kodomo boston x local authors

kodomo boston x local authors 

we had the pleasure of chatting with our awesome author friends, vita, ben, & tonya to learn more about the writing process. 

we know how important building a strong reading & writing foundation is for the littles at an early age. we loved hearing how these authors got their start & what inspires them to write. 

read more about these local authors through our mini interview series! 


vita murrow, author of power to the princess, & new release, high five to the hero

tonya & ben mezrich, authors of charlie numbers and the man in the moon, and latest release, charlie numbers and the woolly mammoth.  

vita murrow

q: did you always want to ​be a writer?

a:  I think I always knew I was a storyteller. I grew up performing in community theater and attended arts schools, so stories and plot have always been at the center of my work. I always enjoyed creative writing and english class and most of all I loved being inspired by other writers. but I didn’t see myself as writer until I had my first writing credit for a film I worked on and then it sort of clicked. 

q: what were some of your favorite books growing up?

a: I was drawn to the poetry of shel silverstein’s where the sidewalk ends, and a light in the attic. the whimsy and surrealness of maurice sendak. I admired the gentle optimism of barbara cooney in books like ms. rumphias, and emma.

q: where do you get your story ideas?

a: from real life. I tell young writers and readers that I try to tell the truth in my writing and that I write from my own lived experience. but I don’t have all the ideas, ever. I look to other writers, to friends, to other storytellers’ like filmmakers and screen writers for inspiration. 

q: do you have any advice for aspiring writers?

a: I encourage aspiring writers to read broadly and think broadly. stories can be found everywhere, and storytellers can be anyone so really, stay flexible! and stay open to seeing oneself writing all sorts of things. 



tonya mezrich 

 q: did you always want to ​be a writer?

a: I always loved writing, but never knew I could actually do it. as I answer these questions I still pinch myself thinking, wow, did I really write a book? it was inspirational being with my husband because he gave me the courage to pursue something I loved. he wasn’t afraid to pursue his dreams of writing, he equates himself to the terminator of writing. to me, the most rewarding part about writing is when you hear from your readers that something you wrote inspired them. I especially love being able to create strong female characters in the charlie numbers series so that little girls can have great role models, showing strength, leadership, and scientific prowess. 

q: what were some of your favorite books growing up?

a: I loved encyclopedia brown, sweet valley high, miss nelson is missing, sylvester and the magic pebble, the great gatsby. 

q: where do you get your story ideas?

a: we try to get our minds into the minds of kids and think about what might excite them. it helps that we have kids of our own (ages 7 and 9). they get to read passages as we are writing, and give us the thumbs up or down. the series has sort of loosely followed ben’s non-fiction track, with ideas that stem from his non-fiction books. he wrote a book called woolly, about the resurrection of the woolly mammoth by dr. george church, and as you read charlie numbers and the woolly mammoth, though it’s fiction, kids will get to meet real life people like dr. george church and visit real life places like franklin park zoo and the public garden. 

q: do you have any advice for aspiring writers?

a: my advice is the advice that ben gave to me when I started writing: the hardest thing about writing is not writing, so just get your ideas down on paper, doesn’t matter how good or bad they are, an empty page is nothing, a page full of words is something. for young writers, think about the story you want to tell, and write it down, give it a start, middle and end, and if you’re doing chapters, end each chapter with a cliffhanger... 

keep reading, writing & dreaming, kids! 


the kodomo crew 

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