I recently spoke to a group of 4th and 5th graders at the Tamaques Elementary School in Westfield, NJ. I walked into the assembly where a couple hundred kids were seated. I introduced myself, spoke a little bit about each of my books and then opened the forum to any questions the children may have. I mistakenly thought the kids would be shy and hesitate to raise their hands. Boy, was I wrong. Dozens of hands went flying up in the air. But not just that — what amazing questions they asked.
–what inspires you to write?
–do you outline your story before you write it?
–how long does it take you to write your books?
–how much editing do you do?
–is there any part of you in your characters?
These are great questions for 9 and 10 year-olds. And the more questions that were asked and answered, the more kids were encouraged to ask even more questions. The assembly was scheduled to last one hour and the vice principal literally had to put a stop to all the questions because we ran long past the alloted time. What a great experience.
When I received a thank you email from the school principal the next day my response was simple – no, thank you and all the kids at your school.