Mymcbooks's Blog

Keepsake that Educates!

Interview with Author Wendy Lewis

I enjoyed my childhood, growing up in Los Angeles, at a time when there was little traffic and you could walk to the wonderful city parks.  There, I learned how to play tennis and met lots of friends from different schools.   Every Saturday my grandmother Betty would take me and my sister to the movies, to the playground or to the Apple Pan for burgers and pie. 

I started writing because I was very shy- and then I started to blossom!  Eventually, I became a researcher, writer, and speaker on cutting-edge innovations in science and technology at school assemblies, teacher workshops, and to national organizations.  An English teacher requested that I turn one of my science slides on Save A Child’s Heart, an organization that I am passionate about, into a story for her students. In 2010, at the San Francisco Writer’s Conference, the story was recognized as a Finalist in Children’s Books.

 Wendy Lewis is the author of Sabrina. The Girl with a Hole in Her Heart.

I want to thank you for being my guest here on Mymcbooks Blog

What is the last book you read?  “Smoky Night” by Eve Bunting.

What was your favorite children’s book?  “Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea” by Jules Verne. 

What were your earliest memories of writing?  In second grade, I remember writing school reports about the oceanEvery new sea creature that I learned about starred in its own story in my diary. 

Were you encouraged to write or was it something that came natural? 

I kept a journal at a young age so it was something that came natural.  I have always been inspired by nature.  When I was about 7-years-old, I would get up at6:00 watch the sunrise.  I loved the warm colors and morning stillness.

What inspired you to write ‘Sabrina The Girl With A Hole In Her Heart’?  

It’s a story of human interest and international cooperation!  From my lectures, I learned that people want to be inspired and believe in the goodness of the human race. And here is a story that does all that.  You have doctors from the 100th smallest country making a difference by repairing the world, one child at a time.  At the same time, you have children like Sabrina who are born with the most common defect in the world, congenital heart disease.  Yet their countries lack qualified doctors who can repair their hearts or their parents can’t afford surgery.  Without the intervention of organizations like Save a Child’s Heart, many of these children will die before their next birthday. 

How many book have you written and are you working on a new book? 

This is my first book. I am working on a second book which was inspired by a close encounter with three giant, green sea turtles while I was snorkeling in Hawaii.  I also have five other manuscripts to flush out.

What is the most difficult part of writing?

Sometimes I love a story concept but it just doesn’t work, and it’s hard letting go.  

Can you tell us about the workshops you run for teachers in STEM education.

I have facilitated workshops to over 1,000Los Angelesarea teachers and presented to 30,000 students at school assemblies. Teachers and students are very interested in learning about cool futuristic technology that may improve their lives or the lives of people they care about, so that’s my hook for encouraging scientific literacy.  A teacher can use an innovation to teach a multifaceted lesson on research, math, science, and engineering.  They can also tie the innovation to a lesson on careers for the future as well as the skills and education that will be needed. 

What do you do when you’re not writing or promoting your books?

Dance, play tennis, cook with friends, and think about stories while I am at the beach. 

What do you hope that readers will take away from your book?

Don’t give up when you have a medical or other challenge.  There are people, even in faraway places who care.”

Who are some of your favorite authors you would love to dine with?

Dr. Bernie Siegel who wrote, “Love, Medicine, and Miracles.”  His book inspired me to overcome breast cancer 24 years ago when I was a young mother raising a toddler and infant.  He was ahead of his time, an MD with a holistic approach, who supported his patients and learned from them.  Also, Theodor Seuss Geisel because he was a very interesting man.

What author inspires you the most and why?

In children’s books, Eve Bunting.  She grabs the reader in the first sentence.  I love her writing style, imagery, and story development. 

Often, once the first problem is solved, another one crops up.  What discipline do you impose on yourself regarding schedules, goals, etc.?

I held management jobs where I was allowed to work at home so by nature I am very disciplined.  Writer’s groups certainly help because I want to have my work reviewed by my peers as much as possible.  I have to admit, I don’t write every day, because life gets in the way. 

What advice would you give parents on selecting the right books for their children to read? 

If your child likes reading mysteries, encourage them.  You can suggest other authors in the genre they like or have them talk to their local librarian for suggestions.  I also like to keep a collection of books and magazines that I select, on the coffee table in front of the TV set.    When my children were young, they always snuck a book or two from the coffee table and read them in bed.

What advice you would give to new writers?

“Dump” your story on paper and don’t hold back. Then spend time in the library reading the genre you want to write, take writing classes, join a writing group, and listen to publishers.  Is your “dump” a story yet?  If not, go back to the library, read other genres, read the genre you want to write, and figure out why.

Is there anything else you would like to share with our readers?

I had no idea that children ages 5-10 would use my book as bibliotherapy.  Boys especially relate to Sabrina’s story and have shared medical concerns in their own family.  That was a huge surprise!  Children are also very interested in learning about how the human heart works and are fascinated by Sabrina’s trip to theDead Seaafter her surgery.  


Thank you for this interview.






January 11, 2012 - Posted by | Meet the Author | , , , , ,


  1. She sounds wonderful! I’m now intrigued to start reading Eve Bunting with my child. If an author of Wendy Lewis’ caliber likes her, then I’m on board! Great interview.

    Comment by Marthalynn | January 11, 2012 | Reply

  2. I think this author sees a great opportunity and will influence many more hearts than she imagined, mine included.
    I agree with her that Theodor Seuss Geisel (Dr. Seuss) is an interesting author, and continues to reach childrens’ hearts with his humor and wit…

    Ms. Lewis is an author that I would enjoy meeting to thank her for a most worthwhile book!

    Comment by Elsie | January 11, 2012 | Reply

  3. Great questions for the author! Until I read this interview, I never considered that some kids might be attracted to this book as a way to learn the workings of a heart. I just looked at it from the point of helping them cope.

    Comment by Julie Miller Janney | January 11, 2012 | Reply

  4. I am so glad that the author decided to address this subject in a book for children. I also love her message of don’t give up seeing as we live in a world kid’s are subjected to bullying and so many other challenges. It is great to have an author use their platform to encourage and inspire future generations of doctors and more.

    Comment by stuffsmart | January 11, 2012 | Reply

  5. love her motto “don’t give up” because there are people who care!

    Comment by Marci | January 12, 2012 | Reply

  6. A child wanting to get up to see the sunrise is unusual. Obviously, you do have a love for the ocean and nature. I also sense that you have a sense of humor. I think shyness does lead to youngsters writing in journals. That’s why I kept diaries. It made me feel a little bit important when I felt unseen or simply invisible. Enjoyed the interview very much. Thank you.

    Comment by | January 21, 2012 | Reply

  7. Great interview! I also carried a journal/diary that I wrote in when I was very young, just like Wendy. I could definitely see that this would be great for bibliotherapy!

    nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

    Comment by Nancye Davis | January 28, 2012 | Reply

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