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Lester Laminack, a full-time writer and consultant working with schools throughout the United States, is Professor Emeritus with department of Birth-Kindergarten, Elementary and Middle Grades Education, at Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, North Carolina where he received two prestigious awards for excellence in teaching. He is the author or co-author of over 25 books for children and teachers.

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Writers need time to think.

I have always loved to write. I kept notebooks of stories and riddles in the fourth grade. I began writing for children in the 1990s after years of teaching. I hope that children see themselves and their families in these books. I want them to realize that everyone has a story to tell and that every life is worthy. I keep a writer's notebook with me at all times. I am always tuned in to the world around me and make notes about those things that capture my attention. I find ideas for stories in everyday events. Saturdays and Teacakes began with the smell of cookies baking in the local grocery store.

 

I routinely read through my notebooks and on occasion I find a little nugget that can serve as the beginning of a new story. When a story begins I move to my computer and save every version until the final draft is ready for my editor. I write any time of day. I don't have a special time when writing seems to work. I prefer to write in my office at Thistle Hill, however, I do work on books when I'm on airplanes, in hotel rooms, dining alone or sitting in an airport waiting for a plane. I write most any place.

 

I wrote The Sunsets of Miss Olivia Wiggins as a bridge to understanding what happens as our bodies and minds begin to fail us. I wanted children to understand that their love, and the love that binds families, has tremendous power.

 

I wrote Trevor's Wiggly-Wobbly Tooth because I taught first grade and I remember what a big—huge—event it is to loose a tooth. I also remember those children who were last. The book should make us all chuckle and remember.

 

I wrote Saturdays and Teacakes to honor my maternal grandmother and my mom. I had a very special bond with my grandmother; she made me feel so very special, so very real and worthy. I wanted children to know that everyone deserves to be loved and cherished. I wanted adults to remember those feelings and to recognize the importance of making childhood that special time in life. I wanted to remind us all that children are to be cherished and nurtured if we expect them to cherish and love others as they grow up.

 

If you want to write: Stop wishing, start writing. Don't say 'one day when…' Just pick up a pen and open a notebook and start taking note of what you notice. Let your brain get in the habit of noticing the world. Read, read, read, read, read, read.…If you want to write read everything that is anything near what you hope to achieve. Fill your head with the sounds of it.

Lester loves to visit schools to share stories and talk with students about writing.

Each of us has a story to tell.  What's yours?

Lester enjoys photography. 

He usually has his camera in the car. 

Lester has lots of books!

If you want to write, you need

to read, read, read,and read some more.