Been promoting Laini Taylor’s new book Blackbringerwith my fourth and fifth graders. I invited them to read the excerpt and prepare questions, write a letter, or draw a scene.
Fifteen students were invited to “Lunch with Laini”. In this intimate setting, students queried Laini about where she gets her ideas for writing, where did the names in Blackbringer come from, and when she began writing.
What kids took away from their time with her:
1. Keep a notebook. Not necessarily to write a whole stories but for keeping ideas, thoughts, weird stuff in, and juicy words!
2. Supports the whole notion that “Fact is stranger than fiction” Laini records weird facts in her notebook. For example…there are beetles that eat flesh, leaving skeletons perfectly intact or haruspicina, the ancient practice of divining entrails.
3. Read, read, and read some more. Laini showed a slide of the books at her bedside, mountain of books to read.
4. Don’t stop writing. She did for a while and regrets doing so.
5. A paper dictionary provides more opportunities for words than looking words up digitally.
6. How the book’s title went from just Blackbringer to Faeries of Dreamdark: Blackbringer.
Laini is showing students important necessities of writing: a fabulous writing room, coffee, her editor, and other tidbits.
I discovered that many of these students are serious writers themselves. Having time with Laini really gave them nudges in the right direction.
We anxiously await the arrival of Faeries of Dreamdark: Blackbringer in June. You can visit Laini here.
Thank you, Laini, for visiting Silver Star.