I love to learn. Every week, I publish a science article for children about topics I find fascinating. I come home from my incredible day job as a writer/editor and I tell my children over dinner—“Did you know that there’s a fish called a sarcastic fringehead that can open its mouth THIS wide?” “Did you know that a blobfish decompresses when you take it out of the water? Did you know that when locusts die they form a carpet on the ground that crunches when you walk on it?” My kids have usually stopped eating at this point.
I spent years learning about writing. Before I had my pet Kindle, I would ship hundreds of English books overseas to Israel—mostly middle grade fiction—and devour them. Reading books and analyzing them helped me to develop my writing more than any craft book, though I like those too. I learned to hone my craft even more when I won an intensive mentorship with the amazing Jessica Vitalis from the Pitchwars contest. And working with my smart and wonderful agent, Saba Sulaiman, is like going to writing University.
Teaching and presenting about writing is like having your cake and eating it too. Or having your book and reading it too. Or something like that. I love learning about writing so much, sharing what I’ve learned with others feels SO good. Here’s some good stuff people have to say about my workshops and speeches—
I like kids. That’s why I keep seven of them at home. There’s nothing like visiting a school and watching the kids’ faces light up when I take out my little writer’s notebook from when I was their age. (White chocolate comes in a close second though). I tailor my presentations for each visit instead of using the same ones over and over again. That way I don’t get bored and fall asleep. The children would never let me live that down. I also enjoy signing autographs at the end. At the last school visit one child asked me to sign the bottom of his shoe and another one had me sign her gum wrapper. I’m not picky. Have surface—will sign. Here’s a sampling of what people say about my visits—