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Member Spotlights

Member Spotlight: Leah Rose Kessler

Why is writing important to you and why do you think it’s an important medium for the world? I write for young children and I think the most important thing about creating books for young readers is to start them off in life with a love for reading. I want little kids to learn as early as possible that books are windows into different worlds they can enjoy. If they develop that love of reading early on, they will be able and willing to turn to books for entertainment, relaxation, education and an expanding of their world view as they grow.

What are your tried and tested remedies to cure writer’s block? I work on multiple projects at once. If I’m stuck on one project, I switch to another. I also find consuming multiple different kinds of media–books, television, movies, games–in a variety of genres is helpful to keep the kind of outside-of-the-box ideas that help jump start a stalled project coming.

What is your favorite time to write? My favorite time is late morning to early afternoon. My life, however, generally dictates that most of my writing happens late at night. I’m hopeful that once my kiddo is vaccinated and back in school, I’ll have some daytime to myself again.

What’s the best piece of writing advice you’ve ever received and would like to impart to other writers? Probably the best piece of life advice I’ve ever received was from my childhood piano teacher: forgive yourself and go on. I find this applies to writing because it can be easy to search for perfect before moving on from a chapter, an idea, or a bit of dialogue, but if you get even the bare bones of your thoughts down on paper, however imperfect they may seem, then you have something to work with.

What excites you most about being a writer in today’s age? Being a writer for children today is exciting because it’s easier than ever for readers and their parents (since my debut book is for young children) to communicate with each other about books they love. It’s also wonderful to have the opportunity to visit classrooms virtually as well as in-person.

Leah Rose Kessler’s Rat Fair, illustrated by Cleonique Hilsaca, is out June 29 with POW! Kids Books.