New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Kristina McMorris spoke with eighth through 12th grade students Wednesday morning about her latest book "Sold on a Monday" and becoming an "accidental author."
McMorris, who lives in Oregon with her husband and two sons, told students she discovered a passion for writing while creating a cookbook of her grandmother's recipes. She found inspiration in a collection of old letters her grandmother shared with her, cataloguing her grandparents' World War II courtship. Those letters eventually led to McMorris's first book, "Letters from Home."
"Write what you're passionate about," McMorris told SDS students.
Inspired by true personal and historical accounts, McMorris's novels have earned more than 20 national literacy awards. Her most recent novel was inspired by a 1948 newspaper photo of a Chicago mother offering her four young children for sale. "Sold on a Monday" is the story of an ambitious reporter who, in 1931, photographs a pair of young siblings on a farmhouse porch, next to a sign: "2 children for Sale." The accompanying article leads to devastating consequences and a quest to set things right.
McMorris told students of her passion for research and telling an accurate story. She encouraged them to read and write "more than I did at your age" and to know the power of words, whether written for a novel or a post on social media.
McMorris is also author to "Bridge of Scarlet Leaves," "The Pieces We Keep" and "The Edge of Lost."