During the winter and spring I spend most of my time researching and writing. In the fall I visit schools and share about the writing process, and talk with students about pursuing their dreams. Recently however I fell, causing a concussion that slowed down my research and writing. In another week or so, I hope to be in full recovery mode so I can get back to my latest endeavor, a story about the gold rush days. In a nutshell, an orphaned teen tries to protect his younger sister from the harshness of life when their gold-seeking guardian takes them West where they witness the miners’ and Yosemite Indians’ struggle to survive, discovering that all that glitters is not gold. The book’s working title? You may have already guessed: All That Glitters.
Most recent school visit:
I had a great visit with all of the 6th grade classes at Lawson Middle School this week (10/12 and 13). They have around 500 6th graders! I shared about chasing dreams, the writing process, and of course, my ancient artifacts of a bronze dagger, alabaster jar and silver coin. I shared about my recent project, completing the manuscript for The Silver Coin, the third and final book of the Ancient Elements series, which relates to the 6th grade social studies curriculum. When I told students it was finished but that I felt something was missing, one of the students raised his hand and said, “Maybe it’s missing a love interest.” I pointed at him and shouted, “You’re right! You’re exactly right!” We had actually talked about that last month at my critique group meeting when I told my writing friends that I believed the manuscript was missing something. They also suggested adding a bit of romance since the main character is almost 16 in the third book. Stay tuned to see what happens!
Here are a few excerpts from some of the students’ precious thank you notes.
It meant a lot to me that you came to our school to talk about your books. You talked all about how you became an author and how you chased your dreams. You inspired me to pursue my dreams of becoming an astronomer. Thank you Dr. Sontag.
Your visit to Lawson was really inspirational. I love the way you write your books! My class was really excited; however, I was more excited than anyone. Thank you so much for coming!
Your Biggest Fan,
Dr. Sontag, it was so cool to have you, an author to come to our school. I've never seen an author in real life except in pictures so when you came to Lawson, it was a very unique experience for me. Thank You so much for coming to our school, I can't wait to read your books when I get them. From,
Dear Dr. Sontag,
It was very exciting to have you here. You inspired me by showing me that you might come across a obstacle, but that doesn't mean that you always have to give up. It was also cool that you showed us the bronze dagger and other Mesopotamian artifacts. That was perfect for us because we were learning about Mesopotamia right now. Thank you for giving up your own time to come to Lawson Middle School. I will definitely enjoy reading your books!
Your interests for writing books has inspired me to write a book.
My original dream was to become a vet since I love animal and I have a dog. Now I have two dreams(or goals) I want to achieve, one is to become a vet and another is to become a writer. Thank you Mrs.Sontag for inspiring me to become a writer. Also, getting to touch a four thousand year old artifact was amazing! Thank you for coming to our school!
Dear Dr. Sontag,
I really was interested by you yesterday. I appreciate you for taking your time and talking to my classmates and me about you, yourself and your books. It was also very kind of you to pass out pencils to everybody who answered a questions, it inspires perticipation. Thank you for showing us the actual bronze daggar and letting us hold it in our very own hands.
Bringing the Past to Life
As a former social studies teacher and now as an author, I love bringing the past to life. Explore this Webpage to find out how my middle grade and young adult historical fiction novels can bring the past to life for you and the students in your life. Join the adventure!