Lyn Kratz interviews Conrad at the launch of DIRT BIKES, DRONES, AND OTHER WAYS TO FLY in April 2014.
BookBrowse's Tamara Smith Interviews Conrad Wesselhoeft, Author of Dirt Bikes, Drones and Other Ways to Fly:
Click here for interview.
The museum is building an oral-history archive to capture the voices of West Seattleites talking about their work. http://watchingwestseattle.com/videos/the-novelist/
Art helps characters heal in YA fiction
"Each time we take a step closer to who we really are we get stronger."
Lois T. Stover is the chair of the educational studies department at St. Mary's College of Maryland. Her upcoming book Portrait of the Artist as a Young Adult:
Who is the Real Me? (with co-author Connie S. Zitlow) examines the healing value of the arts in young-adult literature. Conrad Wesselhoeft was among the authors she interviewed for the project. Click here to read an excerpt of their discussion. (PDF format)
(Note: Adobe Acrobat Reader is required to open this file. Click here to download.)
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Conrad Interviews Author Scott O'Dell
During Conrad's career as a journalist, he was assigned to interview author Scott O'Dell, one of the most acclaimed young-adult authors of his generation, who wrote nearly two dozen books, including Island of the Blue Dolphins, The Black Pearl, and Sing Down the Moon. In 1984, Mr. O'Dell shared these writing insights with Conrad.
(Click here to read the original 1984 Interview in the New York Times).
Words of wisdom from Scott O'Dell
Writing is about starting. Start simply, even if it amounts to no more than 15 minutes a day. Open an empty notebook and on page one write: “I want to write a book about…” Then write: “I want the main character to be…” It’s okay to write in fragments. It’s okay to use weak verbs. Just write. Spill all of your ideas into that notebook. On about day five, or seventeen, or fifty-five, something will happen. A light will turn on. You will see the way.
Writing is about finishing. Scott liked to quote Anthony Trollope, the English novelist: “The most important thing a writer should have is a piece of sticking plaster with which to fasten his pants to a chair.”
Writing is about reading. Soak up all the great books you can. Scott loved Willa Cather’s spare, lyrical prose style, singling out her novel Death Comes for the Archbishop.
Writing is humble. Let your forebears guide you. Scott followed Hemingway’s advice: Stop your day’s work at a point where you know what is going to happen next. That way, you’ll never get stuck.
Writing for young readers has a special reward. Scott told me that before he discovered young audiences, he had only a tentative commitment to the craft of writing. Now it was strong. “The only reason I write,” he said, “is to say something. I’ve forsaken adults because they’re not going to change, though they may try awfully hard. But children can and do change.”
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DIRT BIKES, DRONES, AND OTHER WAYS TO FLY is a 2014 Junior Library Guild selection.
DIRT BIKES, DRONES, AND OTHER WAYS TO FLY has landed on Air & Space/Smithsonian’s 2014 list of Best Aviation and Space-Themed Books for Young Readers. The list--which will be published in December--is an annual roundup of children’s and YA titles that focus on flying.