Last week our Lower Elementary students had the experience to meet with one of our Riverbend parents, Mr. Felty, who is the author of the Tabitha Fink children’s book series.
Mr. Felty read several of his stories and shared his experience as an author. He spoke to students about his writing process and how the first step in writing is to determine the message of the story. One example from his stories involved being afraid of the dark and then how he delivered a message of not being afraid of things that are unknown or different. Taking them through his original idea and then through the creative processes, Mr. Felty showed the children many examples of the steps it takes to make a book. He showed them the pages in his notebook where he wrote down his ideas while attending a book fair where he was first inspired for the story about Tabitha Fink.
The students received an insider’s perspective of the author’s editing process. He described how he often goes back and forth substituting a number of words to find just the rightones for the text. For example he adds words like “tis” to the pirate themed book to make the language more fitting for the story. He then explained how playing with the words of the story takes a considerable about of time due to the fact he must balance the story with rhyming words while creating content for the theme. Mr. Felty went over the importance of proof reading and how he has always has several people look over his work before he sends it anywhere.
Mr. Felty also focused his presentation on showing the students how the color imagery and themes are represented in the pictures of the book. He showed them the many proofs and drafts they go through in the process to find the perfect matches. Additionally, he informed them about the spatial awareness that is needed to avoid pictures and text from being distorted by the middle binding when designing a page.
The students thoroughly enjoyed this visit and we want to give Mr. Felty a huge Thank You for coming in! No doubt his insight and enthusiasm for his work will be a treasured memory of the students for years to come. His books are now available on Amazon and signed copies are available at TabithaFink.com.