Wilmot fourth-grader has the write stuff

Wilmot fourth-grader has the write stuff
Posted on 02/22/2017
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By Corinne Westeman, staff writer for Canyon Courier
Author, 10, describes process for youngsters

Being an author requires merely “imagination, pencil and paper,” says author and Wilmot Elementary fourth-grader Johnny White.

Johnny, 10, was part of a mini book tour at Wilmot on Feb. 14, reading from and signing copies of his first book, “Martin Flint and the Enchanted Mirror.”

Johnny said he wrote the book over five or six months, and he and his family members published it through Amazon.com in late December.

In “Martin Flint and the Enchanted Mirror,” the title character, an orphan, teams with a police officer to stop a villain named Virus. Johnny said he got the idea to write a book after he finished reading the Harry Potter series.

During a question-and-answer session with first-graders, Johnny was asked all sorts of questions about his writing process and the
Wilmot fourth-grader has the write stuff book.

When asked how long he had been writing, Johnny said he began writing and drawing in kindergarten, and that he kept working at it.

“And now I am the author you see before you today,” he said.

Someone else asked what the publishing process was like. Johnny described it as “long and painful,” involving a lot of edits, and said he couldn’t have done it without his parents’ help.

After the Q&A, Johnny read the second chapter of his book, which is set in England. He paused occasionally to explain to the first-graders where Manchester is, what the Tower Bridge is, and that the British slang for “trash” is “rubbish.”

As Johnny read the passage where Martin Flint finds out a missing Buckingham Palace guard is his father, many of the students gasped. Johnny explained that he likes to put cliffhangers in his stories.

When asked about future projects, Johnny said he already has written about 60 percent of the book’s sequel, and that he “wants to do a book every six months or so.”

Before the first-graders left, Johnny said he wanted to acknowledge and thank several people, including his parents, teachers and fellow classmates.

“A lot of people in my life have inspired me to be a writer,” he said, asking the first-graders to join him in a round of applause for those individuals.

Librarian Susan Jeffres, one of the individuals Johnny thanked personally, said she organized the book-signing event because “it’s very unusual to have a published author as a student.”
She said Johnny also has shared his stop-action Lego movies with the school before, commenting that he “is an inspiration to the other students.”

Johnny White reading his book to classmates, while in the school library

“I’m so excited that (the students) are excited about having a student author,” Jeffres continued. “I can’t wait to read the sequel.”

Johnny’s mother, Nicole White of Evergreen, came to watch Johnny talk to the second-grade class. She said she “wasn’t surprised” that her son wrote and published a book, adding that he’s “very passionate” and “has a great imagination.”

Johnny added that, with enough hard work, “anyone can be a writer.”

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