BookLife Talks with Deanna T. Thompson
A sponsored Q&A with the author of 'What's So Great About Silent E?: The Thoughts of Sunnie Rae'
Why did you choose to write a book on the silent e?
It literally came to me in a dream so vivid that it me woke up in the middle of the night. I thought it was a brilliant idea and got up and wrote down all of the dream that I could remember. For the next few years, I spent my limited free time coming up with the rest of it, putting everything together, and having the book illustrated.
Is Sunnie Rae based on a real person?
At the time I was first working on What's So Great About Silent E?, I had a little girl named Sunnie Rae, who was named after her grandmother, Sunnie Rae, who’s the book’s illustrator. My little Sunnie Rae, however, is not so little anymore.
What responsibilities do you think a children’s author has to their audience that an adult author doesn’t?
I think children are like sponges and soak up information, especially when it’s engaging and fun. I wanted my book to be entertaining as well as educational. When a book is fun, children want to reread it, and they learn through repetition.
If you could pick anyone to give this book to, who would you give it to and why?
My dream is to have this book in all grammar schools in all English-speaking and ESL schools on Earth. English can be a challenging language to learn to read and write. This book deals with just one complicated concept, so I would want to give it to any child who struggles with figuring out when to use a silent e.
Do you have any advice for other authors trying to write a children’s book?
It’s a process, and don’t rush it. New days bring new thoughts. I’ve been busy writing my second book in the series, and each day I change things up a bit. Eventually, it will be just right. Also, don’t be afraid to ask loved ones for their opinions. Some of the best changes I have made have come from suggestions of people I love and trust. Don’t feel obligated to follow what they say, however, if it doesn’t feel right to you. Only you know the characters and how they think and feel.