Authors in the Wild

by author Alison Ashley Formento

Writing about nature is fun, especially when it comes to research. Long before sitting at the computer to compile my notes to write, I’ve met dozens of wonderful scientists such as apiarists, biologists, botanists, and geologists, who love nature as much as I do. Thanks to these experts, I’ve climbed many trees, surveyed the seas, and met a million or so buzzing bees, too.

AFormento Bee pic 1

Alison Formento Star Wars

I’ve found that it’s good to go little wild in the natural world, which helps me write a stronger story from what I’ve learned in my extensive research. Authors research and learn from other authors, too. We compare notes, writing tips, plotting techniques, and even share educator guide advice and bookmark designs, which we hope will help sell our books.

I’ve been fortunate as an author to meet friends who also have books published by Albert Whitman. My publishing mates Nancy Viau and Jacqueline Jules also research the topics they write about and they both share my passion for meeting young readers.

Nancy Viau with student
Nancy Viau reading her book to a student.

Jacqueline Jules speaking

We’ve appeared at educator conferences, book festivals, libraries, bookstores, and shared our unique author journeys at our favorite outings—schools visits. As in any job, sometimes there are down days for authors, such as an educator event with low attendance or the huge outdoor festival that had to be quickly moved indoors because of whipping winds and rain due to an approaching hurricane. These down days are few, and my author friends agree that it only takes one young reader, one smiling face to change a less-than-perfect event into a great author day.

Alison Formento with kids
Alison at a school visit.

In the wild, sometimes authors climb trees and sometimes we meet a storm trooper who is interested in bees. Sometimes we get a group hug. Most authors I know agree—if people are reading our books, we’re smiling.

Who changed your perspective on reading?

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Authors in the Wild