I’m A Reader. That’s Why I’m A Writer.

Posted in SoNaR Adventure Books at 11:31 am by Aaron Tate, M.A.

I’ve often been asked what qualifies me to write a novel, much less an entire young-adult adventure series.  After all, according to my students, I’m “just” a middle school science teacher, so how would I know how to write a book?  Sure, I know the natural sciences as well as the next guy.  I know biology, physics, and chemistry well enough to teach it in an engaging and successful way.  I also know how to easily tell which science is being taught at any given time: if it’s biology, everything stinks; if it’s physics, nothing works when or how it should; and, if it’s chemistry, everything blows up.  The bottom line is that I know science, I know teaching, and I know teaching science quite well.

So then, what is it that qualifies me to step out of the realm of science and attempt to write a novel that people might actually want to read?

Honestly, that’s a very good question, one that I’ve mulled over many a time.  After all, I didn’t major in English in college.  I’ve never taken anything even remotely resembling a creative writing class in my life.  I’ve never attended a writing conference.  And it wasn’t until I was 29 years old that I even considered attempting to write a book.  Like I said, a very good question.

The good news is that the answer is even better.

What is that the makes me, a middle school science teacher, qualified to write a young-adult adventure series?  Simple: I read.  And I read.  And I read some more.  And then I read some more.  And then I read after that.  In other words, I’m a book sponge (or a book junkie if you prefer).  I mean, what better training is there to be an author?  By reading book after book after book, we get to see what works versus what doesn’t work.  We get to see how characters can be dynamically brought to life.  We get to travel to areas that we normally would never have the chance to visit.  We get to fantasize.  We get to escape.  And, above all, we get to learn what makes a good story.

Therefore, I’d like to put this question to rest by submitting my résumé as an aspiring author:  I began reading 4th grade level books when I was a 6-year-old in the first grade.  Since that time, I’ve read hundreds of books, thousands of pages, and tens of thousands of words.  I’ve learned what makes a good story that people want to read, and I’ve done my best to transfer that knowledge to my SoNaR Adventure series.  The way I see it, even though I’ve never taken formal classes on the subject, I’ve been an author in training for over 20 years.

And that is why I believe I am qualified to write a novel.  What remains to be seen is if my readers agree with me.

“I read. Therefore I write. Therefore I am.”

~ Fredrik Schmidt Fotland

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