‘Mosquitoland’ author discusses book, writing

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Jardine, Cheralyn

ENGAGE. English teacher Mr. Benjamin Vore asks author David Arnold questions prepared by freshmen. Academic and Honors English 9 classes read Arnold’s novel, “Mosquitoland,” in class, connecting it to “The Odyssey.” Arnold covered topics including the interpretation of his work and his writing process. Photo provided.

Jenna Bao, Executive Editor

   “New York Times” best-selling author David Arnold visited SHS on Mon. Oct. 9. Based in Lexington, KY, this is Arnold’s second visit in recent years. He is the author of “Kids of Appetite” and “Mosquitoland.”

  Freshmen read “Mosquitoland” in Academic or Honors English classes. Prior to the visit, these students prepared questions about the book and submitted them to their teachers.

   Then, in fifth bell, they gathered in the auditorium where English teacher Mr. Benjamin Vore interviewed the guest with the questions that were chosen.

  “[The discussion] impacted how I view [the protagonist] Mim in ‘Mosquitoland’ as a reader because I learned the background behind her,” said Yazmin Duffield, 9.

  Arnold also made a special visit to Mrs. Sofia Feist’s Advanced Creative Writing class. Those students were able to ask particular questions about the writing and publishing.

  “I felt that Mr. Arnold was very helpful in his advice. I feel inspired to write now, especially since he’s such a great author. I know his advice will help me become a better author,” said Madeline Schramm, 12.

   Topics of discussion in this session included the process of getting an agent, developing characters, and editing.

  “I liked his advice about publishing, how there shouldn’t be pressure to get a publisher. That’s something I don’t really focus on, so it’s nice to know it’s not something I have to worry about,” said Emma Murphy, 11.

  Since many of the creative writing students are working on their own novels and/or hope to get their work published eventually, this was a valuable opportunity to learn from a professional.

   Arnold’s newest book “The Strange Fascinations of Noah Hypnotik” will be released May 22, 2018, and “Mosquitoland” is sold in The Hangar.