is Eric Fiedler?

Besides being a principal at Forked River Elementary School, I am the son of William and Barbara Fiedler, brother to William Fiedler III and Carolyn Sheppard, husband to Kara Fiedler, and father of Dylan and Dakota Fiedler.

Personally I am passionate about all things outdoors, daily workouts, and visiting cool places with family and extended family.

Tell us about your background in education.

I am a career change educator who left the financial world after working for Merrill Lynch as a financial consultant to attain my elementary education degree and certification from Richard Stockton College.  I went on to earn my graduate degree and administrative certifications through New Jersey City University.

I taught first grade for five years in the Little Egg Harbor Township School District.  I then moved into administration as a vice-principal and curriculum coordinator at Sea Isle City Public School and then  Elementary #1 in Middle Township Cape May County.  In 2007 I was hired by the Lacey Township Board of Education to serve as the principal of the Forked River School in my hometown where I have spent the last ten years,

If you could give your entire staff one book, what would it be and why?

I would give our staff a copy of The Lion and the Mouse by Jerry Pinkney  I would want this wordless adaptation of one of Aesop’s greatest fables to serve as a reminder to our elementary educators that despite the pressures of our current standards based environment, every child should be given opportunities often to create their own versions of stories free of the confines we find in so many “teach to the test” educational climates within today’s classrooms.

What is the one essential ingredient needed to build a successful school culture?

Trust.  The development of trust between all stakeholders provides the necessary safety for risk taking without fear of judgement or any other negative repercussions.  Taking risks in both teaching and learning yields far greater growth and achievement then playing it safe.  If we’re not taking risks we’re not growing.  If we are not growing we are not striving for self-actualization.

If you could build the perfect leader, consisting of three leaders, living or dead, who would you pick and why?

I would choose Walt Disney for his transformational leadership style that motivated and inspired his employees to achieve using their own personal beliefs, creativity, and strengths.

Next, I would choose Harriet Tubman for her servant leadership that modeled humility for the selfless-sacrifice she endured for the betterment of humanity.

Lastly, I would choose General George Patton for his situational leadership that provided the flexibility necessary to read and react to the ever changing and complex situations of our world past and present..

If you weren’t an educator, what would you be?

If I wasn’t an educator my third attempt at a career would involve pursuing a job as a harbor pilot.  I enjoy time on the water and the challenges of operating complex machines.  Navigating a harbor provides discrete technical challenges in a maritime environment without enduring the long-term passages that take ocean going captains away from their families for extended periods of time.

What advice would you give to first year teachers?

Plan and develop your lessons based on the most current research and best practices.  Self-assess your lessons often using your own video/audio recordings and communicate with professionalism and care with students, parents, and colleagues.  Lastly and most importantly, have fun and don’t sweat the small stuff!

What is the worst advice you commonly hear given to teachers?

In various phrases with the common message being “Fly under the radar and get the job done…” is the very worst advice that I have often heard be given to new educators. 

I expect all staff members to play an equal role in the collaborative environment of the school house.  Everyone has their own unique educational, career, and life experiences that bring perspective and innovation to the team.  This serves to enrich and improve upon the collaborative efforts of our mission.

What is your favorite movie?

One of my all time favorite movies is The Man Without a Face (1993).  Based on Isabelle Holland’s 1972 Novel of the same name, it teaches us the importance of tolerance and reserving judgement.   It also demonstrates the incredible influence an educator can have on his or her students.  An influence that is boundless.

 Who inspires you?

This is always an interesting question.

Certainly my family members each serve as inspiration for me in unique ways. Rather than sharing specifics regarding the inspiration provided by my family, I am going to choose a more broad response as to who inspires me.  I find myself absolutely in awe of and drawn to those folks who I encounter in life who have reached our ultimate goal of self-actualization.  I find these folks to be incredibly genuine, kind, and free of judgement and negativity.  They bring out the best in those around them and are inspiring to be around!

 

Follow Eric on Twitter @FRSprincipal and can be contacted by email at efiedler@laceyschools.org .

You can also check out Eric on the Forked River School website.


Do you know an awesome educator dedicated to inspiring and teaching others?

If so, please consider nominating them to be featured on Write on Fight on’s Teacher Spotlight Series. You can contact me at writeonfighton@gmail.com.

Be well,

Jay 

A Life-Long Reader and Writer: An Interview with Award-Winning Author Danielle Ackley-McPhail

Award-winning author and editor Danielle Ackley-McPhail has worked both sides of the publishing industry for longer than she cares to admit. In 2014 she joined forces with husband Mike McPhail and friend Greg Schauer to form her own publishing house, eSpec Books (www.especbooks.com). Anthologies she is in have won or finaled for The Dream Realm Award, The Indy Book Award, and the EPIC Award.

 Her published works include six novels, Yesterday’s DreamsTomorrow’s MemoriesToday’s Promise,The Halfling’s Court, The Redcaps’ Queen, and Baba Ali and the Clockwork Djinn, written with Day Al-Mohamed. She is also the author of the solo collections A Legacy of StarsConsigned to the Sea,Flash in the Can, and Transcendence, the non-fiction writers’ guide, The Literary Handyman, and is the senior editor of the Bad-Ass Faeries anthology series, Gaslight & GrimmDragon’s Lure, and In an Iron Cage. Her short stories are included in over fifty anthologies and collections.

I would like to thank Danielle for sharing her thoughts and time with Write on Fight on.


How long have you been writing?

I have been writing forever. As a young girl I used to continue my favorite books in my head as I fell asleep and often distracted my teachers with my poetry. I have been published for over fifteen years.

What book made you realize you wanted to be a writer?

All of them. Once I knew how to read my mother took me to the library and got me my first card. Then she said,”You can get as many as you can carry.” I have been reading and imagining ever since.

Do you have any quirky writing rituals or odd sources of writing inspiration?

I have been known to write in a completely dark room, with Irish instrumentals playing non-stop in the background. Also, when I am nearing the end of a book I give up sleep, just taking cat naps when I can’t keep my eyes open anymore, but with my mind still working on the story so that ten or fifteen minutes later I get up and keep on writing.

What is the most famous book you’ve never read?

War and Peace.

How is the writer’s life you’re living different than the one you imagined?

Well, two years ago I became a publisher and that was something I had never foreseen. Also, writing used to be effortless, but as I have grown and taken on more responsibilities, being creative takes a bit more effort depending on how much stress I have in my daily life.

If you could build a super-author consisting of three, living or deceased, authors who would you pick and why?

Jonathan Maberry, because he is a marketing mogul who writes real well and is a master of the business, James Chambers who isn’t well known yet, but can write anything and write it well, and Mercedes Lackey because I love here descriptions and characterization on matter what material she is writing.

Of your invented characters, who would you like to meet for lunch? Why?

Beag Scath. He is a pixie with mad magical ability. He started out as comic relief in my first novel, but grew into one of my fans most beloved characters, with unexpected depth and strength, as well as being absolutely adorable.

What are you currently working on that’s got you excited?

A short story called The Windows of the Soul for a short story collection called After-Punk: Steampowered Tales of the Afterlife. It will be based on the Mexican celebration of The Day of the Dead, and the myths and legends the traditions are based on.

Where can we find your books?  Where can we find you?

My books can all be found on Amazon or other major on-line book sites, or in person at science fiction conventions up and down the east coast.

Websites: www.sidhenadaire.comwww.badassfaeries.comwww.especbooks.com

Twitter: @DMcPhail, @eSpecBooks

Facebook: www.facebook.com/#!/danielle.ackleymcphail

www.facebook.com/E-Spec-Books

Goodreads 

Blog: https://especbooks.wordpress.com/


Thanks for reading and since you’re here…

… I have two small favors to ask…

  1. Please check out the author’s social media accounts and help promote the their work.
  2. If you know a published author, I would love to promote their work and feature them on Write on Fight on. Please be awesome and share this post with them. If interested, I can be reached at…writeonfighton@gmail.com.

Be well,

Jay

Teaching Children Character Building Concepts: An Interview with Author Gretchen Burman

Who is Gretchen Burman?

My name is Gretchen Burman, mother of two amazing girls and wife to a fabulous and supportive husband.  When I was pregnant ten years ago, I was freaking out thinking how I would raise capably, caring and happy children.  What did I need to proactively and reactively teach them so they could be their best self?

I created a list of guiding principles called, The 12 Cs, to be my parenting checklist and provide my family with a common language to help us navigate life’s ups and downs.  Through the years, I expanded The 12 Cs to include positive self-talk and mindset skills.  Science supports the benefits of this powerful life skill and I use the characters Green Glory and Red Rant from my book, The Adventures of Ooga and Zeeta, to help children understand the power of their inner voice so they can be mentally strong and self-compassionate.  

After years of witnessing the positive effects and extensive research, I am now sharing my passion and learnings with other adults and children through my book, assemblies and workshops. 

What inspired you to write The Adventures of Ooga and Zeeta?

My now 10-year-old daughter, Payton, inspired me to write the book about 5 years ago.  Her imaginary friends are Ooga and Zeeta and I thought it would be so special to bring them to life through stories for each of The 12 Cs.  She is my muse.  For each story, Ooga or Zeeta start by thinking with their Red Rant inner voice.  Then they decide to change their self-talk/mindset to think with their Green Glory inner voice.  It shows children how they, too can navigate through real life situations, think for themselves and be prepared to handle whatever life throws at them.  

The book is a teaching tool designed to be read by children and adults together, offering a communication tool to open up dialogue and foster conversations.

What book made you realize you wanted to be a writer?

It wasn’t a specific book that made me realize I wanted to be a writer.  It was more that I wanted to share the consistent vocabulary of The 12 Cs, Green Glory and Red Rant with other children and families who were looking for a kid-friendly way to teach these character concepts and positive self-talk/mindset skills.

Do you have any quirky writing rituals or odd sources of writing inspiration?

The source for my stories are from my daughters.  I write down situations where we use The 12 Cs, Green Glory and Red Rant to help us navigate through obstacles.  I keep a notebook handy for these opportunities and then I type them in the computer so they are secure for when I write my blogs and next book.

What is the most famous book you’ve never read?

Harry Potter

How is the writer’s life you’re living different than the one you imagined?

I never imagined I would be a writer.  Writing was never a strength of mine so it didn’t occurred to me to write a book until a teacher friend of mine loved The 12 Cs and thought it would be great to share the concepts with other adults.  

After publishing the book, I wanted to get the book to as many kids and adults as possible.  I now go around to schools and teach thousands of kids about The 12 Cs, Green Glory and Red Rant through assemblies and workshops.  It has been incredibly rewarding to do something that I am so passionate about.  I truly believe in what I’m teaching and think children will benefit today and in their future.  It’s also super cool when you meet someone who has read your book and shares success stories of how the book has positively impacted them and their family.  When readers give you examples of how their kids changed from Red Rant to Green Glory.  So empowering and meaningful that my characters are helping others.

If you could build a super-author consisting of three, living or deceased, authors who would you pick and why?

Carol Dweck – her research has opened the door for new thinking and giving people power over their own lives.

Dan Brown – I love his stories and can never put his books down.  

James S. Hirsch – Hurricane: The Miraculous Journey of Rubin Carter – I love the strength of the characters and how they brought out so many emotions for me.  I love how a few amazing people helped and positively changed a man’s life with their actions.

Of your invented characters, who would you like to meet for lunch? Why?

Definitely Green Glory!  I would love to hear how it pushes away Red Rant when it’s bullying it.  What works and what doesn’t work to keep Red Rant quiet.

What are you currently working on that’s got you excited?

I am presenting at elementary school assemblies introducing The 12 Cs, Green Glory and Red Rant to students and faculty.  The assembly uses role plays to act out the characters in my book, Green Glory and Red Rant via The 12 Cs.  The goal is for students to leave empowered with new communication tools to help them successfully navigate life’s ups and downs.

Where can we find your books?

The Adventures of Ooga and Zeeta is available on Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com and many other on-line distributors.

Connect with Gretchen on the following social media links:

I would like to thank Gretchen for sharing her thoughts and time with Write on Fight on.


Thanks for reading and since you’re here…

… I have two small favors to ask…

  1. Please check out the author’s social media accounts and help promote the their work.
  2. If you know a published author, I would love to promote their work and feature them on Write on Fight on. Please be awesome and share this post with them. If interested, I can be reached at…writeonfighton@gmail.com.

Be well,

Jay

Writing to Motivate: An Interview with Author Joan Ramirez

Joan Ramirez’s book, Jamie is Autistic, Learning in a Special Way, was inspired by the many special learners that she has taught as a Special Education teacher.
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She lives in New Jersey and has an M.S. in Journalism, an M.S. in English as a Second Language, and an M.S. in Elementary/Special Education. She is also a published photographer and has traveled worldwide to give workshops in photojournalism.
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Her book, Let it Go,Let it Flow Leadership published by Motivational Press, has motivated managers of all levels to advance in their organizations. Her book, Go for It Leadership Handbook for All Students by Audible.com is still motivating high school students in Europe to go for it.
I would like to welcome and thank Joan for sharing her thoughts and time with Write on Fight on.

How long have you been writing? 

My first article was published when I was nine.

What book made you realize you wanted to be a writer?

To Kill a Mockingbird inspired me to write.

Do you have any quirky writing rituals or odd sources of writing inspiration?

My dear friend, Isabelle Holland, who wrote The Man Without a Face, is my inspiration.

Why do you write? 

I write to motivate, to inspire, and to entertain with thought-provoking stories.  

 If you could build a super-author consisting of three, living or deceased, authors who would you pick and why?

Isabelle Holland, Marilyn Henderson, and Robin Hathaway–three women who went before their time.

What author would you like to meet for lunch? Why?

I would like to meet Charles Dickens for lunch and pick his brain.What are you currently working on that’s got you excited?

What are you working on now? What are you excited about?

I’m working on the fragrance novel and will be working on a suspense set in Brazil. Every book I write gets me excited.

Joan’s books can be found on Amazon.com.

You can connect with Joan on Facebook


Thanks for reading and since you’re here…

… I have two small favors to ask…

  1. Please check out the author’s social media accounts and help promote the their work.
  2. If you know a published author, I would love to promote their work and feature them on Write on Fight on. Please be awesome and share this post with them. If interested, I can be reached at…writeonfighton@gmail.com.

Be well,

Jay

“I wanted to write something that brought people together.” An Interview with Author Lisa Colozza Cocca

Lisa Colozza Cocca is the author of PROVIDENCE, a YA novel from SimonPulse/ an imprint of Simon and Schuster, and numerous school and library titles, as well as textbooks, workbooks, and classroom kits.

She grew up in Cohoes, New York and moved to New Jersey after college. Lisa works fulltime as a freelance writer and editor in educational publishing. Lisa loves her family, friends, reading, writing, and Saturday nights.  PROVIDENCE, her debut novel, was the 2014 all-community read for the Morristown Book Festival.

I would like to welcome and thank Lisa for sharing her thoughts and time with Write on Fight on.


 How long have you been writing?

I started writing in high school, but I stopped for quite a while when I was raising young children. I began writing again with an eye toward publication about 15+ years ago.

What book made you realize you wanted to be a writer

It actually wasn’t a book – it was a job, or more precisely the people I got to know because of the job. I had always recognized that reading was an intensely personal experience. There could be ten people in a room reading the same book and each could get something different out of the story based on what background experience they brought into the story.

When I started working as a school librarian, I came to realize how those individual experiences with the same title could also draw people together. Through discussion each reader could come away with a deeper understanding of what they read and a deeper understanding of each other. That was when I knew I wanted to write. I wanted to write something that made people think or feel and want to share those thoughts and feelings with others. I wanted to write something that brought people together.

Do you have any quirky writing rituals or odd sources of writing inspiration?

Quirky is in the eyes of the beholder. I usually work at my desktop, but if I’m stuck on something, I sometimes transfer whatever I’m working on to my laptop and go to a different part of the house to work. A change in surroundings can help poke my brain. Also, if I’m having difficulty figuring how to work something out, I close my eyes and picture the story as a movie. I listen to what the character’s say, watch how they move etc. As to inspiration, for me writing inspiration comes from life.

Sometimes it’s an interesting news story, more often it is an interesting person I come upon. I am a seasoned people watcher. I love to study how people react in situations – their facial expression, body language, and interaction with the environment or others around them. I try to imagine why the person reacted a particular way and how that experience might have changed the course of events.

What is the most famous book you’ve never read?

Moby Dick

How is the writer’s life you’re living different than the one you imagined?

I was unprepared for the marketing demands and the expectations of others. On the plus side, I’ve met so many wonderful authors and made a few new real friends among them. This is a true gift when I’m trying to navigate through some difficult situation. I’ve also been challenged to do things that don’t come easily to me.

A couple of years ago, I was invited to speak at the NYC Public Library – a mecca for writers. That was something I never imagined myself doing. I was very excited when I thought I was going to be presenting in the safety of a panel discussion. When I realized I would be alone on the stage and needed to be funny, panic washed over me. I was certain I couldn’t be funny on demand and particularly in front of an auditorium filled with people. In the end, despite my inner terror, it went well and I lived to tell about it. As an added bonus, that experience made other speaking engagements seem easy by comparison!

If you could build a super-author consisting of three, living or deceased, authors who would you pick and why?

I would start with EL Konigsburg and her novels for grades 6 and up. I admire the way she always respected the intelligence of her readers and appreciated their ability for compassion. Her novels make readers think and feel and connect with the world. I would add Lois Lowry, another power house of a writer. I admire her creativity, and like Konigsburg, her ability to tap into the humanity of her readers. Thirdly, I would add some Jerry Spinelli. His ability to be both funny and serious is a gift. And like Konigsburg and Lowry, Spinelli consistently constructs characters that readers can find a piece of themselves in.

Of your invented characters, who would you like to meet for lunch? Why?

That’s a tough one. If I can only choose one, I’d like to have lunch with Becky (Providence) to let her know she can move forward in life without having to let go of the best of her past and that she is more capable than she realizes.

What are you currently working on that’s got you excited?

I’ve been working on a couple YA novels, but needed to take a break from them. I switched over to a cozy mystery and am thoroughly enjoying writing it.

Where can we find your books?

You can find my books in libraries (even as far away as Australia and Singapore!), bookstores, and online bookstores. You can find me at book festivals, libraries, and schools throughout the year and online at:

www.lisacolozzacocca.com  (website)

Contact Lisa at:

info@lisacolozzacocca.com  (e-mail)

facebook.com/lisacolozzacocca

@mynameislisa27 (Twitter)


Thanks for reading and since you’re here…

… I have two small favors to ask…

  1. Please check out the author’s social media accounts and help promote the their work.
  2. If you know a published author, I would love to promote their work and feature them on Write on Fight on. Please be awesome and share this post with them. If interested, I can be reached at…writeonfighton@gmail.com.

Be well,

Jay

From Teacher to Romance Writer: An Interview with Award Winning Author Penelope Marzec

Penelope Marzec grew up along the Jersey shore, heard stories about Captain Kidd, and dug for his buried treasure. Her adventure resulted in a bad case of poison ivy.
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Deciding books were better than buried treasure, she discovered romance novels and was soon hooked on happy endings. She became an early childhood educator and found her own hero in an electrical engineer who grew up in Brooklyn, played the accordion, and was immune to poison ivy. Together they raised three daughters. Now retired, Penelope either writes her stories or paints seascapes in oils. Sometimes she sings while her husband plays the accordion.
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Penelope writes in several subgenres of romance. Two of her inspirationals won the EPPIE award and one finaled in that contest. Her paranormal, Irons In The Fire, was a nominee for Romantic Times Reviewers Choice award.
I would like to welcome and thank Penelope for sharing her thoughts and time with Write on Fight on. 


 How long have you been writing?

I started writing when I was nine. I wanted to fly, so I wrote a book about a girl who could fly. In addition to flying, the plot involved romance. I still write romance, but I gave up on the flying heroine idea. 

What book made you realize you wanted to be a writer?

As I said, I started writing when I was nine, but I wasn’t serious about getting a book published until I was nearing forty. By then I had read a plethora of truly boring, unhappy books. I was sure I could write something far more entertaining. Unfortunately, I can’t remember the specific book that egged me on. I just remember it was a paperback. Since I had a plot already whirling around in my head, I put the old manual typewriter on the dining room table and I hammered away for two months to get it all down on paper. The internet hadn’t been invented yet. Sending out a ream of paper in a box to a publisher wasn’t cheap or easy and I had to wait an entire year before the publisher replied with a rejection. I was undaunted. During that long year of waiting, I had written another book. I wasn’t going to quit. Writing was fun!

Do you have any quirky writing rituals or odd sources of writing inspiration?

I don’t have any quirky rituals, though I’ve tried a few other authors claimed worked for them. One author said she sniffed a particular essence oil when she sat down to write. She was conditioning her brain to realize that when she smelled that aroma, it was time to get to work–much the same technique as Pavlov used on his dogs. I bought some grapefruit essence oil and happily sniffed it when I sat down to write. It didn’t seem to make any difference. In my case, I just have to get comfy, add peace and quiet, get bored with the blather on Facebook and write. My house is not totally quiet because hubby practices his accordion upstairs, but the door is closed and the music is faint. Also, he plays the same song over and over. I’ve become adept at tuning him out.  

Writing inspiration comes from everywhere but favorite sources for me are often trips to historical houses or museums. However, I usually pick up ideas whenever I visit someplace new.

 What is the most famous book you’ve never read?

 I’ve never read Lord of the Flies. The summary alone is far too depressing. I read Brave New World because it was required. I read 1984, also because it was required. I read Ethan Frome because my daughter was required to read it and said it was the worst book she ever read. So I read it and agreed with her. I had enough sad literature and continue to stick with happy endings.
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How is the writer’s life you’re living different than the one you imagined?

 I thought I would make a great deal of money, live in a mansion, and never have to do anything more than type all day. That didn’t happen. I taught for twenty-five years and squeezed in my writing time whenever I could while dreaming of retirement when I imagined I would have endless time to write. Retirement didn’t work out the way I hoped. I had to care for my elderly father. After he died, I got breast cancer. Now I’m helping my husband watch over his mother. I still squeeze in writing time, but it hasn’t been easy. On the other hand, those precious writing minutes are a great tonic for the soul.
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If you could build a super-author consisting of three, living or deceased, authors who would you pick and why?

 I loved all the books written by Phyllis Whitney, Victoria Holt, and Mary Stewart. Those where the popular authors when I was young–the ones who wrote Gothic suspense. They never failed to satisfy me. They contained intrigue along with romance. The hero invariably appeared to be a bad guy at first, but the authors cleverly turned everything around at the end. The books were very well written and worth reading more than once.
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Of your invented characters, who would you like to meet for lunch? Why?

I’ve love to meet Wildon Forest, my Prince of the Mist, for lunch. He was about the sweetest guy I invented plus he loved garlic. The two of us could have a delightful pasta primavera and wear diaphanous togas. What fun!

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 What are you currently working on that’s got you excited?

I’ve been working on the third book in my Patriots series. The book is titled Patriot’s Courage and is set in Ohio Territory in 1794. It opens on the day of the Battle of the Fallen Timbers. I’ve enjoyed the research on the time period. The hero joined General Wayne’s army to avenge the death of his brother, but soon questions his own motives after he is injured and discovers the Indian he killed in battle was the husband of a white woman who was adopted by the tribe at a young age.

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Where can we find your books?

My books are at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, Kobo, and similar outlets. 

Thanks for reading and since you’re here…

… I have two small favors to ask…

  1. Please check out the author’s social media accounts and help promote the their work.
  2. If you know a published author, I would love to promote their work and feature them on Write on Fight on. Please be awesome and share this post with them. If interested, I can be reached at…writeonfighton@gmail.com.

Be well,

Jay

Introducing Girls to STEM: An Interview with Award Winning Author Laurie Wallmark

Award-winning author Laurie Wallmark’s debut picture book, Ada Byron Lovelace and the Thinking Machine (Creston Books, 2015), received four starred trade reviews (Kirkus, Publishers Weekly, Booklist, and School Library Journal) and many national awards such as Outstanding Science Trade Book and Cook Prize Honor Book.

Her recently released picture book biography, Grace Hopper: Queen of Computer Code (Sterling Children’s Books, 2017), earned a Kirkus star and a Parents’ Choice Gold Medal.

Laurie has an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts. When not writing, she teaches computer science at Raritan Valley Community College.

I would like to welcome and thank Laurie for sharing her thoughts and time with Write on Fight on.


How long have you been writing?

In grade school, I liked to write songs. In high school, I switched to poetry. After that, there was a very long break in my writing career. I’ve been writing for children since 1999.

What book made you realize you wanted to be a writer?

It wasn’t a book, but rather an idea that made me realize I wanted to be a writer. I love reading middle grade books, and one day I had an idea for a story of my own. This idea turned into the first novel I ever wrote for children. It may never get published, but it was my first step on the path to becoming a writer.

Do you have any quirky writing rituals or odd sources of writing inspiration?

I think like most writers, I try to keep my senses open to the world around me. Inspiration can come from a newspaper article, an overheard snippet of conversation, or even a tingle on my skin while walking outside.

What is the most famous book you’ve never read?

So many books. So little time. I am woefully under-read in classic non-Western literature. When I was in school, it wasn’t part of the curriculum, and I didn’t know to seek out books like Ramayana and The Tale of Genji. I’m working to fill in these gaps in my education.

Why do you write? 

This one’s easy. Writing is fun (except when it isn’t).

If you could build a super-author consisting of three, living or deceased, authors who would you pick and why?

I’d pick three authors from the golden age of science fiction—Isaac Asimov, Robert Heinlein, and Arthur C. Clarke. I appreciate the straightforward way they incorporated science into their stories, just like I try to do with my picture book biographies of women in STEM (science, technology, engineering, math).

Of your invented characters, who would you like to meet for lunch? Why?

I’d love to eat lunch with Rivka, from my book Rivka’s Lessons. Rivka is a little Jewish girl who lived in the Lower East Side in the 1920s. She can’t wait to go to school and learn, so she takes matters into her own hands. I figure Rivka would enjoy splitting a corned beef on rye with me.

What are you currently working on that’s got you excited?

I’m writing another picture book biography, this time of a woman mathematician.

Where can we find your books?  Where can we find you?

My books are available from your local bookstore, Indiebound, or Amazon.

Appearanceshttp://www.lauriewallmark.com/calendar.php

Follow me online on:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/laurie.wallmark

Twitter: @lauriewallmark

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/lauriewallmark/


Thanks for reading and since you’re here…

… I have two small favors to ask…

  1. Please check out the author’s social media accounts and help promote the their work.
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Be well,

Jay