Thank you for the chance to guest post. You’re a person after my own heart—book obsessed. I love the quote attributed to Erasmus: “When I get a little money, I buy books. Any left over, I buy food and clothes.” As a child, I saved all my allowance for the book sales at school. I’d circle books in the catalog and pencil in my order. Then I’d have to go over four or five times to whittle down my “must have” list to what I had enough money to buy. (I still have to do that!)
In addition to reading anything and anywhere, I wrote poems and stories. In school. On the bus. At home after lights out. I still carry notebooks with me at all times. And I haunt office supply stores for the “perfect” pencils and pens. I’d be embarrassed if I did an inventory of the number of pens and pencils in my supply box.
I’ve appended photos of the cover of my collection of Halloween poems I wrote in elementary school, along with one sample (see below). Groan! :) Nowadays, I take sample books I wrote to school visits in hopes of encouraging students to follow their creative passions.
In OPERATION OLEANDER Jess follows her heart to gather school supplies for an orphanage in Afghanistan. That is her creative passion. When tragedy strikes, she faces criticism at home and within her community. She must chart her own path to carry out what she believes is right—even knowing that there are no guarantees of success.
Our lives and dreams are a journey. I hope you and your readers find their creative passion along with the way, as I did with writing. Here are the top items that feed by passion—literally and figuratively!
Top 5My Top 5 Snacks when WritingPopcornBubblegumJawbreakersShredded wheat bitsCarrot sticks with hummusMy Top 5 Teas to Sip While WritingAssamYunnanStar of IndiaAwakeAwake and green tea togetherMy Top 5 Albums for Writing FantasyWatermark, EnyaThe Book of Secrets, Loreena McKennittPachelbel CanonRachmaninoff VespersA Winter’s Solstice, Windham HillWhat I’m Reading This MonthCity of a Thousand Dolls, Miriam FosterWhat Came from the Stars, Gary SchmidtThe Language of Fiction, Brian ShawyerSomething Like Normal, Trish DollerThe Things a Brother Knows, Dana ReinhardtTop 5 Children’s Writers Who Inspire MeLaurie Halse AndersonJudy BlumeAshley BryanKatherine PatersonGary Schmidt
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More about the Author:
Valerie O. Patterson grew up near a military base on the Gulf Coast of Florida. She often draws inspiration for her writing from that place of her childhood. Ms. Patterson holds an MFA in Children’s Literature from Hollins University. Her first novel for teens, The Other Side of Blue, was published by Clarion/HMH in 2009. She is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, Mystery Writers of America, the Children’s Literature Association, and the Authors Guild. An attorney by day, she lives with her husband in Leesburg, Virginia. For more information about her life and work, visit her website: http://www.valerieopatterson.com/.
What do you do when something you intended for good goes terribly wrong? In the summer before ninth grade, thirteen-year-old Jess Westmark organizes her friends on Ft. Spencer Army base in Florida to collect school supplies for an orphanage in Afghanistan where their parents are serving in the US Army. The orphanage’s association with Americans, however, draws it under attack. The explosion shatters lives in Kabul—and across the world in Florida. Reeling from the impact, Jess struggles to respond. Her actions not only have implications for her own family and the strained relationship with her best friend, whose life has forever been changed by the attack, but also for her growing sense of responsibility to others—even strangers continents away.I also have one copy of Operation Oleander to giveaway! To enter, just fill out the Rafflecopter giveaway below.
Official Giveaway Rules:
~Must be 13 years or older
~Must have a US mailing address