Guest post: "The Writer's Life," by Children's Author Dawn Menge

I am enjoying my journey as a children’s author.  When I began I wasn’t planning on going beyond the first book.  I had written it in one of my credentialing classes as an assignment.  As I had been raising my three children I had toyed with writing a book on the travels of a dog.  I never thought I would actually write it, just a far off dream.  I pursued my professional life as a teacher.  I was then assigned to write a math book. I picked repetition as my bases based on the twelve months of the year.  I added seasons, days of the week and each new month had a new friend around the castle with a new activity.

     After publishing the first book I won an award within a month’s time.  I began to do interviews and was being asked when the next book was going to be.  I hadn’t originally thought about there being a next book.  I then started to ponder what I would write about.  Remembering my dream of writing the adventures of my traveling dog and switched it to Queen Vernita traveling and exploring with her new friends.  I love to travel and writing my books has become an exciting new aspect to my life.

       I have had the opportunity to present my books in several different states, traveling all over the country.  I have done several presentations for entire elementary schools and libraries.  I think the most memorable experience I have had in the most recent months was at an elementary school.

   I read Queen Vernita’s Visitors to 90 kindergarteners and Heath presented to the third and fourth grades.  While Heath was introducing us he discussed the fact that I was a teacher of the severely handicapped.  A little boy spoke up, there were over 60 students in the room.  He spoke straight to Heath and told him that his sister had been in one of our classes, she had had cerebral palsy.  This young man felt a connection with us. After the presentation the staff told us that this little boy’s sister had just died and he hadn’t spoken to anyone in weeks. The two of us went back to his classroom and gave him signed copies of our books and a very big hug.  Sometimes, we never know when or where we will make a positive impact on another person. 

   Dawn Menge is the author of the Queen Vernita’s educational series.  There are currently five books published.  Queen Vernita’s Visitors, Queen Vernita Visits the Blue Ice Mountains, Queen Vernita Meets Sir HeathyBean the Astronomer and Queen Vernita Explores the Oceaneer’s Coastline.  Dawn Menge’s series has won nineteen literary awards.

     Dawn Menge has been teaching severely handicapped students for fourteen years. She holds a Masters and clear credential as an Educational specialist.  She is currently working on her PHD in Curriculum and Instruction.

     Dawn Menge is the mother of three and the grandmother of five beautiful children. 



Title: Queen Vernita Explores the Oceaneer’s Coastline
Genre: Children’s literature
Author: Dawn Menge
Publisher: Outskirtspress

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