A children’s book author shares stories from her writings during a stop in Hammond, Ponchatoula |

A prolific, award-winning author of books for children and teens, Susan Hood lost her job as an editor at a publishing company in the midst of an economic downturn, then decided to start writing and publishing on her own, launching a career that has led to the publication of dozens of books.

Hood, who told her story to the public at the Hammond and Ponchatoula branches of the Tangipahoa Parish Library System on October 27, said being fired from her job “was a gift from God. I am grateful to have been taken on a path that led me to write my books.

The author said the writing grew out of his love for books and reading. “I have a large collection of books. I love books and I like to read what other people publish. As an editor early in my career, I had the opportunity to learn more about the craft of writing and it inspired me to try it out for myself,” he said. she declared.

She said one of the first children’s books she wrote was about what she called the “tooth mouse.” “I always believed that it was the tooth fairy who rewarded a child when he lost a tooth. But when I heard that some believed in the tooth mouse, I decided to write a book featuring the mouse. It was my first book with pictures and guess what? It was rejected!”

The author said she persevered and slowly learned the difficulty of writing children’s books. She said working with an illustrator is among many other challenges in writing a children’s book. A second hurdle is telling a story in a children’s book using only a few words. “You have to establish the setting, a plot and launch the action in a few words. You have to pack a lot into a limited space,” she said.

Hood said the author of a children’s book only actually writes half the book…the illustrator creates the other half. About writing the books, she added, “another point is that you have to know when to stop writing and let the art take over the story.” Hood contracts with illustrators for his books.

After several efforts, her children’s books were accepted by publishers, launching a career that continues to this day. She creates books for a specific young audience. “The Tooth Mouse,” which was finally released, is about multicultural traditions and the universal childhood event that is the loss of baby teeth.

For students in grades two through five, one of his best-known books is “Ada’s Violin.” She said this book “changed my life as an author and made me start writing books about real kids.” This story is about children living in a dump in Paraguay who have formed an orchestra playing musical instruments made from trash. “It’s a story about recycling, poverty, Spanish, music and the science of sound.”

She devoted much of her speech to one of her best-known books, “Titan and the Wild Boars”, the story of the Thai football team, the Wild Boars, who accidentally got trapped in a cave when torrential rains filled the cave with watertightness. the boys and their trainer in a deep section of a cave.

“It was an incredible international event and the story needed to be told. There was chaos outside the cave as the boys’ families and cave experts around the world worked to find a way out. the cave boys.She said she decided to write the story because it was a perfect metaphor for how young people can show courage and resilience in the face of unexpected and life-threatening circumstances. .

“It was difficult to write for several reasons and you found the truth about what happened. Also, the illustrator had to be very creative in depicting events that took place in a dark cave with much of the underwater action where the divers finally found a way to get the boys out of that cave,” she said.

Another one of her books for grades four through eight that she cited was “Brothers in Arms.” The book tells the story of a group of Polish soldiers fighting alongside the Allies in World War II who adopted a bear cub and kept it as a pet.

She has written other books based on the real experiences of children and how they are able to take on leadership roles in times of crisis.

Hood said that while she’s only had a short time to travel to places in the world where great stories might be, she added that she longs to “explore the world.” I want to travel the world and meet young people who are doing great things that will make great stories.

The author said that despite many attractions such as sports, video games, telephone and television, young children will read if given the chance. “We have excellent teachers, librarians and parents, who know the value of reading and who guide children towards reading. Young people start with picture books and grow into more complex books. We all need to encourage children to read,” she said.

Among the many awards Hood has received include: the EB White Honor Award; Christopher Prize; Americas Prize; International Latin Award; the Golden Kite Award for mid-level fiction; and the Bank Street Flora Steiglitz Prize.

Hood told her audience that her visit to Tangipahoa Parish was her second visit to the state and that she had visited New Orleans before. While in the state, she will also present in Baton Rouge and New Orleans. She lives in Connecticut.

Grover Z. Barnes