Author Don Calame visits SAC
Posted: May 11, 2012
“That’s sick!” was one student’s response to author Don Calame’s revelation that, among other writing successes, he’d written the screenplay for the movie Employee of the Month.
On Tuesday, Don spent the day at SAC’s Towers Library, regaling Upper School students (along with faculty and staff) with stories about his life as a screenwriter and as an author. Reading from his latest novel, Beat the Band, Don evoked reactions of amusement and disgust as he described protagonist Cooper’s attempts to distance himself from his school project partner, Helen, and later described Cooper’s father’s attempts to have “the talk” with his son about the facts of life.
Grade 12 student, Brennan Leslie, noted: “I really enjoyed Mr. Calame reading from the book, Beat the Band. It gave me a sneak peek at what the book is about. I really enjoy reading books with the main characters as teens, allowing me to relate to them.”
Don is a gifted storyteller who revealed his passion for writing. For anyone aspiring to be a writer, Don had one recommendation: “Read. Read everything – newspapers, classics, magazines, books of all genres.”
As a former elementary school teacher, Don noticed that fewer boys were reading. He decided that he’d write a novel specifically for teenage boys. His two novels Swim the Fly and Beat the Band have been hugely successful in that regard.
Don had plenty of advice for students, both for writing and for life: 1) Finish what you start. You will learn something by pushing through to the end and get an important sense of accomplishment. 2) Set little goals … like writing 2 - 3 pages per day, for example. By the time a few months go by you’ll have a stack of pages before you. Even 1 page a day, in a year you’ll have a book.
Story by Sue Hayter, Upper School Librarian