When I think about moments of extreme significance in my life, I usually hearken back to the Big Three: my first teaching job, my wedding day, and the births of my children. If I could add a fourth, it would be the moment when I read those fateful words on my computer screen:
“We would like to offer you a contract to write a book in our series…”
Oh, the joy! And trepidation! And downright terror. Me…an author? Could I? Dare I? It was a pivotal moment.
But NON-FICTION? Would I be able to do it justice, and keep it “non-boring”?
A great writing coach once encouraged our class of eager-beavers; “When they ask, say yes first, then figure out how you’re going to do it later!”
That was good advice, Dorothea Helms. It’s both feet in. No turning back.
Writing my first book was a gargantuan leap into the unknown. I jumped – and prayed my parachute would open. 14 titles later, I am addicted – hopelessly hooked at first exposure. Writing for children is an extreme adrenaline rush. In some ways, It has become as much a part of my life as family. Writing has been a constant companion, a nagging sibling, a needy infant, and a warm hug. And don’t even get me started on the research – a wellspring of trivia for my thirsty mind!
The irony lies in the fact that I write to inform, yet I am also the enraptured student – learning, failing, persevering, succeeding, and building on each new skill. It is a journey of discovery every day. Teacher becomes student. Student becomes teacher. The cycle is unending.
I am forever grateful for the small part my books play in promoting children’s literacy and a love of learning. I’ll never forget the day one of my students stood before our Grade Two class and gave a book report on Wetland Food Chains, my second book. He was so excited that he had chosen his teacher’s book, and his teacher was equally thrilled! To this day, it stands as one of my favorite memories, both as teacher, and writer.
Now if I could only break into the Fiction market….stay tuned; I’m getting my parachute ready!