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Monday, May 16, 2016

Ideas -- they're all around you

“The first time I can remember thinking that I would like to be a writer came in sixth grade, when our teacher Mrs. Crandall gave us an extended period of time to write a long story. I loved doing it. I started working seriously at becoming a writer when I was 17.” Bruce Coville

Born on this date in 1950 in Syracuse, NY, Coville is the author of more than 100  kids’ and Young Adult fiction books.   Enraptured with reading novels at a young age, Coville was first published in 1977.  He started seriously writing 10 years earlier but had trouble “breaking through.”  While waiting to publish that first novel, The Foolish Giant, Coville was employed in a number of professions including toymaker, gravedigger, cookware salesman, assembly line worker, and elementary school teacher working with 2nd  and 4th  graders.

“I loved teaching,” he said.  And for a time he thought that was going to be his life’s work.   He said he talked to kids about what they wanted to read, and it sounded a lot like what he also liked to read when he was a kid.         
 “I read books that made me laugh but also made me shiver in terror. I wanted to make books that made other people feel the same way.”

In 2012, Coville was honored with the Empire State Award for Excellence in Literature for Young People, given by the New York Library Association for his life’s work.  As for advice to aspiring writers, he says keep looking “everywhere” for your ideas.   “Ideas are all around you - everything gives you ideas,” he said.  “But the real source is the part of your brain that dreams.”   Write, and live, your dreams.

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