Children’s author speaks to Vienna Elementary School students | News, Sports, Jobs

Author Lester Laminack tells one of his many stories to the students at Vienna Elementary School Thursday, bringing out lots of smiles and laughter. (Photo by Larry Launstein Jr.)

VIENNA – Author Lester L. Laminack has written several books for children and teachers, and has done many presentations in his time.

“Every story you write starts with something true,” he told students at Vienna Elementary School Thursday. “If you write about things you really know happened to you, you can twist something and make it interesting.”

“You can write about real things in real life about your past, about your families, about your trips, about your worries, about your fears, about your celebrations, and those things make good stories,” Laminack said.

And where does one begin?

“Well, I think you have to consider where the arc of the story is, where the tension is rising, and you have the reader wondering what’s going to happen next, because sometimes we take our own personal experiences, and those are kind of a flatline. ”

Author Lester Laminack speaks to students at Vienna Elementary School Thursday. (Photo by Larry Launstein Jr.)

Laminack used the analogy of building a sand castle and a wave comes along to knock it down, and how to put tension into that.

“So the pace where I twist it is where the tension needs to go,” he said.

About what abilities are required to do this, he said, “I think it’s something that anyone can learn but I do think there’s talent involved in it, and so in that respect, you could say there’s art and science. There’s a formula to knowing how to develop a good story like the components of story, but I think there’s an innate talent or ability to tweak those, which is why some people write better stories than others. ”

One of the students asked how many years Laminack has been writing stories.

“I began keeping notebooks of stories and riddles in the fourth grade,” he said.

Author Lester Laminack addresses students at Vienna Elementary School during an assembly Thursday. (Photo by Larry Launstein Jr.)

But he did not start publishing anything until he was 28 years old. He is now 65.

One of the books he has written is “Saturdays and Teacakes,” which makes use of actual recipes that anyone can cook. Laminack said his grandmother had a recipe for teacakes, which can be found on his website,

For a little more than 45 minutes, Laminack entertained the students with stories about his personal experiences.

He ended the presentation by asking the students to be respectful and kind, because it shows what kind of people they are.

Laminack is a professor emeritus from the Department of Birth-Kindergarten, Elementary and Middle Grades Education at Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, North Carolina. He also has a bachelor’s degree in science and a master’s degree in elementary education from Jacksonville State University in Alabama, as well as his Ed.D. in elementary education and reading from Auburn University.

Author Lester Laminack entertains the students at Vienna Elementary School Thursday. (Photo by Larry Launstein Jr.)

He lives in Whittier, North Carolina.

His children’s books include:

* The Sunsets of Miss Olivia Wiggins

* Trevor’s Wiggly-Wobbly Tooth

* Saturdays and Tea Cakes

* Jake’s 100th Day of School

* Snow Day!

* Three Hens and a Peacock

* The King of Bees

Larry Launstein Jr. can be reached at [email protected]

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