March 12, 2014

Author listens to students for inspiration

By Jerry W. Kram

Ruth Ann Ridgeway knew she wanted to be a writer ever since she was in the third grade. But it wasn’t until she had students of her own that she was inspired to actually make her stories into actual books. She currently teaches science in the New Town Middle School but handles whatever classes the district needs her to teach.

"I knew when I was in the third grade after dotting all my I’s and crossing all my T’s that I was going to be a writer," Ridgeway said. "Then at 56 I actually became a writer."

Ridgeway said she always wrote a lot of material for her students. They were the ones who urged her to write a book. She recently published her third book. Her first book is called Mahpiya’s Gift. Her second book was based on her redheaded granddaughter who loved to play with dragons. That book is called "Emily de Dragonheart" after her. Then her students asked for a ghost story so she wrote "Billy and the Spirit Dancer."

"My students were most of my inspiration," Ridgeway said. "They kept encouraging me and kept me thinking ‘This is why I went to college and this is what I want to do.’ That’s what I encourage my students to do, follow their dreams."

Ridgeway’s first and third books are aimed at fourth and fifth grade students’ reading levels while Emily de Dragonheart aims for 12 to 16 year olds.


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