Meet the Aussie From Down Under, Children’s Author M.E. Finke
Welcome to day one of M.E. Finke’s 6-day NWFCC March
Author Showcase tour.
I have always “scribbled” stories, and told others to my kids each
night, right off the top of my head. When two of our children had
minor reading problems it got me thinking. Then, as a Teacher”s
Aide, I noticed boys were more likely to have dyslexia or be
reluctant readers. So I set out to write the kind of books that
would encourage kids to read: stories that were super kid friendly.
That meant lots of action, getting to the “good stuff” ASAP, and
writing about things that would be of interest to boys and
reluctant readers. I suspected that adventure in wild and exotic
places would be a good bet.
I spent the first half of my life Down-Under, so a fantastic
adventure in the heart of the outback, just a boomerang throw
from Ayers Rock (Uluru) was a natural. The research was
interesting and fun. I dug up lots of facts, and critters that I felt US
kids would find intriguing and really fun to know about.
And then there’s that Aussie strine (slang), plus the wonderfully
musical aboriginal words. So I added a word glossary for readers
to enjoy and share with friends. I was about to cook up a great
story kids would eat up, and these were the ingredients I began to
“cook” with: After a quick initial stir, I set out to gather up the
meat and potatoes of the story. A young aboriginal boy with some
hefty problems came first. Into the pot with him. I remembered a
story Mom told me about a chatty cockatoo that could mimic
anything, as well as keep up his end of a simple conversation. In
he went- named Claude. A problem Dad, a magic feather, and a
scary Man Ceremony came next. Another stir. Hmmm. It already
smelled appetizing. Next, some fun with fierce green ants, and a
party-pooper emu, followed by some campfire tales from Dad.
I let it simmer a while, then I lifted the lid for another sniff and
taste. But something was missing. Ahaaa. . . Too many potatoes
and not enough Medicine Man. Might as well toss in a vast tribal
gathering for luck. Finally, I seasoned the bubbling mixture with a
good dollop of Dreamtime Spirits, and left it to stew in its own
The first review is IN and the verdict is YUM!!!
Follow Day 2 of Ms. Finke’s tour tomorrow at www.donna-
mcdine.blogspot.com. Leave a comment and your name will
automatically be entered to win a Three Angels Gourmet Co mug
and a package of Divine Dill Dip Mix – at the end of the month,
provided by the National Writing for Children Center.