Published author visits Southeast students

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LAUDERDALE CO., Miss. (WTOK) - Michael Finklea is an author of several children’s books. He spoke to Southeast Middle School students about the importance of never giving up, no matter how many times a story is rejected by a publisher.

“I think hearing how it began and all the rejections and everything will help [the students] better understand when they write stories, they won’t get them right the first time and that everybody can be an author,” Finklea says.

Finklea also spoke about the importance of reading and why everyone should at least try writing.

“I think reading can take you anywhere, it’s an escape,” Finklea says. “And writing, I mean, the stories they tell each other every day I often remind them should be written down, because anything can become a story with a little work, and so I think it just goes hand in hand, the two together.”

The main takeaways that Finklea wanted the students to have is that writing is for all ages and that students who want to authors should go for it.

“Most certainly that at any age, anybody can write a book, and if you do write it, just to keep in mind that it’s a process, but it’s a process that if you set the goal, and you go towards it, and you keep trying, you could accomplish it,” Finklea explains.

As an author, Finklea wanted to speak to students directly because he did not have those opportunities in grade school.

“I would have begun writing earlier, instead I waited until I was 18,” Finklea says. “I went to college and it was my creative writing instructor, for first year freshmen year who inspired me. And before that I think I spent a lot of time in trouble, where I wrote, but it was usually things over and over again. So this really taught me how much fun writing could actually be.”

Finklea autographed books purchased by some of the students after the assembly. After speaking at the middle school, Finklea then went over to Southeast Elementary School to speak. He has 8 books published.