Ann Morris, a teacher and community worker, has a passion for encouraging children to read. As an author who is bilingual, that has allowed her the opportunity to work with many from different cultures. I'm please to have Ann chat with me about being an educator, author, and writing.
What inspired you to become a bilingual author?
I have always had stories to tell. Many I have kept in my heart for years, and others develop as time continues. I was a Spanish teacher at the High School level (Levels I-IV), and I always scoured resources for books in Spanish to give my students additional motivation, and to prove that Spanish was a real language, not just an academic subject. As I worked more with students learning English, I learned that the reverse was also true. Books are not only written for natives of those languages, but for learners. I am a learner and always will be. Languages fascinate me. I hope someday to reach the point where I may do the same with a new language.
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing dual languages?
I write Children’s Books. I always include curious children and positive adult role models. There is always a teaching moment or a lesson. That part is fun. The challenging part is rewriting (not translating) the story in Spanish. I publish each book separately, as I do not want to have people compare for translation, but understand the meaning of the same story in both languages.
Do you have a specific writing style?
I write simply, usually for 5-8 year-olds in English, but my message is multi-level, so the stories are enjoyed by children of all ages. Many stories are from or inspired by true life experiences. I love to have adults understand the multi-level meanings and appreciate what I have attempted to convey.
What is your favorite theme to write about?
Children and adult role models with a learning experience. This applies to learners of all ages and makes the books intergenerational.
As an educator, what messages in your books do you want readers to grasp?
I portray understanding, learning, positive adult-child relationships, and most of all, acceptance of what is new and different. I was extremely pleased and honored this year to be recognized by the Moms Choice Awards. I learned that my efforts are valued.
What books or authors have influenced your writing?
Some of the many authors that have influenced my writing are Maya Angelou, Emily Dickenson, Dr. Seuss, and Beatrix Potter. I respect authors who write with the purpose of educating and making learning fun. I applaud authors who have a love of learning, experience, and a universal way of expression. I adore authors who care about those less privileged and want to reach everyone.
Are you currently working on anything?
I’m always working on something! I have several stories in various stages of development with various ways of portraying messages. I keep an open mind and am always adding story ideas to my repertoire.
Do you have any advice for other writers?
Write what you know about, or learn about it thoroughly before you write about it. There is always someone who knows more than you about any given topic. This is why I like to write my stories based on personal experiences. I do sometimes alter the story line to include a learning lesson, but I always research it well before I attempt to portray it to others.
Always be prepared to continue learning. As we wish our readers to learn, we should realize that we always continue to learn. That is the key to life.
For more information on Ann, you can connect with her at: