Posted by: nancyisanders | October 18, 2010

Welcome Students!

Today I’m hosting the wonderful students in Mrs. Perez’s Beginning Writing class at Inland Christian Academy Program. Welcome to my blog!

I’m so excited that you’ve read my book, D is for Drinking Gourd: An African American Alphabet together. And what wonderful questions you sent me. Here are the answers to your questions:

1. Where do you have to go to publish a book?
There are big books called Market Guides that list the names of book publishers. These are companies that publish books. In the Market Guides, they list the publisher’s phone number, address, e-mail, website, and the name of the editor to send your book to.

2. How did you become an author?
When we had our two sons, I decided to stay at home with them. I wanted a hobby to do while they were taking naps, so I started writing.

3. Is it easy for you to write a book?
It actually takes work to write a book. It’s just like writing for school, but writing a whole book takes weeks and months and sometimes years to put together so many pages. But I love it, so I enjoy spending time writing books.

4. What’s your favorite book you published? Why?
D is for Drinking Gourd is one of my favorite books that was published for many reasons. First I felt God calling me to write it to let children know about African American heroes. Second, it was really fun to get to know the artist, E. B. Lewis, who illustrated the book. Third, it turned out to be such a pretty book and so exciting to read.

5. What advice do you give young writers who aspire to be an author?
Have fun writing! If you think of a story, write it down. You can even draw pictures to go with it, if you want. And then, after your story is written down, don’t just hide it in a drawer. Publish it in some form and share it with others! For instance, you can make paper puppets on popsicle sticks to be the characters. Then you can tuck your story and the puppets inside a paper bag. Decorate the outside of the bag to look like the setting in your story. Now share your story with family and friends! While they act out your story with the puppets, read the story aloud to them.

6. Is it easy to get a book published?
No, it’s not as easy as getting a taco from Taco Bell! If you want to be a fire fighter when you grow up, you have to take training and learn how to be one. If you want to be a doctor or lawyer when you grow up, you have to go to school to learn how. If you want to be a writer, it’s important to take time to learn about grammar and things like how to create an interesting plot and learn how the world of publishing a book works. It’s not easy, but it’s lots of fun, and anyone can learn how to get a book published. You can, too!

7. Is there a difference between a writer or an author?
Not really. A writer is someone who writes. An author is someone who writes. You don’t have to have a book published to be a writer or an author. You just have to like to write!

8. How much research did you do for this book? (D is for Drinking Gourd)
This book was different than other books I’ve written. I actually did the research for the book over several years while I was writing other books about African American history. Then, during the three months I wrote D is for Drinking Gourd, I went through my research notes from those other books and pulled out information to use.

9. Do you like writing 3-5th grade books?
Yes! I’m writing three books for this age right now! The books are for learning how to write and are called WriteShop Jr. Books D, E, and F.

10. When did you start to like writing?
I’ve loved to write ever since I was in elementary school. I liked to write poems and stories and especially in my journal. I still write in a journal today!

Thank you so much, boys and girls, for joining me here on my blog today. You have such a great teacher. We used to be neighbors and now we go to church together. And thank you, Mrs. Perez, for sending me these great questions your students wrote. Happy writing!


  1. What a fun interview! I laughed at your answer about finding a hobby during your boys’ naps. What a great hobby you discovered!

  2. Congrats on the great presentation to students from your own blog. What a great idea! 🙂


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