Author Shares Joy of Writing


Author Michael Finklea didn’t plan on writing for a living. As a child growing up on a dairy farm in the Ozark Mountains, writing was the furthest thing from his mind!

Diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) Finklea struggled through his grade school and high school years. He attended Louisiana State University after high school graduation and majored in Graphic Design; after college, Finklea traveled the world for five years as a model. During this time, he began keeping a personal journal and discovered his love of writing.

Finklea later settled in Los Angeles, California, and used his graphic design degree to create and publish his own entertainment magazine. This venture gave him his first glimpse into the world of publishing and taught him that the old saying “write what you know” was true. He also discovered that publishing a manuscript is no easy task! After nine submission attempts, Finklea’s first book The Worldwide Adventures of Winston & Churchill was accepted.

Finklea learned an important lesson from his first publication attempt – never give up! Today, as a respected children’s author, he travels to schools throughout the United States and speaks with students about the value of writing and pursuing goals. He shares his life story and the obstacles that he has overcome, including dealing with ADD.

Recently, Finklea spoke to students at Grenada Upper Elementary School. He stressed the significance of learning to read and using that ability to receive the highest level of education. He also shared his writing and organization methods with students, including the importance of editing and proofreading. Finklea encouraged the students, especially those who suffer ADD or other challenges, to give writing a try. Many of these students often encounter negative feelings due to these challenges. Putting their vivid imaginations to use while writing stories helps them learn to concentrate, focus, be creative, and receive positive reinforcement. Writing is also a skill that all students must master and demonstrate for state testing purposes.

While at GUES, Finklea read excerpts from two of his books, Who Are You Calling Junior? and Creepers. Other books written by Finklea include Tardy Marty, Good-Natured Nina the Nervous Gnat, Fester the Pester, Creepers II, Scared Stiff!, and Laugh It Up. Students also were treated to question and answer sessions during Finklea’s presentation.

Finklea has visited over 2000 schools in the United States, bringing his inspirational and educational message to students. His focus on completing projects, never giving up, and overcoming obstacles has helped many students achieve their goals.
Stephanie Raper
In the Loop Editor