When Tameka visits her elderly aunt, birthday gift in hand, quirky Aunt Erma puts her to work. As she hangs an old photo Tameka discovers that the women in the picture are 1940’s-era human computers at Langley Jet Propulsion Lab and that her auntie was one of them! She has lots of questions, but Aunt Erma’s price for answers is one math problem each. Tameka keeps up, but the problems get more complex with each question. Remembering the gift, Tameka convinces her auntie to open it. The contents make them both laugh and realize that they’ve learned something about each other.
– When and where do you prefer to write?
I am truly a night owl! My favorite time to write is in the evening, after dinner, when the house is nice and quiet. I’ve set up a little writing corner in my bedroom that I use as my writing sanctuary.
– Do you have a certain ritual?
Not really. My ritual is more like cracking the whip and telling myself its time to get writing!
– Is there a drink of some food that keeps you company while you write?
Coffee or tea, something hot and caffeinated.
– What is your favourite book?
I absolutely love “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone”. My copy is so dog-eared it’s embarrassing.
– Do you consider writing a different genre in the future?
Absolutely! I’d love to try a Christian Romance.
– Do you sometimes base your characters on people you know?
Oh yes! ERMA DOES THE MATH is based on my great aunt Erma Tynes Walker who was a human computer. Several of the characters is my middle grade books are based on family and friends. The main character, Em, is based on my daughter Emily.
– Do you take a notebook everywhere in order to write down ideas that pop up?
I love using Samsung Notes, an app that allows me to jot things down on my phone.
– Which genre do you not like at all?
I’m not a big fan of spy thrillers. Sorry Bond fans!
– If you had the chance to co-write a book. Whom would it be with?
J.K. Rowling, hands down. Although I’m pretty sure I’d freeze up at first and not be able to write a word.
– If you should travel to a foreign country to do research, which one would you chose and why?
Actually I’d really like to visit Hampton, Virginia and Langley Air Force Base just to see where my great aunt Erma and all of the human computers made history!
Thanks so very much for this awesome opportunity!
Thank you, Ann Strawn and Rachel’s Random Resources
About the author
Ann Strawn lives in Renton Washington with her husband of 34 years, daughter and family dog. She makes her living as a middle school science teacher and truly enjoys the company of kids and teens. She considers her job total immersion training for writing her middle grade novels, THE DOWNLOAD and THE UPDATE.
Ann’s most current project is a picture book about her great aunt Erma Tynes Walker who was a human computer at Langley Airforce Base. Besides writing Ann also enjoys crochet and just hanging out with her family.