Halloween has passed, but this season is the inspiration for one young author’s adventurous tales. Kiera DiCesare, a fourth grade student at Walnut Grove Elementary, started writing and illustrating her own books based on her Halloween costumes when she was in kindergarten. She has now written three more books and inspired a young generation of authors.
This school year, Carroll ISD is emphasizing reading and literacy through the district’s “Once Upon a Dragon” fairy tale theme. The district is profiling librarians, teachers and students through news stories and features. Recently, we talked with Kiera about her passion for reading and what fuels her imagination for writing.
Question: How do you get your ideas for the characters in your books?
Kiera: I start in the summer thinking about the plot and developing the characters for my book. The main characters are based on my friends’ personalities. I’ve learned that I can be as creative as I want to be with my characters. Recently, I was helping some other kids in my class with a writing project about a witch. I reminded them that a witch doesn’t have to be scary or green with long hair—a witch can be orange—there are no rules with characters.
Question: Who helps you with your books and costumes?
Kiera: I’ve had a lot of help— My teachers have taught me story structure and plot development, my mom edits my work, and my grandmother makes my costumes.
Question: What’s the most challenging part of writing a book?
Kiera: The beginning and the end of the book are the hardest to write. I’ve learned to start with a problem and work through it in the story. Action and dialogue are the two most important parts of the narrative. Once the problem is solved, I like to end the book. I’ve written four books and most of them end with a party.
Question: Do you have a favorite book?
Kiera: It’s hard to pick just one because I love to read. I’m reading harder books now, but I still try to finish one book per week. I liked The Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan, but I really enjoy fairy tales. I’ve read all of the Rainbow Magicbook series by Daisy Meadows.
Quesiton: How are you helping other students in your class with writing their own books?
Kiera: Writing is a really big deal in fourth grade. My teacher, Mrs. Clarrissimeaux, encourages us to use our imaginations and be creative with our writing. My friend, Emily Backoo, wrote a sequel to my book Saving the Seasons, entitled Autumn Magic. We both carried our books in the character book parade at school.
Question: What is something others students don’t know you?
Kiera: I like to write poetry. I plan to enter the upcoming American Girl poetry contest. I’ve also had several essays published by the Texas Music Teachers Association.