The Joys of Writing Books for Children
Feb 02, 2023 6:30 PM
Jerdine Nolen, Novelist and Children's Book Author
The Joys of Writing Books for Children

I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t writing and collecting words. My Mother encouraged me to do that. She was eager to hear my new list of “favorite words.” Cucumber was a word I preferred above the rest. Then, one day, I became smitten with the word chutney. “Chutney, chutney, chutney.” I would chant that one over and over again. I even made up a little chutney dance to go along with the chant. 

Writing is fun work. I love it. It takes patience to get the right story. Once you have the story idea, it is important to revisit and revise the work to make it the best that it could be. It is like sculpting or wiring the pieces together in a way so the words on the page have enough life—they could stand up and walk around all on their own. That is why my motto is, Hold fast to your dreams as you would your balloons! 

In looking over the landscape that is my work so far, I think my stories are about possibilities—possible and impossible possibilities. Possibilities are sometimes born out of great needs. 

Stories help us examine and shape the world we live in. Stories give us hopeful answers and insights to questions no one person can answer on their own—stories help us share our lives. This is what I love about being a writer. 

I received a B.A. in special education from Northeastern Illinois University and an M.Ed. in interdisciplinary arts education from Loyola University in Chicago. I have been an educator for a number of years as a classroom teacher, curriculum writer, staff developer, family involvement specialist, and administrator. I also enjoy lecturing on a variety of topics related to books and the writing process. 

I love living in Maryland. It was actually not part of my plan to live here for so long, but I fell in love with this beautiful state that is also rich in the history of our country. There is always something new to discover.