BY LOUISE R. SHAW
Clipper Staff Writer
KAYSVILLE — Tyler Whitesides encouraged his audience to look for what is interesting in everything they do, and to always give 100 percent.
J. Scott Savage gave a crowd of students ideas on how to write their own novels, by defining a hero, his or her goal, the obstacles faced and the consequences.
Sydney Salter encouraged her audience to read a lot and to write about their experiences every day.
All three authors were part of Family Literacy Night, an evening event sponsored by Davis School District.
“If you like to write,” said Salter, “reading is the number one thing to do. You will naturally absorb good story telling.”
Salter is the author of “My Big Nose and Other Natural Disasters,” “Jungle Crossing” and “Swoon at Your Own Risk,” but she told her audience that only about 40 percent of the books she has written have been published.
“I was very scared of failing,” she said, “but the secret to writing is to fail. Like anything else, writing takes practice.”
Several who came to hear her workshop expressed an interest in writing their own books.
“Write even on boring days,” said Salter. “Write from real life. A diary is the best thing to keep if you want to become a writer, because it’s not graded.”
She gave an example of a journal entry that became part of her novel, with a little embellishing.
“Just keep writing,” she said. “Keep telling what you want to tell. If you love a story, keep working on it because you can make it great.”
Heroes and villains are a lot alike, said Savage, the author of the Farworld and the Case File 13 series.
An author has to look for what makes each individual unique and find a way to make people care, he said.
Whitesides, who wrote the Janitors series popular with young adults, entertained families gathered for the opening session of the literacy night with stories from his life, voice impressions and music he performed on a drum set made of garbage can lids and water jugs.
Author Kristyn Crow taught those gathered in her workshop about the value of rhythm in words.
A London study showed that children who are taught to read in rhythm improve their reading skills, she said.
Crow is the author of rhythmic picture books “Bedtime at the Swamp,” “The Middle-Child Blues,” “Skeleton Cat” and “Zombelina.”
Class participants were given a variety of instruments to sound as she read her rhythmic books.
After the workshops, participants were able to meet 17 different authors and get their books and posters signed.