Local author shares basics of writing

PAT FRIDGEN
Kathy Sharkey took questions from the audience during her visit to Greencastle-Antrim Primary School. She read her children’s book to the students while the pages were also visible on a screen behind her.

Greencastle author Kathy Willard Sharkey met with young readers recently, all of whom have also written stories while being educated at Greencastle-Antrim Primary School. Her granddaughter Meagan Enderlin watched proudly as she sat with her peers.

Sharkey shared her children's book, If I Could...Take you Anywhere! with the youngsters. It is the first in a series she intends to write. And she also has ideas for an If I Could Be...Anything! series.

She held up tablet pages with scribbles, the first draft of the manuscript. She emphasized that when creative thoughts occurred, it was important to get them down immediately. After they were fine-tuned, the story could be submitted to publishers, and happy was the day it would be accepted by one. Then Sharkey added, "You are a writer even if you don't have a book in a bookstore."

She walked the students through the steps involved in writing, from developing characters to making a beginning, plot and ending. She encouraged them to visit the library often and "Read, read, read." Then they would expand their vocabulary and be able to use small, large and feeling words as they wrote.

A second grade boy asked, "When you were a little girl, did you want to be an author?"

"Yes," Sharkey responded. "I always wanted to write. It was a good way for me to express myself."

She was encouraged by a seventh grade teacher, and has had poems published. As an adult she recently participated in a Young Author's Writing Workshop to help pass along that encouragement.

Sharkey's book was picked up by Tate Publishing and Enterprises. It is available online and at local bookstores.