Joining us today is Rachel Yurchisin, teen author of a children’s book entitled Diary of My Days in Kenya: A Naturalist’s Observations of a Lioness and Her Adopted Baby Oryx.
Rachel’s love of science and nature has inspired her to write her first children’s book in the hopes of passing on her passion to other young ‘budding’ naturalists. Yurchisin is a junior in high school and participates in educational programs at her city zoo and natural history museum.
Thank you for joining us today, Rachel. Can you please start us off by sharing a bit about yourself?
I have a love of science and nature that has inspired me to write my first children’s book in the hopes of passing on my passion to other young “budding” naturalists. I am currently a junior in high school residing in Cleveland, Ohio. I feed my interest in animals and the natural world by participating in educational programs at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo and the Cleveland Museum of Natural History. I enjoy competing in tennis tournaments and I play softball for my high school.
When did you first get bit by the writing bug?
I started writing little poems from a very early age, but I didn’t write my first book Diary of My Days in Kenya until fifth grade.
Why did you decide to write stories for the How-to/Parenting market?
It wasn’t a conscience decision; at that point in my life, I was writing a story that was designed for children my age. I do believe that if I am fortunate enough to publish any future writings, I will probably continue writing children’s stories.
What is your favorite part of writing for this group? What is the greatest challenge?
My favorite part is knowing that I am opening up the world of reading to a child and sending them off on an adventure that they may never had embarked upon had they not turned the pages of my book. The greatest challenge is to “get all my facts straight” and do the research aspect of the writing.
Can you tell us about your book?
Diary of My Days in Kenya is a fictional story loosely based upon the real life occurrences of a nomadic lioness who nurtures baby oryx as if they were her own young. During a drought, a naturalists, Susan Polling, and other professionals, are sent on assignment to observe and document this special pairing. The book’s spirited protagonist, Polling, offers the reader interesting insights as to why this unique phenomenon has transpired. The story explores how the traditional relationship of predator and prey is transcended, presenting a spellbinding account of how a parental bond, even a non-traditional one, can never be broken.
What inspired you to write it?
I wrote about this particular instance because I was inspired by a newspaper article concerning this odd pairing. Nature has always intrigued me and I found that this would be a good topic for me to write about in the fifth grade when this assignment was given to me.
Where can readers purchase a copy?
Do you have a website and/or blog where readers can find out more?
You can like my book on facebook — just search my name or Diary of My Days in Kenya.
What is up next for you?
I plan to publicize this book for a while. I am a junior in high school so right now my main focus is on my academics and preparing myself to attend college. I participate in science fairs and I continue to write poems and essays for school and for my own personal enjoyment. I am exploring avenues in poetry so that maybe a focus for my next publication.
Do you have anything else to add?
I wish to thank everyone who has made the writing aspect of my life so rewarding. Giving the gift of a story to a young child is like planting a seed that grows with every written word. I just feel so fortunate to be able to share my love of writing and reading with anyone who chooses to pick up my book and turn the pages.
Thank you for spending time with us today, Rachel Yurchisin. We wish you much success.
You can find out more about Rachel Yurchisin’s World of Ink Author/Book Tour schedule here. There will be giveaways, reviews, interviews, guest posts and more. Make sure to stop by and interact with Yurchisin and the hosts at the different stops by leaving comments and/or questions.
In addition, come listen to Blog Talk Radio’s World of Ink Network show: Stories for Children here. The hosts VS Grenier, Kris Quinn Christopherson and Irene Roth will be chatting with Rachel Yurchisin about her book and writing.
The show will air live January 23, 2012 at 6pm EST. You can tune in live at the World of Ink Network site or listen/call in at (714) 242-5259. (Note: if you can’t make the show, you can listen on demand at the same link.)