Yvonne Writes Books
© Yvonne Writes Books, Yvonne Morrison/Morrin, 2013
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                            Be a Writer                                           If you want to be a writer, I've got just two words of advice for you: read and practise.                                      The more you read good writing, the more you will get a feeling for what works and what                                     doesn’t. You might want to keep a notebook, and if you come across a really striking                                      sentence or clever phrase, jot it down.                                      Then – practise. You don’t have to write complete stories when you practise your writing.                                      Paragraphs, or even sentences are fine. What you want to do is re-craft your work to make                                      it as interesting as possible. Character or scene descriptions are a good starting point.                              Observe people around you. How would you describe them in a few sentences? Many writers like the phrase “Show, don’t tell,” and so do I! How much better it is to write: “The man’s skin was wrinkled like discarded tissue paper, and as he shuffled forward I imaged I could hear his tired joints creak…” rather than “The man was old…” ? Okay – now it’s your turn. How would you describe: a crying newborn baby, a rough looking criminal, a busy young mum? Interview Questions Here are answers to some of the questions kids and their teachers like to ask me. Where did you go to school? All of my schooling was in New Zealand. I went to five different primary schools in Auckland before my family moved to Wellington. I enjoyed my year 8 class at Karori Normal School, where I had a very creative teacher. I went on to Tawa College, Victoria University, Wellington College of Education, Unitec Auckland, and Oxford Brookes University in the United Kingdom, where I completed a Masters Degree in Primatology (that's monkey science). Where have you travelled and/or lived before? Although I was born in New Zealand and lived there for most of my life, I have also lived in Australia, close to the beach, and now I am in England. I have been to 32 other countries so far, and would like to see more! The most amazing places I have visited are Egypt, Greece, Sweden, Portugal, Turkey, Mexico and Belize. What made you decide to become a writer/illustrator? I enjoy reading children’s books, and have a lot of ideas for stories spinning in my head. While I was traveling, I finally had the time to write some of it down. How old were you when you started? I started writing stories in Primary School, about my family’s cats. I used to pretend they were my brothers and sisters. My first book was published when I was 25. It was a science book about microscopes. What is a typical writing day for you? I wish I had a typical writing day! I have to squeeze in my writing when I'm not working at other jobs. But I am trying to do more. What do you enjoy most about writing? I enjoy the way characters act out scenes in my head – they often surprise me. I also like making readers laugh. What were your favourite books when you were growing up? My favourite book to read aloud was and still is, “Who’s a Pest?” by Crosby Bonsall. It’s hilarious. I also loved “My Cat Likes to Hide in Boxes,” by Eve Sutton and Lynley Dodd, “A Kiss for Little Bear,” by Else Holmelund Minarik and Maurice Sendak and “Benjamin and Tulip,” by Rosemary Wells. I still enjoy reading children’s books, and as an adult I’ve discovered “The Velveteen Rabbit,” by Margery Williams Bianco, and “The Last Little Cat,” by Meindert DeJong. Do you think that it is important for children to read rhyming books? Rhyming books are fun to read aloud, and children love the rhythm and music of playful language. Rhyming books allow young children to begin to predict text, which is the first step in learning to read by themselves.
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