Larry and I actually met as members of a writing group. Prior to the Anita Factor, we were both involved with Vast Imaginations. After a few years, the two groups amalgamated.
When Larry and I first met, he was already an award-winning, established writer of several non-fiction books for children. He joined our writing group as he was writing his first middle grade novel. A few years later, Missing in Paradise, was published, with recognition to boot.
We often joke within the Anita Factor that in amongst a bunch of “Anitas,” Larry is our one “Anito!” As a retired teacher, Larry is observant, patient and thoughtful. He cares about his friends and will always lend a listening ear. He was a supportive sounding board for me during my ridiculously stressful 2016. I treasure his friendship.
What was the last book you finished? Would you recommend it?
The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein. Highly recommended. Insightful, humorous, intriguing plot line, and, for something different, it also features a philosopher-dog as a protagonist.
What was your favourite book as a child/teen? Do you remember what it was about the book that made it your favourite?
(tough question, so many…)
I read this 900 page book when I was 15. Mitchener sweeps through time, blending historical fact with a fictional plot and characters. I was blown away by the way he tied so many elements about religion together. It was my first ‘heavy’ read, and once I finished Michener’s book I went on to read other equally weighty ones with that mix of history, fiction, and challenging ideas.
(Side note: As a young lad, I don’t have many memories of books. We didn’t have many books kicking around our house. But as a teenager, I made regular trips to our local library so most of my favourite books come from that era.)
Please connect with Larry:
Website/Blog: The Footloose Writer
LinkedIn: Larry Verstraete
Goodreads: Larry Verstraete
Larry Verstraete began writing for youngsters while he was still teaching. He is the award-winning author of 16 non-fiction books for young people and one middle grade novel. His most recent release is ‘Dinosaurs’ of the Deep: Discover Prehistoric Marine Life (Turnstone Press, 2016), a book about the Western Interior Seaway and its exotic creatures. Larry is a frequent visitor to schools where he shares his enthusiasm for reading and writing with students, teachers and parents.