This week's Because of A Book guest is teacher and author, Carol Ekster. I am so pleased to introduce you to her.
As a young child I loved the feel and smell of books. I loved losing myself in a story. I loved the intimacy of being read to. But the first book that hooked me into being a lifelong reader was Nancy Drew. I longed for every new book to add to my collection. And I think books and school were closely connnected for me. I believe I was born to teach. I was my first grade teacher’s main squeeze and read for her in front of the class. I never doubted I would become a teacher, which of course, I did.
For most most of my 35 years as a fourth grade teacher, I read picture books to support curriculum on a daily basis. Who knew I was preparing myself to become an author? I started writing seven years ago.....not because I wanted to, but because it came over me and I HAD to write. I joined the professional writing organization, SCBWI, and dove into the life of a writer...whenever I didn’t have too many papers to correct, or report cards due, or wasn’t completely exhausted from the overwhelming work of a teacher.
But those children and the classroom gave me many ideas. My first book published, "Where Am I Sleeping Tonight?-A Story of Divorce", Boulden Publishing fall 2008, was one of thirty I’d written. I was making up for first starting to write at the age of 50. This story was inspired by years of pain I’d seen on children’s faces who had been through divorce....more and more in recent years, as well as one special boy who actually lived the schedule described in my book.
I love working on my writing and promoting my book. I recently sold a piece to LibrarySparks Magazine, and I have a story, “No More Easter Bunnies For Me”, in an anthology, By the Light of Two Stars (Part II), published by Dovetail Institute.
I have a Masters’ degree in reading and language, and I have been in six volumes of "Who’s Who Among American Teachers". I was also a semifinalist for New Hampshire Teacher of The Year. This June I retired from teaching. And though I’ll miss the daily interaction with children, I look forward to seeing where my writing adventures will take me. You can learn more at: www.carolgordonekster.com
About Where Am I Sleeping Tonight?: "Ever wake up and not know where you are? Not sure if your homework is due today or tomorrow? Can't remember if you have hockey practice tonight? Forgot your homework at your Mom's and now you're at your Dad's and can't get it done? Welcome to the world of Mark and Evan...ever since their parents' divorce their lives and schedules have been scrambled leaving them feeling confused, frustrated, and even a little angry with their parents for getting a divorce. But with time, effort, and the assitance of Mark's parents and teacher, Mark gets a little more organized, and most importantly, starts to come to terms with his parents' divorce."
About Nancy Drew - The Secret of the Old Clock: Nancy Drew's keen mind is tested when she searches for a missing will.