“Dreamers become writers, and for me, being a published writer is a dream come true.” – David A. Adler
A math teacher by training, Adler (born on this date in 1947) got into writing because of a question from his 3-year-old nephew about how a city becomes a city. He put together the answer in story form – relayed to a young child by his Grandpa – and in 1976 it became his first best seller, A Little at a Time. He followed with a series of math books, drawing on his teaching experience, and in 1977 he created his most famous character, Cam Jansen, originally featured in Cam Jansen and the Mystery of the Stolen Diamonds. The Cam Jansen mystery series for kids is now up over 50 titles.
All told, Adler has written more than 200 books for kids and young adults, including last year’s award-winning sports novel Don’t Throw It To Mo and dozens of biographies and historical books for kids. He’s also co-authored several books with son Michael, fitting because it was while he was a stay-at-home dad with Michael that he decided to leave teaching and become a full-time writer.
“For my books of nonfiction I write about subjects I personally find fascinating. I've been a Yankees and a Lou Gehrig fan for decades, so I wrote Lou Gehrig: The Luckiest Man. It's more the story of his great courage than of his baseball playing,” Adler said. “Children face all sorts of challenges, and it's my hope that some will be inspired by the courage of Lou Gehrig.”
His advice for writers? “In my office I have a sign that says, 'Don't think. Just write!' and that's how I work,” Adler said. “I try not to worry about each word, or even each sentence or paragraph. For me, stories evolve. Writing is a process.”
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