Recently I had the opportunity at my day job (I’m vice president for advancement at Pacific Northwest College of Art in Portland, Oregon) to take the popular “Strengths Finder” test. My top strength turned out to be “Learner.”
I’d have to say that’s a fairly accurate description. It also explains much about how I choose the subjects I write about in my nonfiction and historical fiction for young readers. I have wide-ranging reading interests (I like to read with my story antennas up). When I’m learning something new, I’m engaged, enthuse, and happy. And then there are those magical moments when I come across something extraordinary that makes me sit up and say, “Wow! How come I never knew that before?” Whenever this happens, there’s a good chance I want to write about it.