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Lynda Durrant
Born: December 17, 1954

"Even when I was a young reader, I knew that I wanted to write for young readers. I write to a child's enthusiasm, curiosity, and more than anything else, a child's willingness to suspend his disbelief. A children's book can seem outlandish, even repulsive, in any other medium. Children give the writer the benefit of the doubt. That's what makes children's books so special."

Without even knowing it, Lynda Durrant was already doing research for one of her books when she was just eleven years old; while exploring a cave on a Girl Scout trip, she learned about Mary Campbell, who would later become the female lead of 1998's The Beaded Moccasins.

Durrant was born and, except for a few early years in Virginia, raised in Cleveland, Ohio. Her father, Oliver, was an engineer, and her mother, Shirley Peterson, was a teacher. Durrant received her bachelor's degree from the University of Washington, Seattle, in 1979; three years later, she received her master's degree from there as well. In 1989, Durrant married business executive Wesley Lemmon. They have one child and currently live in Bath, Ohio, where Durrant teaches reading and continues to write.

Since 1996, Durrant has written five young adult/historical novels, including 2003's The Sun, the Rain and the Apple Seed: A Novel of Johnny Appleseed's Life. Much of Durrant's writing has been professionally recognized; in 1998, The Beaded Moccasin was named to the New York Public Library's One Hundred Titles for Reading and Sharing and the Cuyahoga County Public Library's Books to Read and Own. That same year it also won an Ohioana Award and was listed as an American Library Association Notable Children's Book. Durrant's fourth title, Betsy Zane: The Rose of Fort Henry won an Ohioana Award in 2001.

"My advice to young authors is to read, read, read! Why do you like your favorites? Why do you like, for example, historic fiction over science fiction? Or nonfiction over poetry? Try your hand at writing your own version of your favorite genre…. Get into the habit of writing every day. Writing is like anything else -- piano, soccer, and karate -- the more you do it, the better you become."

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