The Anna Maria Island Sun Newspaper

Vol. 9 No. 38 - June 10, 2009


Author stresses importance of reading

Anna Maria Island Sun News Story

SUN PHOTO/TOM VAUGHT Illustrator Alexandra Lillis
and author Matthew Boerner pose with some artwork
for his book before speaking at the library.

Matthew Boerner has done a lot in his 13 years and he wants to inspire others to follow their dreams.

Boerner appeared at the Island Branch Library on Wednesday, May 13, with illustrator Alexandra Lillis as guests of the Friends of the Island Branch Library to help celebrate National Children’s Book Week. Unfortunately, with the school year drawing down and a lot of youth sports games going on, the event drew less than a full house, but those who were there were enthused to meet both of them.

Boerner wrote his first book, "The Adventures of Frostfin and Silverbeak," when he was 10 and has written a sequel, "The Great Dolphin Door: The Library," a couple of years later and has completed a third book, "The Great Dolphin Door: Trench Quest," which will be released soon. He is also working on the music for "The Great Dolphin Door: The Movie."

Boerner said he looks forward to making writing his profession.

"Ever since I was little, I have loved reading," he said. "If you love writing, then you have to love reading."

Boerner has written "Seven Easy Tips to Becoming a Writer,” which tells how to hold a book, treat a book, read a book, illustrate a book, learn from your favorite author, follow your dream and write write write.

A member of the audience questioned Boerner. How long did it take him to write his first book?

"It came out pretty easily," he said. "It took less than a week."

He said he did not outline a plot for the first book, but he did for the second. He also said he wrote his first book on a small notebook, but decided to change to a computer for the second and third books.

Lillis, who works from her home on Anna Maria Island, has been a book illustrator for six years. A graduate of the Ringling School of Design, she said she always loved art and knew what she wanted to do for a living.

Lillis has illustrated in both print and e-books, including "Kizzi's Special Friends" and "A Chef for the Queen. She also teaches at the Anna Maria Art League.

"I read a book before I decide whether to illustrate for it," she said. "It starts with the author’s idea and then I decide what to draw."

Lillis said she comes up with her own ideas, although there might be some interplay between her and the author, with the publisher acting a mediator.

She said that after she decides what the artwork should be about, she makes up a dummy book complete with sketches.

As for her career, is she where she wants to be?

"I think it’s a journey," she answered. "You get to a point and then you move forward to another point."


AMISUN ~ The Island's Award-Winning Newspaper