Sigmund Brouwer is a well-known author of one hundred books spanning a variety of genres: children's picture and chapter books, adult scientific thrillers, and more. He's a native of Red Deer, Alberta, Canada, is married to Christian singer, Cindy Morgan and they have two daughters. He and his family divide their time between Nashville, Tennessee and Red Deer, AB. Brouwer visits schools and speaks about writing; his favourite cause is motivating reluctant-readers. He likes to tell people he had the worst grade in his English class, and that it took him ten years to get his first book published.
As an ‘I Love to Read’ activity we had Sigmund Brouwer do a presentation at our school. Gathered to hear this entertaining author/speaker were Grades 1-12 students, parents and teachers from 10 colonies. Mr. Brouwer had 150 students spellbound, many of them at the elementary level, for more than two hours!
Not only is Sigmund a dynamic storyteller, he sprinkles his speech with rich, mini grammar lessons. As someone who loves every aspect of writing, I was astounded when he opened his presentation by saying that he doesn’t like to write. ‘I’ve written hundred books, but I don’t like to write’ sounds like an oxymoron. Yet, that in itself is what makes his message so powerful. It was also important for the students to hear that he spends as much time revising as writing! If those were the only things the students took home, this was well worth the price of the ticket. But to secure an all-out winner, Sigmund scored a few more goals! I asked our students what they learned and enjoyed most:
· He’s a great storyteller.
· Stories need problems.
· The bigger the problem, the better the book.
· Stories need to evoke strong feelings.
· It’s important to use strong verbs.
· It's amazing how a person who doesn’t enjoy writing, but is still able to write chapter books.
· He has to write five pages a day. He tells funny stories and is a genius when it comes to writing books.
· He takes the time to give his autograph and talk to us.
· It’s amazing how he can take everyday experiences, and weave them into funny stories. I don't know how, but he draws you into his stories.
· His imitations of other people made his presentation phenomenal. He can be geeky, girlish, gross and weird while telling the same story. At the end of the presentation, I didn't really know who he was!
What sealed Sigmund’s All-Star status with our students came when he announced that every child in attendance will receive one of his books. (Can you hear applause?) This generous gift was made possible by his sponsor, Schlumberger Canada. As much as Mr. Brouwer doesn’t take credit for this, the fact remains, if he wouldn’t write books that inspire children to keep turning pages, the sponsor wouldn’t have any to give away.
(Sigmund Brouwer has kindly agreed to an interview. Stay tuned!)