Why do you write for kids?
When you are a child the world is full of possibilities. Your imagination is zipping along at full speed. You can be anything, do anything, and go anywhere. You can have super powers or talk to animals or save the world. That kind of open attitude from readers gives a writer incredible freedom. Children are also passionate readers, which means your book can be more than entertaining, it can be life-changing. I remember doing a Skype visit with a middle school classroom and the students were asking me the usual questions about the writing process. One girl stood up and said, “I don’t have a question. I just wanted to tell you that I was having a really rough time in sixth grade, and your book, Julep O’Toole: Confessions of a Middle Child, helped me get through it. It really saved me and I wanted to say thanks for writing it.” She brought me to tears. When you are sitting alone in your office, hour after hour, crafting a book you have no idea of the impression it will make once you release it into the world. You hope it resonates with readers and if it does, if it touches just one reader, than that is all the reward you need.
How do you support teachers?
Well, I married one! As the spouse of a teacher, I know how dedicated teachers are to their students. Along with my fiction work, I also write nonfiction for school and public libraries. I think it’s imperative that teachers have solid, accurate, up-to-date curriculum support materials. I provide reading guides for several of my books (both fiction and nonfiction) to help facilitate classroom discussion. I enjoy doing in-person and Skype visits, not only to give students a peek into my world, but also to nurture their own creativity. I’ve conducted poetry workshops, writing seminars, and classes for kids. I think the best thing writers can do to support teachers is to share our enthusiasm with students in any way and every way we can. It’s our job to inspire that next generation of great writers, artists, and musicians.
About Trudi Trueit
Trudi Trueit imagined a career as a novelist ever since writing, directing, and starring in her first play in the fourth grade (it got decent reviews). A former TV news reporter and weather forecaster, Trudi has published more than 90 fiction and nonfiction books for young readers. Her fiction novels include the Julep O’Toole series (Penguin), the Secrets of a Lab Rat series (Aladdin), and Stealing Popular (Aladdin MIX). Her nonfiction books for pre-k through middle school readers cover such topics as history, weather, wildlife, earth science, writing, education, and health. Recent titles include What is Poetry? (Lerner), the Backyard Safari series and Careers with Animals (Cavendish Square). Born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, Trudi still lives in the Seattle area with her husband and their three cats. She loves photography, painting, and all things chocolate. Visit her website at www.truditrueit.com. Follow her on Facebook. Find out about her Skype visits here.