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Monday, November 25, 2019

A Classroom’s Q&A about DIRT I

Q: Did you like writing in school? Why?

A: As a child, it is rumored that I always carried paper and pen. I don’t remember writing in elementary school, even though it is where I published my first poem. It was a Valentine’s poem for the school newspaper. I remember even less about writing in middle school, but in high school, I remember loving writing a lot.

Q: What inspired you to write this book?

A: A few things all at once: hearing a public radio show on slavery, meeting my students who “HATED” reading, and attending family reunions.

Q: If you were the boy in the book, what would you do and why?

A: There will be no spoilers here. I would do what Washington did.

Q: What would you do if that actually happened to your son?

A: Still no spoilers. I would be thrilled for my son.

Q: Why did you decide to write about DIRT? It is my favorite book. Is Washington a real person?

A: THANK YOU! Dirt is everywhere. There is no shortage of supply. I thought it would be a perfect technology. Washington is a fake character that might be a mish-mash of my son and others I have met.

Q: How did you make the book realistic?

A: By describing real life in the words.

Q: How long did it take to make the book?

A: The book started as a workshopped short story and ended eight years later as a part of my graduate thesis at Seton Hill University.




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