Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Bobcats: The Writing Process, Learning from Real Life

I love getting letters from readers.  They often tell me about their own experiences with animals.  They also want to know how I learn about animals for my books.
Recently I got a letter from a fifth grade student in Arizona.  She wrote:  I read your story Bobcats. I simply love it! I want to know how you got your ideas. Do you know all that information or did someone tell you? Did you ever see bobcat in real life? My dad is a mailman, he saw a bobcat in real life. He said it was amazing. That bobcat didn’t even move!

Here’s my reply:
I'm glad you enjoyed reading my book about bobcats. I learned about bobcats at the Living Desert Reserve in Palm Desert, California. The bobcats live in a large natural enclosure with good views where people can watch them. Even though the bobcats are in a zoo, they behave much as they would in the wild. I also got information for the book by doing research in my library and by talking to experts. I once saw a bobcat in the wild. It was sitting very quietly on a rock watching a deer. I was surprised to see how big it was.  One of the things I like best about writing books about animals is that part of my job is observing animals in real life.

Bobcats is an Earlybird Nature Book published by Lerner in 1998.  It is out of print but you can look for it in your library.

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