Saturday, May 19, 2012

Reading Vs. Writing guest post with Author Mary Cunningham

What do you consider more important for a child…reading or writing? 

From age 7 on I was lucky enough to have a library within walking distance of my house, AND have a beloved aunt as head librarian. The tomboy in me gravitated toward sports biographies. I read everything from A-Z (Hank Aaron to Babe Zaharias). After those ran out, my aunt made sure I read books that challenged my reading level. I'll be forever grateful for that. 

As to writing, every teacher from 3rd grade on said, "Mary, whatever you do, don't stop writing."
That advice runs through my mind whenever I try to plant the writing bug into elementary students during school visits. Start small; short stories about family (how I began my writing career), one or two page fantasy/fiction, poetry…anything that inspires and encourages writing and leads to improved over-all school work. Plus, it's fun and something we can do for the rest of our lives. 

I love seeing faces light up when I explain how book ideas are adapted from family stories and pictures of my ancestors. But, what really thrills me is when a small group of 4th or 5th graders tell me about their writing club

Usually two best friends will give exciting details of their stories and how they're going to be authors one day. Music to my ears! I have no doubt they'll be successful, especially after hearing from a 4th grader who stood before me, crossed her arms and declared, "I'm going to be a famous author one day. I just want you to know that." She then turned on her heels and marched away. I had been duly warned.  

Cynthia's Attic: Legend of Lupin Woods (Book 5)
Cynthia and Gus have solved a lot of mysteries across time, but something is seriously wrong and things are beginning to unravel.

Aunt Belle is missing…again! Cynthia’s great-grandfather, Beau, was never found! And now they are wondering if Blackie is still making life miserable for Lilly and Annie.

This time, the twelve-year-old girls journey into a strange woods full of frightening creatures and dark secrets in search of answers.

From Aunt Belle's cottage to a small village in France, they meet new friends and discover a connection to New Orleans that may lead to the devious source behind these alarming developments. Or bigger trouble.

Mary Cunningham Bio: Like Cynthia and Gus, my childhood best friend, Cynthia and I grew up in a small, Southern Indiana town…the setting for the series. Not one summer day passed that we weren’t playing softball, hide and seek, badminton, or croquet with friends in the vacant lot behind Becky’s house.
In my attempt to grow up, I joined The Georgia Reading Association, and the Carrollton Creative Writers Club. When giving my fingers a day away from the keyboard, I enjoy golf, swimming and exploring the mountains of West Georgia where I live with my husband and adopted furry, four-legged daughter, Lucy. Together we’ve raised three creative children and are thrilled with our 2 granddaughters.

At last count, I’ve moved 9 times to six different states (all after the age of 36), and aside from the packing and unpacking, it’s been a great experience, having made some very dear and lasting friendships. My non-writing time is spent showing power point presentations on gathering ideas and the writing process to schools and libraries.

Mary Cunningham Books
Smashwords Ebooks
B & N Book Nook

YouTube for video: Cynthia’s Attic Series

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