Sandy Stark-McGinnis

What books did you read when you were a child?
I loved The Boxcar Children and The Hobbit.

If you could be a storybook character who would you be?
I’d either be Gandalf the Grey, or one of the elves. Who wouldn’t want to live in Rivendell?

What is the best thing about reading?
The best thing about reading is experiencing universal truths through characters who live different lives from your own. Reading is a reminder of the joys and sorrows we all share.

What is your all time favourite book?
The book that I go back and read when I need to be reminded of why I love reading (and writing) is Sandra Cisneros’s The House on Mango Street.

Other than reading books what is the most important thing a parent can do to help develop their children’s communication skills?
I think it’s important you make time each day to talk and listen to your children. Give them a chance to tell you about…anything.

How big a part did your parents play in encouraging your writing skills?
Well, they encouraged me in that they gave me lots of space/time to use my imagination.

How do you encourage your children or grandchildren to read, what books do you enjoy reading with them?
I think it’s important to let your children see that you make time for reading—seeing you read, having books in the house, etc. Any books my children want to hear are the ones I read. Their choices can range from picture books to chapter books.

Sandy Stark-McGinnis is a debut author and an award-winning poet whose poetry and short stories have appeared in Quercus Review, In the Grove and Penumbra. Sandy lives with her husband and children in California, where she works as a fifth grade teacher.

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