I’ve been writing professionally since I was 13 years old (I guess I knew my destiny early on!). My first job was writing a teen column for my hometown newspaper in Kent, WA. After graduating from college with a B.A. degree in Broadcast Journalism, I worked as a TV news reporter and weather forecaster in Yakima, WA then Spokane, WA. I’ve published 87 fiction and nonfiction books, including the Julep O’Toole series (Penguin) My new tween novel, Stealing Popular (Aladdin) is debuting this month.
Secrets of a Lab Rat series (Aladdin).
I also have five more titles in my nonfiction Backyard Safari series (Marshall Cavendish) being released in September, so it’s an exciting time!
I’ve been married for 27 years to my college sweetheart, Bill, a high school photography teacher. I love the 3 c’s: cats, chocolate, and cupcakes.
Picture of Trudi Trueit and blog host Janet Lee Carey at Borders book signing.
Library Love When You Were A Cub:When I was eight, my family moved from the city to the suburbs. New, shy, and awkward, I started ducking into the school library during recess. It was against the rules to do this, but Mrs. Peek, the librarian, let me do it anyway. She started sharing her favorite books with me and I devoured titles like Kidnapped, Little Women, Charlotte’s Web, Chronicles of Narnia, and anything by Judy Blume and Beverly Clearly. It was there, reading in the library at recess, I discovered everything that was missing from my life—mystery, adventure, compassion, laughter, friendship.
More Library Love: Tell us about your present day love for libraries and your experience from an author’s perspective.It really pretty simple, I couldn’t do what I do without libraries. In my nonfiction work, I can require up to 200 sources per book, so I heavily rely on the wonderful resource librarians that go the extra mile to make sure I have what I need. A few years ago, I was doing research for a book about the Boston Tea Party. I learned that a shoemaker by the name of George Robert Twelve Hewes was one of the last surviving members of this historic event. In the 1830’s a book had been written about him and his memories of the Tea Party. Imagine my surprise when my local reference librarian found me an actual first-edition copy of the book! I remember trembling as I held it in my hands. I could feel the history steeped in each wispy, marvelous page. There I was, holding a book written in 1834 with direct quotes from a brave soul whose actions helped chart a new course for our nation. It was exhilarating!
Hooray for Librarians!A big roar for the librarians of the Everett, WA School District, who are A-MAZ-ING. I’ve had the chance to speak at a number of schools within the district, and am always blown away by how dedicated these librarians are to their students.
Emerson Elm. Everett
Whittier Elm. Everett
Barbara Stolzenburg, the librarian at Jackson High School in Mill Creek is incredible.
She is always doing something to inspire students to read and write, such as bringing in authors to speak, hosting workshops, and holding contests and fairs. Her passion for her work is infectious!
A Lion’s Pride of Programs:
I love visiting libraries! It’s a joy to connect with readers, share my path to publication, and answer their questions. One of my favorite things to do is hold writing workshops, because that’s when we get to have fun writing together. I’ve done writing workshops for middle schoolers on various topics, like how to plot their own novels or write humorous stories. The level of creativity that kids bring to the workshops is fantastic. Honestly? I think they inspire me more than the other way around. At a workshop at the Marysville, WA public library, I surprised the kids by giving away an original signed sketch from Jim Paillot, who illustrates my Secrets of a Lab Rat series. Jim was so gracious to donate the sketch, and the lucky winner was thrilled.
Photos Marysville Writing Workshop
Cutbacks in library funding astound and trouble me. A library is the heart of any school or community. It is a forum for art, science, politics, music, religion, and free-thought. To sacrifice that is to jeopardize our future. How can we expect children to learn and thrive without giving them the resources they need? What kind of nation will we become if don’t properly prepare and educate the next generation? It’s up to all of us to support our libraries in whatever way we can. Voting for levies, getting involved in fund raising, and donating your time are some of the ways that we can help our communities understand the value of libraries. It’s just so critical to keep our libraries thriving.
Librarians are my heroes. I would not be a writer today if it weren’t for one librarian, who took the time to show a geeky, awkward girl in cat’s eye glasses that there was more to the world than what she saw. So never underestimate your importance or influence. Who knows? That child that you are handing a book to today, may be tomorrow’s next great thinker, politician, musician, artist, scientist, or even writer!
Thanks again for sharing your Library Love with us, Trudi!
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Note to Librarians: If you’re a Youth Librarian working in a school or public library we’d love to hear about you and your library. Contact Janet at email@example.com for an interview slot.