June 18, 2018
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A writer up close, with kids and pigs

By Nick Danby SPECIAL TO THE WEEKLY, Special to the BDN

Maine, moose, mittens, Margaret Chase Smith, what next?

Those are just some of the subjects from Maine’s gifted author, Lynn Plourde. She visited Fairmount School in Bangor on Feb. 5 to share with students an inside look at an author’s life.

Plourde was a speech therapist for more than 20 years before she became a full-time author. Being a therapist helped her become a full-time writer – which wasn’t an easy task. Publishers rejected her for 13 years – at the same time she built a relationship with editors and learned from her mistakes before her first book was published.

The most important thing that inspires her writing is her children.

One of her first book ideas, “Pigs in the Mud in the Middle of the Rud,” came to her while traveling to a school function for one of her children. While driving, she actually encountered pigs in mud, in the middle of the road!

Like many writers, when Plourde gets an idea, she writes it down – even if she’s driving down the road. She pulls over, jots it down in a little notebook and later adds the idea to a computer folder full of story ideas.

We asked her the most important thing a writer needs to know. She stated that every story comes from the heart, and a writer should try not to make the story too long because you probably will never finish it.

Plourde said she has enjoyed all the books she has written and has no favorites.

You can find her books in the children’s section of a library or bookstore, but they appeal to all ages. With subjects from a Maine moose to U.S. Sen. Margaret Chase Smith, she is very diversified. Her interest in Smith comes from the fact that they both grew up in Skowhegan.

Her latest work, which she wrote some 12 years ago, “Grandpappy Snippy Snappies,” will be released later this year.

After my interview, we headed down to our gym for the author’s presentation.

Plourde, in a bright striped shirt and black pants, was introduced to the enthusiastic class by Fairmount School Principal Ryan Enman.

With an LCD projector and screen behind her, Plourde began her presentation, reading from a few of her current books, including “At One In A Place Called Maine” and “The Dump Man’s Treasures,” her latest.

Then we had some interactive fun. Choosing her book “Moose, of Course,” she picked students from the class to re-enact the book as a play. Lots of fun!

We had time for a mini-workshop where the students worked on stories and Plourde helped us work on ideas, themes and how to put them in some sort of form.

The afternoon ended with the author reading from “Margaret Chase Smith: A Woman for President” and sharing pictures of Smith and drawings from the book.

The entire student body enjoyed her visit – at least it seemed so by the loud applause at the end of her presentation.

I thanked her for the interview and for sharing her time with Fairmount School.

3 p.m. – there’s the school bell and afternoon announcements. I’m off to my local bookstore to get a copy of Lynn Plourde’s latest book.

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