What it takes to write a book

New Brunswick children’s writer Wendy McLeod MacKnight came to southeast Saskatchewan to talk to students about her books and what it takes to follow the dream.

On Tuesday, Lifestyles joined McLeod MacKnight for her presentation at St. Mary’s School in Estevan, where she talked about her last book The Frame-Up.

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“The Frame-Up is really about the love of art. It’s about friendship. The logline is 'look beyond what you can see.' It’s all about creativity and the fact that things that we make or build, they have a life of their own,” explained McLeod MacKnight.

Interacting with children, she tried to help them understand how art pieces, when they are finished go out to the world, where they belong to everybody. However, in the beginning, it takes a lot of work, energy and patience not just to write a book, but also to get it published.

She also touched on her first published book called It’s a Mystery, Pig Face!

“It’s really about friendship and being true to yourself and liking yourself,” noted McLeod MacKnight. 

Using her personal example, she talked about what it took to follow her passion, leaving behind a well-paying job as the deputy minister of education and switching to something that might have never paid back.

“I try to talk to them about things that will interest them, about their own challenges with writing, and what it’s like to be an author and what it’s not like. It’s not particularly glamorous, and yet, it’s really rewarding and really fun, and it’s great.

About 30 years ago, McLeod MacKnight lived in Regina, and the Prairies were her number 1 choice to come to with the tour when the Canadian Children’s Book Centre approached her about participating in TD Canadian Children’s Book Week.  

“I was so excited to be back because I love Saskatchewan so much… I live in Atlantic Canada, and I love books so much, and love kids so much. And the opportunity to come out and meet kids in the Prairies and talk to them about writing books, it’s just an honour,” said McLeod MacKnight. 

After having presentations in several schools in Estevan, McLeod MacKnight was heading to Oungre, Weyburn, Grenfell and then to Regina.

“Yesterday (May 6) I was in Redvers and Stoughton. I’m having just the best time,” said McLeod MacKnight.

She believes it’s great to provide kids with the opportunity to meet with Canadian authors who write about Canada and whose books are of interest to people all over the world. 

“The Frame-Up is just about to be published out in Thailand. My book just got chosen in New Mexico to be a book that a whole lot of schools are going to study. The books are all over the world, but it’s still Canada,” said McLeod MacKnight. 

Both books are available for purchase online and in bookstores, and copies can be found through the Estevan Public Library.

© Copyright Estevan Mercury

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