By John Anderson

Kate Hanscom wrote her first book at the age of seven. “The Giggle Girls” was never published, but it was the foundation for a writing career that is coming to fruition. She still

Author Kate Hanscom shows students the illustrations as she reads "Fickle Fiona." © John R. Anderson

Author Kate Hanscom shows students the illustrations as she reads “Fickle Fiona.” © John R. Anderson

remembers developing the characters “April, May and June” and shared her early experiences with students at Auburn’s Julia Bancroft and Bryn Mawr elementary schools.

Ms. Hanscom explained the qualities of a good children’s book: an interesting character with a problem; supportive characters; a good setting; and resolution of the problem. She likes details in her writing, repetitive synonyms, and “describing words” to assist the illustrator. The Julia Bancroft students collectively gasped when she said she edited her book over 100 times.

“Literal Lily” was Kate Hanscom’s first published book, but she chose “Fickle Fiona”, hot off the press, to read to the JB students. With all the aforementioned qualities as well as vivid illustrations, the book entertained everyone and mesmerized the serious writers in the audience. The ensuing questions showed their interest: “Where do you find inspiration?” and “Why don’t you write chapter books?” When asked, “How many books do you want to publish?” Ms. Hanscom answered she would write “as long as the words keep coming.”

On Sunday, December 8th, Kate Hanscom will be at Barnes and Noble in Millbury for story time and a booksigning beginning at 2pm. The following Saturday, December 14th, she will be at Tatnuck Booksellers in Westboro from noon to 2pm. Stop by and get your signed copy of these wonderful children’s books or just sit back and listen to a good story, fickle or not.