Where does inspiration come from? For me and for the story of The Moonlight School, it came on an ordinary day, just half-listening to the radio.

As I write in the mornings, I listen to a classical music station. One day, I happened to hear the radio host briefly mention that on this day in history (September 5, 1911), the Moonlight Schools grassroots movement began, led by Cora Wilson Stewart.

I stopped what I was doing to listen, then to research Moonlight Schools. How had I never heard of this fascinating event in American history? This seemed like a story that was waiting to be told.

So…I called my editor. She had the same reaction as I did. It wasn’t long before we had a book contract signed.

I learned a valuable life lesson from that ordinary moment of inspiration: Pay attention.

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