Lori Taylor tells students at Washington Street Elementary how to take field notes to remember good details for telling stories.
One of the highlights of reading month is hearing from a real author. This week, students were treated to a visit from Michigan author and outdoor enthusiast, Lori Taylor.

Lori Taylor writes realistic fiction – fun, fictional stories that stem from real-life events and adventures. She shared with students from Washington and Dix Street elementaries about how she finds her inspiration from her adventures outside. She always carries a pencil, paper and sketchbook with her, “This is how I write my books and illustrate them,” she says.

She showed the kids some of her sketches that eventually turned into characters and plots in her books. She even had the kids bring paper and pencil and learn how to take field notes, “Write down everything you see,” she told them. She said to write it down as it happens because they won’t remember those fine details later.

Her books come from everything around her, even kids on school visits like these, “It’s cool when you find people to help bring the story to life,” she said. She also told them a lot about nature, since her hikes along trails bring a lot of the details that she puts in her stories, that also include real facts, science and history. The things you find on the trail tell you about the animals that are there, she told them, “Animal signs, these are things that are very important. They tell you what’s been going on there.”

She shared several funny stories of her discoveries and mysteries and how they ended up in her books.

Lori Taylor grew up in the city until 2nd grade, then her family moved out into the country, which is when she started exploring. She used to make up scary stories to scare her sisters while they were babysitting and always knew she loved to tell stories. She also loved to draw from a very early age. She is now retired and writes and illustrates full time.

She has written chapter books, a picture book and comics. Lori Taylor’s website