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Kick Scores

Ross Workman, 16, coauthors the novel Kick with acclaimed author Walter Dean Myers

April 22, 2011

When Ross Workman was in fifth grade, he was a TIME For Kids kid reporter. He enjoyed doing interviews and writing articles. He was also an avid reader, and his favorite author was Walter Dean Myers. Inspired by his TFK experience, Ross emailed Myers to tell him how much he enjoyed his novels and that he, too, wanted to become an author. Then a surprising thing happened. Myers emailed him back and suggested they coauthor a novel.

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Writing the novel took a year of hard work and dedication. Myers helped Workman develop his character, and they worked together on the plot. The result is a great book called Kick. It is the story of a 13-year-old star soccer player named Kevin Johnson who makes some mistakes and gets into trouble. But with the help of his assigned mentor, Sergeant Brown, Kevin learns a lot about himself.

Workman is now a junior at Westfield High School, in Westfield, New Jersey. TFK spoke to the young author about his TFK experience, his first novel and what he plans to tackle next.

TFK:

How did you enjoy your TFK experience?

ROSS WORKMAN:

TFK was great! It taught me how to write, and it was an amazing experience. I met so many interesting people.

TFK:

Who was your favorite person to interview?

WORKMAN:

The creator of the film Ice Age was really interesting.

TFK:

Did working as a TFK reporter help you feel more comfortable emailing a famous author?

WORKMAN:

Definitely. Being a TFK reporter, I got to interact with so many people. I built my communication skills, and that made me more comfortable with contacting an author like Walter Dean Myers.

TFK:

Can you describe the experience of working with Walter Dean Myers?

WORKMAN:

He is someone who has published more than 100 books. He is seasoned and wise, so getting to work with Walter was better than being in a classroom. He taught me so many methods of writing.

TFK:

How much of yourself did you put into the character of Kevin?

WORKMAN:

A little bit. My personality is different, but I am a soccer player, so all of that comes from personal experience.

TFK:

I see you thanked your middle school teacher Mr. Kurz. Why did you thank him?

WORKMAN:

In addition to being my Language Arts teacher, Mr. Kurz was also my wrestling coach. I learned a lot from him. He could not help me with this book though because it was not just mine, it was also Walter’s work.

TFK:

What did you learn in middle school that helped you write this book?

WORKMAN:

One thing that Mr. Kurz did was he had us write alternate endings to books that we read. I liked that assignment because it helped me to write creatively.

TFK:

Now that you have achieved this big goal, what is next for you?

WORKMAN:

I hope that I can continue to write. I have some new ideas, and I’m hoping this summer I will have some time.


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