Meet Author Carla Killough McClafferty!
Web site: www.carlamcclafferty.com
Carla Killough McClafferty is the author of Forgiving God (Discovery House Publishers, 1995), an adult Christian inspirational book. She also writes middle grade nonfiction books including The Head Bone’s Connected to the Neck Bone: The Weird, Wacky and Wonderful X-ray (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2001) and Something Out of Nothing: Marie Curie and Radium (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2006). Among other honors, Something Out of Nothing: Marie Curie and Radium, has been recognized as the 2007 IRA Children’s Book Award Winner in the intermediate nonfiction category as well as the 2007 NCTE Orbis Pictus Honor Book. Her next book, In Defiance of Hitler: The Secret Mission of Varian Fry, also published by FSG will be released in the fall of 2008.
Carla is also the SCBWI Regional Advisor in Arkansas.
Something Out of Nothing: Marie Curie and Radium (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2006)
Q: Describe part of the research process it took to write this manuscript.
A: For Something Out of Nothing: Marie Curie and Radium, I did massive amounts of research. I also traveled to Paris, where she did her groundbreaking work. That trip gave me a wonderful sense of place. For example, her husband, Pierre, was killed on a small street in Paris on a rainy day. I found the street where this tragedy occurred—and it just so happened that it was raining at the time. This pivotal moment in the life of Marie became very real to me. I also had the opportunity to visit the Radium Institute, which Marie Curie built. They even let me sit at Marie Curie’s desk in her office.
Q: Describe a highlight of your writing career.
A: I attended the IRA annual conference in Toronto in May 2007 where I received recognition as the author of the Children’s Book Award winner. And in November 2007, I traveled to the NCTE national conference, where I received recognition as the author of an Orbis Pictus Honor Book. I feel blessed that my book has been honored by these two incredible organizations.
Q: What project are you currently working on?
A: I’ve just finished my next book, In Defiance of Hitler: The Secret Mission of Varian Fry, which is ready to go to the typesetter. It is about Varian Fry, a Harvard educated journalist who in 1940, traveled to Marseilles, France, and arranged the escape of more than 2000 Jews from Europe before the Nazis get them. It is an incredible true story. I’m thrilled to have the chance to share the story of a real American hero with a new generation of young readers.
Q. Share one tip you would like to give about school visits.
A: Be ready for anything and try not to bore them.
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