Wednesday, May 13, 2009
THIS WEEK'S VISITOR
Gail Carson Levine and I met at a regional bookseller's conference in 1999. As the luncheon speaker, she shared the process of writing her then new book, Dave at Night. She may be petite in size, but Gail possesses an inner strength that is evident when she speaks about passion for her craft.
One of the things that I remember her saying that day is that she had thought she was just writing a story that was inspired by her father, an orphan, but having recently lost her own parents, Gail said, "I began to realize as I wrote that the orphan was me."
A couple of years later Gail and I met up again at a young adult conference in Missouri. The conference was held two hours from the airport so the speakers rode together in a small bus. That bus ride was the beginning of our friendship. The time flew as we talked about our upcoming books, our critique groups, and how we tried to balance travel and our work. We were so involved in our conversation, we didn't notice the heavy snow that was beginning to fall. (The next day some of the schools had to cancel because of the weather.)
On that trip, I also learned how Gail gave back to others by teaching a summer writing workshop at her local library. I wasn't surprised when years later Gail wrote a book about writing for young people. Writing Magic is fun and uncomplicated. Every chapter Gail invites the reader to pick up a pen and try. Folks of all ages can learn quite a bit from her approach.
Gail and I run into each other now and then along the trail. When we do, we try to make time for each other, even if it means a quick cup of coffee or tea.
I'm so proud to call Gail a friend and I'm honored that she's agreed to be this week's profile. Please join us tomorrow when Gail Carson Levine opens the door to her home.
Posted by Kimberly at 4:30 AM