Day 1 of Pat McCarthy’s Virtual Book Tour For the National Writing For Childrens Center

       This month, I’m hosting Day 1 of the Virtual Book Tour for all
       the children’s book authors/illustrators who are part of the
       November Showcase at the National Writing for Children Center.
       Today, I’m pleased to be hosting Day 1 of the tour for author Pat
       Ever since I learned to read in first grade, I wanted to write
       books. I wrote stories when I was a child, won an essay contest
       in junior high, took journalism in high school and worked on
       the school newspaper. Then real life set in and I went to college
       for two years, then started teaching elementary school while
       finishing my degree. My writing was on the back burner for
       years. Occasionally I’d write a story or article and submit it
       somewhere. When it was rejected, I wouldn’t try again for
       several years.
       One of the things I enjoyed most about teaching was the half
       hour a day I spent reading to the children. Even today when I
       talk to a former student, he or she often recalls books I read to
       the class. About three years before I retired, I decided I wanted
       to write and do phototography, so I started taking workshops
       and classes in both. I attended the Highlights Workshop at
       Chautauqua for four years in a row and decided it was really
       children I wanted to write for.
       This was before Internet was available, so I think I kept
       Writer’s Digest Book Club in business over those years. As soon
       as I started writing and submitting seriously, I started selling.
       By the time I retired, I had sold three or four stories and
       articles, but none had yet appeared in print. I spent the next
       ten years writing for magazines. I wrote mostly for children’s
       magazines, and managed to hit Cricket, Highlights for
       Children, Children’s Digest, Pockets, and a number of other
       religious magazines and Sunday School papers.
       During this time, I worked on a couple of books which never
       sold. One was on Pet Therapy and one on the Okefenokee
       Swamp, with my photos. I decided to research and write a
       biography of Annie Oakley, since she was from my county. It
       was to be a mid-grade biography. That’s another book I never
       sold, but when I sent a query about it to Enslow Publishers, the
       editor wrote back and said, “I’m sorry, but I just assigned an
       Annie book to someone else. Call me if you’re interested in
       writing about other topics.” I did, she read me a list of topics, I
       picked Daniel Boone, and the rest was history. I wrote five
       biographies for her and signed a contract for a sixth book on the
       13 Colonies before she moved to another publisher. Then I
       wrote four WFH books for Enslow. After that was a dry spell,
       during which I wrote some leveled readers and other WFH,
       part of a book on the Thirties for adults, and some testing and
       curriculum materials.
       I wanted to get back into writing biographies, and asked on my
       writing lists if anyone knew a publisher who was looking for
       people to write them. Brandon Marie Miller told me about
       Chicago Review Press and gave me all the contact information.
       I proposed a biography of Laura Ingalls Wilder, but my editor
       asked me to expand it to cover the whole pioneer movement,
       which I did. Heading West: Life with the Pioneers was the
       result. I’m now working on a book about American
       Environmentalists for CRP.



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Follow all 7 authors on their 6-day Virtual Book Tours and leave
comments and you could win the Giftbox Giveaway from the
National Writing for Children Center.  Please follow Day 2  with Pat McCarthy at


3 thoughts on “Day 1 of Pat McCarthy’s Virtual Book Tour For the National Writing For Childrens Center

  1. I think non-fiction books are great for kids. I read them all the time when I was growing up. Keep up the good work Pat.

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