Today, TeachingBooks.net welcomes author Conrad J. Storad as he stops by on his blog tour to discuss his love for writing nonfiction books.
Why do I write about science and nature for young readers? Easy answer. It’s FUN! But making scientific facts fun to read about is a challenge, especially in our modern world filled with iPods, iPads, smart phones, video games, and any number of other electronic distractions. I try to use storytelling techniques to grab my audience.
It all begins with research. First, I hit the library, and I hit it hard. I visit in person or online. I find as many reference sources as I can related to my subject matter. I also interview scientists or experts on the topic of my book. I want my books to be fun, but I want them to be factual and as scientifically accurate as possible. A good science writer should never have to resort to “dumbing down” a topic. Good science writing is really storytelling at a different level. All of my books are written for children or for young readers. They are all nonfiction. I refer to my picture books as “fun nonfiction.” It is the most challenging writing I have ever done in my more than 35 years as a writer and editor.
Translating scientific and technical jargon into lay language can be difficult in itself. The real challenge is how to explain and describe science with easy-to-understand language and still make the story captivating and FUN to read. Each new book project is a brand new challenge—and an opportunity to learn. I’ve done my job well if I can make a reader curious to learn more.