Literary Classics is an organization dedicated to promoting excellence in literature. Through our AWARDS, BOOK REVIEWS, and SEAL OF APPROVAL PROGRAM, we help you sort through the many books in circulation today. It is our goal to help you select the finest books available. Additionally, our programs offer opportunities for publishers, authors and illustrators to receive recognition for providing excellence in literature.
WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO BECOME A WRITER? I've wanted to be a writer since I was a child. As an avid reader, I wanted to be able to create characters and stories that would capture the imagination the way my favorite books captured mine. Reading was such a joy for me, I wanted to share that joy with others.
DO YOU HAVE ANY QUIRKY OR FUN WRITING HABITS?
I like to listen to Gregorian chants while I write. It puts me into the zone and makes it easier for me to screen out distractions.
HOW DID YOU GET THE IDEA FOR YOUR AWARD-WINNING BOOK? I was reading a book about the American Revolution called Legends and Lies: The Patriots, and I came across a chapter that told about the Christopher Seider incident. Even though I considered myself fairly knowledgeable about history, I'd never heard of this boy and the influence he had on the Revolution. I tried to find a book about him and was surprised to discover that, although he was mentioned in a few places, no one had written his story. I thought it was sad that someone so pivotal to the course of our nation was all but lost to history. Since I had just written Jacqueline, a middle-grade historical fiction(and another Literary Classics gold medal winner!), I thought that 11-year-old Christopher would make a perfect protagonist for another middle-grade novel.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE LINE FROM YOUR AWARD-WINNING BOOK AND WHY?
"What good's everythin' else if you don't have liberty?" (Spoken by Christopher Seider) This is my favorite line because it sums up the theme of the novel and the feeling of the patriots who were willing to give their all for liberty.
WHAT MESSAGE DO YOU HOPE READERS WILL GLEAN FROM YOUR AWARD-WINNING BOOK? I'm someone who believes that what we don't learn from history, we're doomed to repeat. As a former teacher, I'm disturbed by the lack of knowledge about American history that seems so prevalent today. I hope that One Small Spark will "spark" an interest in history among young readers and help them understand and appreciate the sacrifice that was made by so many to give them the freedom they now enjoy.
IF YOU WERE STARTING YOUR JOURNEY AS AN AUTHOR TODAY, WOULD YOU DO ANYTHING DIFFERENTLY?
I'd probably start sooner! I waited until I retired before embarking on my new career, and I regret that it took me so long.
WHAT IS YOUR GREATEST TIP FOR ASPIRING AUTHORS?
Find yourself a good editor - not your mom or a friend who teaches English, but a real, impartial and brutally honest professional who will be that extra pair of eyes every writer needs. It will make all the difference!
CAN YOU OFFER ANY ADVICE FOR WRITERS ON HOW BEST TO PROMOTE THEIR BOOK?
That's probably the most difficult aspect of being a writer because it takes time away from writing. I've found that giving presentations at schools, libraries, and book clubs is a good way to sell books. And don't forget social media. If done correctly, you can get the word out to a large audience with very little time and money.
WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR GREATEST LITERARY ACCOMPLISHMENT?
My proudest moment was when I put the first copy of my book, Jacqueline, in my father's hands on his 99th birthday. Jacqueline was based on an experience he had while stationed in France shortly after D-day. It was the only war story he was willing to share and he really wanted me to write a book about it. He was so happy the day I gave that book to him! He passed away six months later, and I feel blessed that I finished it in time for him to read it.
WHAT ARE YOUR GREATEST LITERARY ASPIRATIONS?
I want to inspire a love of reading in young people so they can experience the joy that only a good book can give.
WHAT OTHER BOOKS HAVE YOU PUBLISHED?
(PLEASE PROVIDE LINKS FOR PURCHASE IF APPLICABLE):
I've completed an outline for another middle-grade historical novel, but I had to put that on hold because I was asked to head a project creating a K-8 English/Language Arts curriculum for homeschoolers. It's quite an undertaking, but I plan to get busy on that novel as soon as I finish!
LITERARY CLASSICS Book Awards & Reviews
International Book Awards • Top Honors Youth Book Awards • Seal of Approval