Touring the blogosphere this month is author and literacy specialist Hal W. Lanse, whose latest book, Read Well, Think Well, explains to parents how to teach their children to build the essential reading and comprehension skills they need to succeed in school even before they start it. Besides valuable information, the book also includes strategies and exercises to help your children become good readers and thinkers.
Thanks for this interview, Hal. Please tell a bit about yourself.
I’m a teacher trainer and a reading instructor. I also give family literacy
workshops for parents. My book is an extension of my work. For years,
parents have told me, “This workshop gave great information. Can you
recommend a book that will teach me more?” I couldn’t do it because most
books on reading are filled with confusing jargon. I decided it was time for
me to write a book on reading in clear, accessible English.
How would you describe your creative process while writing this book? Was it
stream-of-consciousness writing, or did you first write an outline?
As a nonfiction writer I had no choice. Unlike fiction writers, editors
don’t want to see a finished book. They expect to see a sample chapter, a
marketing plan, and an outline. Without these, editors won’t read your
proposal. If they buy the book, they may suggest changes to the outline.
They often want a hand in shaping the final product. In my case, they didn’t
ask for changes. They did ask for an additional chapter.
Did your book require a lot of research?
I’ve written an informational book so research was mandatory. Fortunately, I
didn’t have to do it all at once. I constantly attend workshops on current
research and I belong to several professional organizations that send me
research journals. Research is part of my work; so when it came time to
write my book I had a lot of information at my fingertips.