Tuesday, October 16, 2007

"Young Adult" Author Presents Free Writer's Workshop

BISBEE, AZ -- Fresh from being a "Featured Speaker" and a "Featured Interview" at recent Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators events, Young Adult author Beckie Weinheimer will be at Bisbee's Copper Queen Library on Friday, November 9, from 3-5 pm to present a free writer's workshop chock-full of advice for aspiring authors of all ages on writing and publishing for a Young Adult audience.

Weinheimer, whose novel Converting Kate received rave reviews from Publishers' Weekly and Kirkus Reviews, first visited Bisbee last Memorial Day weekend with her husband and, like many before her, promptly fell in love with its beauty -- so much so that she says her next novel will be set in "Crusade, Arizona (a fictional Bisbee) -- because it allows me to change things around!"

She plans to spend some time over the long Veterans' Day weekend doing more of what she calls "on the ground research" to learn about such subjects as making mesquite bread and to absorb some of the other local flavor.

About writing, Weinheimer -- who holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Vermont College -- says, "In high school I took a creative writing class and it was then I first learned that I enjoyed writing. I liked making things up. My daughters and siblings will tell you I have always embellished stories and as a writer I get paid for it. It’s fun!”

She adds, “I think I write for kids and teens because I feel so much kid still left in me... My first two novels deal with being the new kid, and since we have moved our children so many times -- they have lived in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Kentucky, Iowa, California, Virginia and now New York -- I have had to see how hard it is for them to start over. This is my way of acknowledging that to them and letting them know how much I admire their courage."

When she's not writing, she says, "I love to spend time with my husband shopping at farmers markets, walking in the beautiful wooded park one block from our high rise in Queens, watching movies, and traveling to our favorite two ocean spots, South Beach, Florida in the winter, and the Mount Desert Island area of Maine in the summer. While there, we walk the beaches, kayak, swim in the ocean and watch for dolphins.

“When my girls come home we play card games, guessing games, and often re-watch our favorite family movies, which include the BBC version of Pride and Prejudice, the Back to the Futures, Ever After, White Christmas, It’s a Wonderful Life and all the Charlie Brown holiday specials.

“My girls and I aren’t really into cooking that much, but we love to make sugar cookies for every holiday—green shamrocks, orange pumpkins, red white and blue flags, and valentine hearts. At Christmas time we get really fancy and have a big gingerbread house making party. Beyond that I read, and listen to books on my MP3 player and enjoy shopping. And, oh yes, I like to clean. I know... That’s weird!"

For further information on what promises to be a very interesting workshop, contact the library at 432-4232.