I'm A. Denefield Jones, author of the book projects Hot Like Fire and I'm Not Seventeen Anymore. I write articles for different mediums, have worked in television as an associate producer and production assistant, and, most importantly, teach amazing fourth graders in Houston, TX. I'm also a proud graduate of The University of Texas at Austin. #HookEmHorns
A Story of Motivation
The first time one of my students told me I should write a book, I was a brand spanking new teacher, serving about 120 sixth graders in an intermediate school. It was a spring-like October, right around Halloween time, and I'd written a spooky cliff-hanger about a latch-key kid who's home alone during a power outage.
Meant to serve as an inference lesson, the "scary" story turned out to be the catalyst for my writing career. I will never forget when one of my students raised her hand and said, "You should be a writer Ms. D. I actually wanted to read more."
Another significant moment that pushed me to following my writing dreams was when I taught a group of precocious fourth graders. After leading a novel study, I led them out to recess and we all walked on the school's track. A group of nine and ten year old girls surrounded me. They were still talking about the book we'd been studying when one of the girls said, "Mrs. Jones, you should write a book. I don't really relate to anything in the library."
She went on to give me advice, "When you write your book, there should be a girl on the front, and she should have curly hair like mine. Oh, and I really like mysteries." I knew what she meant. She didn't see many books of young people that looked like her or reflected the experiences she was familiar with. That was my cue. I would take my talent -- the ability to teach -- and merge it with my writing gift.