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Liana Metal
Interview with a children's book writer
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Meet Jerry Wunsch!

INTERVIEW with Jerry Wunsch, a children's book writer.

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How and when did you get started as a writer?

 

I took a creative writing when I was in the 9th grade in junior high school, and I've been writing off and on ever since.

 

How do you usually find your ideas?

 

My own experiences and from history and a certain funny little terrier

 

Did you ever get any rejections?

If yes, how did you react to them?

 

I experienced a difficult time attempting to get a literary agent. It was a frustrating experience, especially because they seem to be overworked and lukewarm toward new writers.  Plus, most agents will not review your manuscript unless they are the exclusive reader.  Sometimes that takes months.

 

Tell us about your book.

 

Ginger Wanamaker and her best friend, Irene Fong, along with a terrier's help, make a great discovery: Ginger's grandparents' home was once a station on the Underground Railroad! In Curiosity published by 1st Books Library in July 2003 (ISBN: 1-4107-3699-7), Gerald Allen Wunsch tells this adventurous children's story through Ginger's eyes.  Laird, a spirited wire fox terrier, accompanies the girls and becomes a hero in the story through his digging and exploring. The Wanamaker's home is an artifact of a critical movement in American history, and, for these knowledge-thirsty young students, it opens a door to new learning.  Irene's parents were born in Suriname, South America. Her ancestors were slaves. These details convey the message that slavery existed all over the world, not just in the United States. This multicultural emphasis in Curiosity broadens young minds. Boys and girls will have fun reading about Ginger and Irene's discoveries while learning about the Underground Railroad from a contemporary perspective.

The story text, sprinkled with "Whispers" interludes, also links to a 30-page "More Information" section in the back of Curiosity. Illustrations by Irene Joslin, award-winning cartoonist for the Brown County Democrat in Nashville, Indiana, enliven the story line.

 

What inspired you to write a childrens book?

 

 I've always wanted to write a children's book, especially one that educates as well as entertains.

 

How long did it take you to write it?

 

 Around four months

 

What are the major challenges that you have faced in your career?

 

Are you asking about my short literary career?  If so, a major challenge has been getting an acceptable manuscript from the publisher and gaining acceptance as a newly published writer.  A wonderful challenge is fulfilling all the library and school programs Laird and I are invited to present.  We've educated ourselves to be able to pay our own state tax, too, on our supply of books.

 

Has the Internet helped you in your writing career?

How?

 

 Thanks to the internet, there are 116 review copies sent out right now, including Canada and Greece and Germany and N. Ireland.  Many wire fox terrier list friends ordered books directly from our supply at home.

 

What do you advise new writers to do?

 

 --know your subject

--learn to do your own editing for a polished product

--never submit something you are not totally satisfied with

 

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 Good luck!

 

    Liana

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