3 Question Interview - LAURIE WALLMARK
I'm delighted to feature my #2020VisionPB friend, Laurie Wallmark, on the blog today. Laurie is an award-winning author of STEM-focused picture book biographies of girls and women. Her newest book, NUMBERS IN MOTION: SOPHIE KOWALEVSKI, QUEEN OF MATHEMATICS (illustrated by Yevgenia Nayberg, Creston Books, March 2020), is a remarkable and inspiring story of perseverance. Read on for Laurie's thoughts about stories . . . creativity . . . and connection.
STORIES – Discuss the inspiration for your ideas and stories, and share the process about your latest projects.
Ever since I was a young girl, I’ve loved science and math. When I wasn’t doing science experiments or figuring out math puzzles, I was reading books about science and math. This love for all things science- and math-related inspires my picture book biographies of women in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) books. Through their stories, I can share my passion for STEM and show children just how fun and creative these fields are. In addition, since my biographies highlight the accomplishments of women, all children can see that anyone (including them!) can have a career in these fields.
CREATIVITY -- How do you showcase your creative side through writing/illustrating and other pursuits?
My major creative outlet is writing. (It certainly isn’t illustrating!) I’m fascinated with how, especially in a picture book, a single word can make all the difference in a story. Although most of my books are picture book biographies, I have several fiction picture books coming out in the next few years. And I’m currently spreading my creative wings by writing a novel in verse. I think it’s important to shake things up now and then so you don’t get into a rut.
CONNECTION -- How do you connect to your young readers through your writing/illustrating, and how do you stay connected to the KidLit community?
I’m lucky enough to be able to connect with kids through school visits and book festivals. Young readers always ask the most interesting questions. Of course there are always some favorites, such as, “How old are you?” As far as the kidlit community, I’m a former assistant regional advisor of NJ SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and illustrators) and am still an active volunteer. In addition, I’m a member of several kidlit marketing groups. These offer support for both our books as well as for us as writers.
Award-winning author Laurie Wallmark has written picture book biographies of women in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) in fields ranging from computer science to mathematics to astronomy. Her books have earned multiple starred trade reviews, been chosen as Junior Library Guild Selections, and received awards such as Outstanding Science Trade Book, Cook Prize Honor, AAAS/Subaru Prize Longlist, and Parents’ Choice Gold Medal. Laurie has an MFA in Writing from VCFA. She is a former software engineer and computer science professor.
CONNECT WITH LAURIE: