Cynthia Lord is a down to Earth, sweet, and humble author who was at the Colorado Council International Reading Association (CCIRA) conference recently. She is the author of Rules, Touchblue, A Handful of Stars, the Shelter Pet Squad Series, and the Hot Rod Hamster Series.
She wants to remind us that we all start out somewhere. For example, the first piece she wrote when she was little was with her sister and it was called “Ding Dong the Cherries Sing”. She gets her inspiration from real life. She has a son with Autism, so her touching book, “Rules” was based on her experience with her son. She loves animals so, in her series “Hot Rod Hamster” and “Shelter Pet Squad”, she bases her writing off of her dog, Guinea Pig, and 2 bunnies.
To get a deeper sensory view as an author, Cynthia Lord tries to experience what she is writing about. When she wanted to experience pushing a wheelchair fast to give the sensation of running to a boy in a wheelchair, she speeded a suitcase around a parking lot!
To her, no medals or awards compare to touching hearts. She shared letters from young children which showed how they connected with characters in her books and expressed how they meaningfully touched their lives.
She described one of the best parts of writing as getting to make up a whole new world.
Cynthia has four steps to writing: 1. Read, 2. Write, 3. Learn, and 4. Dream. By sharing one of her book pages that had been edited with writing everywhere, constructively criticizing her work, it showed that “revision is not about failure”. It also expressed the message that even successful writers have room for improvement. During an interview, she mentioned that young writers could get their writing published through contests, websites, magazines for young writers, or by starting a blog.
Cynthia’s message is to “Dream Big!” and what words of encouragement those are for writers of all ages!