A Writing Conversation:

Welcome Deborah Heiligman and everyone else to A Writing Conversation Episode 4. Today we are interviewing Deborah Heiligman writer of non-fiction children's books.  Deborah (extra points if you can pronounce her last name) Heiligman's latest book is Vincent and Theo, which explores the relationship of Vincent van Gogh and his brother Theo.  Vincent and Theo is also the winner of the 2017 Nonfiction Boston Globe-Horn Book Award! It seems that the world would not have had Vincent van Gogh without his brother Theo.

Our conversation begins…

Virginia: What is one of the many challenges you face as a writer of non-fiction.

Deborah: Not letting the research take over the story.

Virginia: I find when I'm researching an event I have to rein myself in since “way leads on to way.”

Deborah:  Yes, but what I'm referring to is remembering that when I am writing a book, I am a storyteller first and a historian second.   If I cram a page all full of facts that are accurate but no one reads the list, what is the point?  I have a poster on my bulletin board that says, “You are a storyteller, not a scholar.”

Virginia: Thank you Deborah, I needed to hear those words more than you will ever know! Thanks everyone for joining in and I am hoping you are enjoying the day! You can find out more about Deborah and her books at http://deborahheiligman.com/.  You can find out more about Vincent and Theo at https://www.teachingbooks.net/tb.cgi?tid=53785&s=d