Wing flying high as author of kids' books

Writer will appear at Castle Rock library

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Children’s author Natasha Wing will appear at the Philip S. Miller Library in Castle Rock on May 2. Courtesy photo

She has been publishing books for children for 23 years — 17 “Night Before …” titles and others such as “How to Raise a Dinosaur.” Author Natasha Wing lives in Fort Collins and works year-round writing books for children, visiting schools to talk with students about writing and visiting locations such as the Philip S. Miller Library in Castle Rock to talk with parents, kids and librarians about her process and ideas.

She will be at the library in Castle Rock from 6:30 to 8 p.m. on May 2. In addition to talking about her books, she will talk with children about how they can write their own stories. Light refreshments will be available, there will be a craft activity and Wing's books will be for sale and signing, including: “The Night Before Mother's Day,” “The Night Before Father's Day,” “The Night Before Summer Vacation,” “The Night Before Kindergarten,” “The Night Before My Birthday.” (They are published in paperback.)

Wing said in a telephone interview April 12 that she has written about one per year of the “Night Before” titles and is always looking for new ideas, which may come from teachers or parents or children. One mother asked for one about July 4 — her son's favorite holiday — and the publisher said books about summer don't sell as well. (But it's in the works, Wing said.) Next in line is “The Night Before Hanukkah.” A teacher has requested one on St. Patrick's Day.

In many of them, readers will find a bit about “there arose such a clatter” or “children are dreaming,” references to the original Night Before book — which should amuse kids who catch it — the beginning of that delightful process of “connecting the dots” that avid readers enjoy repeatedly through their lives.

Teachers use Wing's books for rhyming lessons as well, and Wing talks to kids about the editing process — “like when the teacher marks your paper with a red pencil.”

Illustrators are chosen by the publisher and the author seldom meets them, she says, which is probably just as well. An editor once told her the writer might be sitting there saying “put a poodle in there, please,” when it was not a good idea. Amy Wummer has illustrated Wing's five most recent titles and Wing feels she's an excellent fit.

Wing has lived in Colorado for the past four years. She grew up in Connecticut, went to college in Arizona, where she met her husband, and lived in California for 22 years. From an early age, she “wanted to create magical moments for kids all over the world.”

She recently visited Costa Rica and came back with an idea for an adult book, she said. She writes about things she's curious about and wants to write about artists — “I'm tuned into artists.”

Children who are interested in writing will enjoy looking at Wing's website, tailored to young readers: “Why am I a writer?” “Why I write now.” There are photos of Wing through her life. (Natashawing.wordpress.com/about.)

If you go

Author Natasha Wing will appear at the Philip S. Miller Library, 100 S. Wilcox St., Castle Rock, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. on May 2. Registration is required — please register everyone attending. Contact: Patty Wright-Manassee, 303-791-7323.