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        Deborah Heiligman

        Deborah Heiligman writes fiction and nonfiction, for kids of all ages. She has written more than 26 books, including the acclaimed Holidays Around the World series. Her fascination with the marriage of Charles and Emma Darwin led her on a great research adventure that brought her to the Galapagos Islands and the Darwin home in England as well as deep inside their diaries and letters. Her 2009 book, Charles and Emma: The Darwins' Leap of Faith was nominated as a National Book Award Finalist.

        http://www.readingrockets.org/books/interviews/heiligman

        The Power of Place

        For Deborah Heiligman, being in the Galapagos and touring the Darwin's home in England helped to bring alive the story of Charles and Emma in a way that no "book research" could do.

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        An Excerpt from Cool Dog, School Dog

        Deborah Heiligman reads from her book "Cool Dog, School Dog", a story about a Golden Retriever inspired by her family dog, Tinka.

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        An Excerpt from Charles and Emma

        Deborah Heiligman reads the opening chapter (Better Than a Dog) from her book "Charles and Emma: the Darwins' Leap of Faith".

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        All Kinds of Genres

        Deborah Heiligman experiments with all kinds of genres, from picture books to YA (Young Adult) novels to nonfiction. She feels all of these stories within her, and is able to write from the point of view of children of different ages.

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        Blogging and Tweeting

        Social networking helps Deborah Heiligman stay in touch with her readers as well as other writers and her editors.

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        INK Think Tank

        Deborah Heiligman discusses the INK (Interesting Nonfiction for Kids) Think Tank as a great resource for teachers that connects rich new nonfiction with content area curriculum.

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        Critique

        Deborah Heiligman has a group of writer friends who have provided support and honest critique for her work over the years. Everyone brings something unique to the process.

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        Letting the Manuscript Cool a Bit

        Deborah Heiligman believes writing is all about revision and sometimes it takes the fourth or fifth draft before you get it.

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        Connecting with Your Characters

        Deborah Heiligman got so attached to Charles and Emma while writing her book, that she cried every time she wrote about Charles dying.

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        Writing about Religion

        Deborah Heiligman majored in religious studies and all the reading, inquiry, and discussion made her realize that there was not just one way to look at the world.

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        What Is a Butterfly?

        Deborah Heilgman vividly remembers the first book she was allowed to check out from the library: a book about butterflies. From then on, she was hooked on nonfiction.

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        Where Do You Start?

        Deborah Heiligman wrestled with where to start her book about Charles and Emma Darwin. Then it hit her: begin with Darwin's marry/not marry list.

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        Peering into Primary Sources

        The research for "Charles and Emma" began with primary sources, to give Deborah Heilgman an intimate look at the people she was going to write about. Then she began the deep background study.

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        The Story of a Marriage

        "Charles and Emma" is the story of Charles and Emma Darwin and their remarkable marriage. It is an example of how two people with different ideas about the world can support each other and create a deep, authentic relationship.

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        Treasure Hunt

        Deborah Heilgman loves research. It's like a treasure hunt: each clue leads you to the next discovery, and finally to the beginnings of a book.

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        Never Trust Just One Source

        Deborah Heiligman is a careful and thorough researcher. Her advice for student writers: never trust just one source.

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        Start with the Questions

        Deborah Heiligman begins all her books without knowing anything about the subject. She brings her curiosity and then just starts asking questions, lots of them.

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        Am I a Writer?

        Deborah Heiligman knew in college that she wanted to be a writer, and she got her first big break soon after graduation, writing articles for Scholastic. She discovered that she loved writing for kids.

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        Great Teachers

        Deborah Heiligman fondly remembers the teachers who read aloud in class, a fourth grade teacher who created magical reading nooks, and a high school teacher who nurtured her writing.

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