Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Steve Sheinkin visits Northport-East Northport

Non-fiction writer Steve Sheinkin was the guest of honor at Northport-East Northport's 23rd Annual Speaking of Writing Distinguished Author Visit on Monday October 20th. He spoke to local middle school classes about how he ended up becoming a writer and his writing process in general. He said, "I never thought I would be doing this: writing non-fiction? I thought history was really boring." When he was a little boy he and his brother (pictured above) would spend their time creating. "We liked to write and draw comics. We also liked to write and perform skits like on Saturday Night Live," he shared with the crowd. After he tried his hand at moving making, his film received a one-star review, he took a job writing text books. He quickly learned that the text book writing business was very cut and dry. His bosses simply wanted the facts and the flourishes he would add would quickly be scrapped by the editors. 

He took all those bits and bobbles they left on the floor of his office and made them into his first books of historical follies (Two Miserable Presidents, King George: What Was His Problem?). He quickly found that he loved writing these non-fiction books that gave him the freedom to inject the tidbits that he found most interesting. He sees every thing he researches as a case to solve. "You start with an assignment or idea, do some research and name your sources. Imagine a paper that took a year and a half to write. It's sort of like detective work. Sort of nerdy detective work, but still!" Sheinkin shares that his movie making background is still alive and well in his writing process. He has a dedicated wall of his office where he storyboards his books with different color index cards, photos, and more! Sheinkin's most recent book The Port Chicago 50: Disaster, Mutiny, and the Fight for Civil Rights is a National Book Award Finalist. Sheinkin is working on his next project, which focuses on Vietnam, at his home in Saratoga Springs, NY!

Thanks Steve!

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