I love being a part of the creative process and seeing it in action. Many times, students come to the table thinking they don’t have anything to express or what they do have to share isn’t of much value. Breaking through those walls, showing them they are not only bursting with creativity but that what they have to share is worthy of attention fills my heart. Also, I love how most young writers are not trying to impress anyone or give me what I expect; they are just seeking their own voice. I may start out teaching them, but often I end up being the student. I am inspired by their honesty, passion, and courage to find their own truth.
What question do students most often ask during school visits/events?
The number one question I most often get is: where do you get your ideas? I used to explain that I get them in all kinds of ways from all kinds of places: dreams, experiences, people, etc. Then I realized it might be easier to show them that ideas are always bombarding writers. So I made a long list of the people, places, and things that inspired me (I stopped around 50 or so) and now whenever the question is asked, I whip out my list and start reading. It has everything from ’embarrassing things that happened at camp’ to ‘what my brother ate for breakfast when we were kids.’ It takes me about three minutes to get through it and I rattle it off as quickly as I can to show them that ideas come from EVERYWHERE! I try to impress upon them that an idea is just the beginning. It’s your seed. It’s your job as a writer to filter all the ideas that are coming at you, choose the ones that truly inspire you, and craft a compelling story.
What is your favorite part of visits with school faculty?
I love seeing how excited educators are about reading and writing, because I know that if a teacher is passionate about books that will rub off on most of his/her students. As a kid, my love for books was fueled when I saw the teachers that I looked up to reading right along with our class during silent reading. One of my teachers always wrote in her journal while we were doing our creative writing exercises. I started a journal because she had one. I guess passionate teachers have always motivated me, and still do!
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 nearly 100 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.