I started writing at age six, about a mixed family of dogs, I began serious writing—-articles on librarianship--while finishing my doctorate. In 1990 I started writing books to share my ideas with a larger audience and to gain a professional reputation in the library world (colloquially known as 'publish or perish'). Since then I have averaged more than one published book a year. At this point I also write about an article a month, all in the fields of librarianship and educational technology, which reflect my career efforts.
What topics do you write about?
Basically I write from experience, networking, and research. Quite frankly, I never run out of ideas because I read so much and listen to what is happening in the field. I might get inspired from an advertisement, for instance, and conjure how it could be adapted as a public relations piece for a school library. I hear people's problems, and imagine ways to tackle the situation. Writing enables me to help other librarians provide good service, especially to youth. Since I get asked to speak and write a lot, there is always a waiting audience, and deadline.
What is your writing method?
As for my writing method, I take an idea and give it a variety of 'spins.' When I started creating Hypercard stacks, I had such trouble reading the manuals that I vowed no one else would have that problem, so I co-authored I SPEAK HYPERCARD to help others learn how to use that software. Through a grant, I used Hypercard to produce information skills tutorials, and I did research about the tutorials effectiveness. That work resulted in several articles and presentations. For any given book, I begin with a BIG idea, write an outline, research the topic thoroughly, and then 'grind it out.' Sometimes I write sequentially from beginning to end; other times I write the 'easy stuff' first to get going, and then tackle the harder chapters. When I am 'on a roll,' the writing comes fast and fluid. Other times I have to rework a whole section or start over using another approach. The worst times occur when the computer crashes.
Did you ever want to write fiction?
My fantasy, though, is to write young adult novels. I actually took a writing correspondence course between jobs, but my career writing takes up all my time. I have one YA title started, and have ideas for more than a dozen more. I have been told that I have a writing 'voice' of a twelve-year-old when I use dialogue in creative writing. There is still time, though, in the future. Maybe my updated coverage in Contemporary Authors will feature my fictional work.