Michael Leannah has more than thirty years' experience in elementary and middle schools.
Leannah is an author writing fiction and nonfiction for children and adults. He is the award-winning author of Something for Everyone: Memories of Lauerman Brothers Department Store, and the children's picture books Goodnight Whispers, Most People, and Farmer Huckinshuck's Wild Ride.
Leannah's children's stories have appeared in magazines in the United States and Australia. His award-winning radio plays have been performed in many cities.
He lives in Sheboygan, Wisconsin.
Learn more about Michael on his website.
Q1: OUR THEME THIS YEAR IS HERE'S AN IDEA! WHERE IS YOUR FAVORITE SPACE FOR PONDERING IDEAS?
Michael: When I am stuck and need an idea, I go for a walk in the woods with my dog. Ideas seem to bubble up, without being forced, when I am out walking. I also like to take my ideas to bed with me at night. I think about what I need for a story as I drift into sleep, then let the old brain work away at it during the night. Sure enough, good ideas are often there to greet me in the morning.
Q2: WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE SUBJECT IN SCHOOL?
Michael: I have over thirty years' experience as an elementary school teacher, so when given a question like this, I have to consider the feelings of a kid and those of an adult. After much thought, my honest answer is the same for each. I didn't have a favorite. Reading? Language arts? Math? Social studies? Science? Art? Music? I enjoyed the variety.
Q3: WHAT ONE THING WOULD YOU LIKE TO LEARN TO DO?
Michael: I don't like people saying they are "too old" to learn something new. I never learned how to ice skate or roller skate very well when I was a kid. I later made the situation even worse by continually pointing out that it just wasn't a good idea to attach slippery, rolling objects to the bottoms of one's feet and then try to get from here to there. But-always-there was another voice in my head saying, But it might be a lot of fun! Ice skating on a river or lake seems like an especially wonderful thing to do, and someday I will do it.
Q4: WHEN DID YOU KNOW THAT YOU WANTED TO BE AN AUTHOR?
Michael: I really knew I wanted to be a writer only after I became one. Some mountain climbers set their sights right from the start. Others just start hiking and when they're half way to the top, they suddenly realize where they are and that to go back down now would be really foolish. Only when they get to the top and see the view do they understand what they have accomplished. Writing was always something I just did, the way some people read or watch TV. I did it for enjoyment after doing my "real" work: teaching, being a dad, and everything else. I would have done the writing even if a psychic had told me I was never to have success.