It all began years ago, when teachers, family and friends, praised the little stories I wrote. So I kept writing until I was eventually published. In between times I married, divorced, remarried, had three children (two girls and a boy – now grown.), and moved from my homeland Down-under to Oregon. In Oregon I got serious about writing for children. I had kids of my own, and worked as a teacher’s aide. I noticed how hard it was to get kids to read. Oh they loved me or the teacher reading to them, but pick up a book on their own and read for the sheer fun of it – NO WAY! Then and there, I determined to write books with a WOW factor - books that would HOOK these reluctant readers on reading.
Our son was a reluctant reader, one of our daughters had mild dyslexia, and my oldest girl still suffered residual effects from my divorce. So this gave me three topics to write about:
Dyslexia, reluctant readers, and how big changes can affect your kids. And each topic had to be wrapped up in a fun story that wasn’t preachy and HOOKED picky readers. Oh, and don’t forget that all important WOW factor I had promised to include. Yeah right. A real snap.
For my next books I had to think about boys and what would HOOK them on reading. And then there were the topics like “change” that are gender neutral. For boys, I threw out all the girly stuff that make them barf. I started with gross, and worked my way through action, cool dialogue, underarm humor (hear those boys guffaw), fast action scenes, and rad POV characters. I threw in some feral food, foreign locals, exotic bad guys, and one or two close calls with the grim reaper. Don’t panic – these things aren’t all in the one book! Give me some credit, mate.
So, what eventually came out of my fevered and imaginative brain are the following four books:
Rattlesnake Jam – a fun all BOY picture book.
Ruthie and the Hippo’s Fat Behind – verses that help kids deal with BIG change.
Horatio Humble Beats the Big D (dyslexia) – fun rhymes that get Horatio help with reading.
Taconi and Claude – Double Trouble – a mid-grade adventure set in the Aussie outback
These are wonderful books full of fun, adventure, and plenty of action to keep young readers turning the page.
Follow Margot on her next tour stop for the rest of the guest post on writing for children. She will be at http://utahchildrenswriters.blogspot.com/
Book Reviews of Horatio Humble Beats the Big “D” and Ruthie and the Fat Hippo’s Behind
SFC Book Reviews by Kris Quinn Christopherson
and win a FREE COPY of this fun time-travel story.
I wrote it specially for kids.
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( Safe sample: mfinke<@>frontier.com )