By Dakota Cantwell
Children’s author Claudia Mills visited Missouri Valley College’s campus for various activities including a workshop for teachers and a book reading on February 22.
“My books are not what I would expect from a philosophy major turned children’s book author” Mills said. Mills refers to herself as a miniaturist, “I like to look at the small.”
Mills began her career in the industry of writing by working for Scholastic between 1979 and 1980. At the time she lived in New Jersey and commuted to New York where she worked. She said that she often wrote her books during this time.
Mills read from three of her books while at the book reading. These included “How Oliver Olson Changed the World”, “Zero Tolerance” and “Write this Down”.
She said that she more often writes from experience rather than from stories she reads in the new with “Zero Tolerance” being the only exception in the books she read from.
“Most of my books come from my own childhood memories and stuff that happened to my two boys,” Mills said.
Mills offered advice to aspiring authors that, according to her, is cliche. She said to always be reading and writing and to show work to others for critical feedback.
“I have found it invaluable to me to be in a critique group,” she said. “It’s very hard to grow if you don’t get criticism.”
Mills is the first of two authors for the Visiting Writer Series this semester.
A.A. Balaskovits will be the next author to visit to visit campus. Her visit will be April 3.