Jan 24 2010
Let me tell you a little history. I hated studying history in school. I couldn’t remember all those dates and wars were exasperatingly stupid to me. Now I write about history for children and I love doing it. How did that happen? It started when I took a brief intro course on the use of a computer. Overnight I started writing a series of stories that covered history from ancient times to the mid twentieth century through the eyes of my character Alexander Catt. What fun! Do you believe in serendipity? My good friend and son-in-law suggested a new series on the history of medicine. From the previous research I knew it would have to begin with ancient Egypt. SHAZAM! I was invited to a museum exhibit on ancient Egypt and there in the gift shop was a book on Medicine in Ancient Egypt! The story wrote itself. Did you know that the symbol for drugstores came from ancient Egypt? I was reading a biography of Hippocrates when (SHAZAM!) my daughter gave me a worn ragged old book on the ancient Olympics and the story “Lexi and Hippocrates Find Trouble at the Olympics” wrote itself. Did you know that Niki was the goddess of victory? Did you know that those ancient runners ran naked? Now that’s racy! Did you know that Hippocrates taught medicine under a tree? So, what’s next in my little history? I let serendipity guide me. Doctors are now required to view a program on washing hands before they renew their licenses to practice medicine. Incredible! Why? The answer begins with Lister. I can’t wait to write this one! Do you know if there is a book about the man? So far all I know is that he took his new bride on a honeymoon to Europe to visit all the hospitals. Now there’s a story!