Young Carolina Day School students hear from author Amy Cherrix
The Carolina Day School Creative Writers Club, a start-up idea conceived by a CDS Grade 5 student and her father, recently hosted author Amy Cherrix for a casual conversation about the process of writing. Amy Cherrix writes non-fiction for middle-grade readers.
Cherrix’s first book is Eye of the Storm: NASA, Drones, and the Race to Crack the Hurricane Code. During her conversation with the students, she talked about the importance of research in the development of a compelling and accurate non-fiction book. During her research, she interviewed experts in the field, including NASA scientists, and she spoke candidly to the young students about how being brave enough to ask questions is a big part of the writing process.
“One of the scary things about being an author every time is, I start off in this place of, even though I’ve done all this research, there’s always a bunch I don’t know,” said Cherrix. “And so there have been many, many times that I had to get on the phone with someone to finish an interview or to call them after I already spent two hours on the phone interviewing them and say, ‘You know what, I’m sorry, but I have one more question. You were so patient, and you’re so busy, and you gave me so much time, but there’s still something I don’t know.’ And I feel a little bad about that...but the truth is when you start processing your notes after you interview somebody—if you’re doing your job as a writer—you’re going to find things you want to ask.”
Cherrix added, “Part of what I like about being an author is that it forces me to be brave about a lot of stuff that I would never be brave about normally.”
The CDS Creative Writers Club meets every Tuesday in Grade 4 teacher Jan Brabham’s room. They talk about their story ideas, work on developing a plot, and write. Brabham provides time, space and—if needed—structure. The club was initiated by a parent who approached her to be a faculty sponsor. Brabham said, “He was looking for something to do with his daughter—something she was interested in, and something they could share.”“Listening to writers read their work and talk about their craft is inspirational,” added Brabham. “We've had two published authors come talk to the kids. It's been terrific to hear about an author's process, the publishing process, and how writers have to write—whether they want to or not.”