Tuesday, January 5, 2010

More About Bonnie J. Doerr

Author Bonnie J. Doerr, whose book Island Sting is about to launch,is a former science and reading teacher. Combine that with her passion for the environment, and an eco-mystery series was born. Even now, Bonnie delights students when she visits their classrooms to talk about her book and her writing process. Recently, Bonnie visited a school in NC.

Here are some highlights of her visit (that's Bonnie in the bright red jacket):

In December Bonnie J. Doerr, author of the eco-mystery Island Sting, visited Ms. Van de Ree’s class at Pine Lake Preparatory School in Mooresville, NC, to share her personal writing methods with students. In a power point presentation, complete with humorous sound effects, Ms. Doerr described her creative process as an art much like ceramics. “One begins with what seem like useless raw substances. The writer mixes materials, shapes, forms, reshapes, and trims these seemingly unrelated elements, then sets the work aside to cure, and finally polishes, enhances, and solidifies the piece to create a unique product.” She then shared examples of her own writing in each stage of the process, demonstrating to students how dramatically a manuscript can change before it is ready for publication.

Because NC students must respond to writing prompts on state exams, Ms. Doerr worked with the class to plan and organize their responses to a persuasive writing prompt. She brainstormed with students, listing their ideas on the whiteboard, then organized their ideas into details and supporting details on a mind map, prioritizing each so that the students were ready to create their own draft.

When asked about her visit, Ms. Doerr said, “I was amazed at how attentive and engaged the class was, especially with the holiday break just days away.”

Ms. Doerr didn’t get to leave for her own holiday travels until she answered many questions about Island Sting. Unfortunately, many readers were disappointed to learn they’d have to wait until the New Year to grab a copy.

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