Carpinello's Writing Pages welcomes fellow Colorado author Phyllis J. Perry. Phyllis writes fiction and non-fiction for kids of all ages. She has authored numerous non-fiction books on Colorado.
First, a bit about Phyllis:
Phyllis J. Perry grew up and went to school in a small town in northern California. After attending the University of California at Berkeley, she began teaching elementary school. She continued her academic career by earning a Master's Degree from San Francisco State College. After moving to Boulder Colorado, she worked in the Boulder Schools as a teacher, Curriculum specialist, and Director of Talented and Gifted Education. She also earned her Doctorate at the University of Colorado. She is married and has two children and four grandchildren. Retired now, she spends full time writing fiction and nonfiction for children and adults.
Why did you pick to write books for children?
As a teacher in Colorado, I knew little about state and its history. I began reading and learning as much as I could in order to share information with my students. This eventually led me to write A Kid's Look at Colorado for elementary students and Bold Women in Colorado History for secondary students and adults. I went on to write books about various aspects of Colorado for adults.
Teaching research skills to elementary students led me to write the Fribble Mouse Library Mystery series. My book, Teaching the Fantasy Novel, was written to assist secondary teachers in making the most of this genre. Now as my youngest grandchild is in middle school, I find myself writing fiction for the middle school reader. My family and my teaching career have shaped the sorts of books that I write.
What type of book do you like to read?
I enjoy reading all kinds of children's books and especially like to read adult mysteries. British mysteries are among my favorites.
When you are not writing, what do you like to do?
I enjoy going on trips with my husband, especially to the coasts of California and Oregon We have also made several trips to Alaska. I enjoy and participate in the sport of geocaching. Also, I like to attend the theatre.
Tell us about Together and how the story came to be.
Together is aimed at the middle school audience. Although Holly and her friends are the main characters, I also wanted to portray grandparents in an active role. Key to the story is the fact that Holly learns from her grandfather how to be a ham radio operator. Since my husband is active in ham radio, I learned about it, got my operating license, and learned Morse Code. I thought young people would be interested in learning about this special means of communication.
For therapy, Holly joins a swim team. While I am far from a good swimmer, I swim twice a week in our local Recreation Center lap lanes and have known and admired young people who do swim on local teams.
Here's a peek at Together:
Have you written other books? If so, tell us about them.
I have just finished another book for the middle grade reader called Scuba 4 Ever. This story takes the interest in swimming that was evident in even further. The central character takes lessons in scuba diving. Although I am not a Scuba diver, four members of my family are, so I'm interested in it. This story also involves a school play, The Miracle Worker. I was a cast member in this play in our local theater group and enjoyed sharing in this story information about auditions and rehearsals as well as the excitement of performance.
I've also written several books for adults. Some of these are It Happened in Rocky Mountain National Park, Images of America: Rocky Mountain National Park, and Speaking Ill of the Dead: Jerks in Colorado History.
What's next for your writing? Are you working on a new story?
I am currently working on two projects. One is a picture book for children about the plants
and animals of the Sonoran Desert. The other is a book for adults tentatively titled Colorado Vanguards: Historic Trail Blazers and Their Local Legacies and The Historic Rocky Mountains.
What advice do you have for other authors?
For over twenty years, I have been active in a critique group of seven people. These women not only help in crafting my stories, pointing out both weaknesses and strengths, but they also encourage and inspire. Although much of an author's work is done alone, I believe that a strong critique group is an important asset.
Anything else you want readers to know?
Get to know other writers and readers of blog sites like this one. Take part in local book gatherings and library festivals. Attend conference such as those sponsored by the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators and the Colorado Authors' League. You will enjoy and benefit from getting to know writers and readers And if you want to be a writer—write! It is easy to put it off. Make writing a regular part of each week!
Where can readers find you and your books?
Many of my books are available on the Amazon Kindle book shelf. Others are available at local book stores. To find a listing and more information about my books, visit my web site:
Amazon Author Page