Ellen Emerson White Message Board
Emily Marbury posts on 4/24/2005 2:40:42 PM
I am a 4th grader at Crozet Elementary School in Crozet, Virginia. I read your book, Voyage on the Great Titanic, The Diary of Margaret Ann Brady, for a book report. I really liked it. I learned about the Titanic and what it was like from your book about Margaret.
One question I have is do you use experiences from your own life when you write your books? Who influenced your life, and your decision to become an author?
Dennis D posts on 4/24/2005 11:58:56 AM
Dear Ms White: I've read the previous posts and sympathize with your plight. It is truly unfortunate the few short-sighted should spoil it for the many. As far as the educational system in the US goes, yes teachers do require the analysis of a book and how it relates to the historical events surrounding what they are studying in class. My daughter is in the throes of reviewing your book The journal of Patrick Seamus Flaherty for that very purpose in the context of understanding the Vietnam Era. Unfortunately, some teachers require that the student not only attach the significance of the historical nature of the book, they often require an analysis of the author, complete with the development of their background and other books they have written. I have to say that I too fall into the same category as the previous mother trying to help her son--although much less illogical. My daughter came to me with the same need, noting she had done a number of internet an library searches and could not find the necessary information required by the teacher on the author's background. I've endeavored to help in that regard only to run across yuor posts. I understand now why there is little information in that regard, unfortnately it does not help her round out the requirement for her class grade. We can agree to disagree on whether it is of any value to the teacher and what she is trying to teach, but that does not change the requirement. What my daughter will ultimatly find out is the object lesson that things don't always work out as you've planned. She will have to make due with the little information there is available, and make the best of it. I plan to copy your reply and rationale on why the infomaiton is not avaialbe for my daughter so she can put together her own thoughts on how to make the presentation for her classmates and teacher. It will be another life skill learned! Best wishes on your newest book! Sorry for the long post. :-)
Natalie posts on 4/20/2005 3:49:51 PM
What is your favorite book you have written? Why?
Heather B. posts on 4/19/2005 4:37:00 PM
Well, all I have to say about these developments is that it's unfortunate that Ellen feels she has to apologize for people making HER feel uncomfortable (don't apologize for that, EEW!). She's been kind enough to post here a few times, and I think we should thank her for that. I know I do.
E E White posts on 4/19/2005 9:19:51 AM
I'm afraid I can't post here anymore, because I'm so unnverved by the hostile "how dare you not do my child's homework for him/her by sending a full bio at once!" posts. (and since when don't children do their _own_ homework? What's up with that? If I knew the names of the teachers involved, I'd definitely contact them and let them know that their students are behaving dishonestly, and letting their parents do their homework for them.) And, I have to ask, what kind of person posts "when and how did you die?" That's just sick, and I'm very troubled by it--and it's a real reminder of why I _don't_ have a website, and am fairly certain I don't ever want to put one up.
For the vast majority of you who have simply wanted to engage in normal, pleasant Internet conversations, I'm very sorry that I have been made so uncomfortable by a few of the angry, impolite posters. Thanks for the interesting questions the rest of you have posted, and I'm sorry if there are any I didn't get to answer.
E E White posts on 4/18/2005 11:34:52 PM
>>My son is doing a project for his 8th grade reading class in Franklinton, LA and he needs a bio on you and none can be found. <<
I'm sorry, but that is because there is no bio available. (as is explained, at length, during this thread of messages, just a few messages lower)
>>Are you still alive, if not when, where and how did you die. <<
I'm sorry, but this just gives me the creeps. Please remember that the writer is an actual person, and may not enjoy seeing/answering a question so blunt, and unkind. And, all things considered, illogical.
Leanne Adcox posts on 4/18/2005 9:21:39 PM
My son is doing a project for his 8th
grade reading class in Franklinton, LA and he needs a bio on you and none can be found. Are you still alive, if not when, where and how did you die. Do you have any children? Highest level of education? Where did you graduate college? Awards with dates? Other employment? It would be GREAT if you could e-mail us a picture. I would appreciate any info you are able to give. Thanking you in advance. Leanne Adcox, mother of Blake Adcox
Natalie posts on 4/12/2005 8:15:03 PM
Ms. White! you are such a great writer. I get so interested in the books you write, that I dont want to put them down(and i dont like reading all that much)THANKS SO MUCH! Keep writing!
Jackie Gronwald posts on 4/5/2005 1:45:26 AM
Ms. White you have been my favorite author growing up. My two favorite books are Life Without Friends and Long Live the Queen. I have read both of these uncountable times. Although I have read all 3 of the president daughters books and friends for life. I remember writing you via email a while ago asking if you were planning to write any more young adult novels. You had written back responding that you had grown in your writing and that you were more or less a teenager yourself when you first starting writing the novels. Now that I'm an adult (22 yrs old now) I can understand more of where you were coming from, since i enjoy reading more adult literature now. Anyway, I had read in an earlier post that you discussed a sequel being written on Long Live the Queen to come out as an adult novel. I was wondering if you have any more information about the release of that? Also, I was wondering if you yourself go back and read your earlier novels? Just wondering-- not being an author myself.
E E White posts on 3/25/2005 2:44:09 AM
I'm afraid I don't have a web page, or a biography online--or anywhere else, for that matter. I did have a web page, briefly, but then the webmaster had to step down for health reasons, and I never had any interest in putting one up myself. The whole public aspect of writing is my very least favorite part of the process. I am, by nature, very private -- albeit friendly, one likes to think ;-) -- and you expose so much of yourself in fiction that I really prefer to stay away from the rest of it. Certainly, if you read closely, you can pick up a lot, regardless of the degree to which I think I'm making everything up.
I know writers who loves going to signings and conferences and so forth--some close friends of mine among them, but it has never been my cup of tea. To put it mildly. I find that with my favorite writers, I really don't _want_ to know much about them personally, because I'm afraid that it will get in the way of the books, if I have an image of the actual author in my head. (another reason I don't care to use an author's photo--which annoys publishers, but so it goes.)
I'm sorry if teachers are giving students grief for not being able to find information, though--that seems unreasonable, and extremely short-sighted on the part of the teacher.
I'm not sure that being able to enter a person's name on Google, and come up with a web-page is much of a learning experience, you know? I'd much rather see a teacher give assignments about the actual _text_ of a book, or books, and let students think about what they read, as opposed to regurgitating information they find on a website.
That said, with the new book (when I finish, one of these fine days), I'll probably be forced by the publisher to do some kind of web thing. Of course, I'll always probably refuse, and thereby, get on their nerves... (It usually ends up amusing them, because they say, well, at least you're not one of the whining writers who calls up 2-3 times a week, demanding to know what we're doing to sell their books. So, it's good to be low maintenance, I guess, even if it costs you a certain number of sales.)
And yes, it was/is Williams College, not Smith.
Ellen Emerson White
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