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Interview with Matthew Moyer

Matthew Moyer

The Adventures of David and Donald

He is a Nationally Distinguished Principal, and Pennsylvania Principal of the Year. He is an elementary school principal with over 17 years of administration experience and over 23 years of education experience. In addition to his job as principal, he is an Author, National Speaker, Adjunct Professor and staff developer with Thom Stecher and AssociatesMatt started his career as a 5th-grade teacher in the Spring-Ford Area School District. He earned a Master's degree and Principal's certificate. He then spent 3 years as an assistant principal at Schuylkill Valley Elementary School in Leesport, Pennsylvania. 

From there, he moved to his current position as principal of Rupert Elementary School in the Pottstown School District. He is in his 16th year as principal of Rupert, and absolutely loves it. He recently completed his course work for his letter of eligibility to be a superintendent. For the last ten years, he has been the district's safety coordinator and certified CPI Nonviolent Crisis Intervention trainer. He has served numerous roles and on various committees during his time in the Pottstown School District.


Q.1 Tell us something about yourself, not many people know?

A. I like to challenge myself each year to do at least one new exciting thing I’ve never done before. One year it was skydiving. Another year waterfall repelling. It is fun and exciting to try new things.


Q.2 When should we expect your next book? What will it be about?

A. I’m actually working on two books right now. The first will be out very soon. It is called Sunday Night Words of Wisdom. It’s made to help inspire people. And also to help them reflect on their regular everyday practices. I’m collaborating with a friend of mine on this project. We are very excited about our first endeavor like this together.

I am also working on my second children’s book in the David and Donald series. This book will focus on children can use their assertive voice to help with challenges they meet. I’m hopeful that the book will come out sometime this summer.

Q.3 What made you write The Adventures of David and Donald: The Fractured Flower Pot?

A. I want to try to do something that I have never done before. I also wanted to develop a book that could be used by parents and teachers as a teaching and learning tool. As an elementary school principal, this is important to me.


Q.4 What actually goes on when the author and illustrator meet?

A. The beginning of this process is really getting my illustrator to understand my vision for the characters and what they should look like. After this is developed, it is a collaboration of how the book will be laid out and what types of illustrations should be on each page.


Q.5 What do you love most about writing stories for children?

A. For me, I think it’s just a new challenge and a new way to educate. As a lifelong teacher in educator, these stories that I am writing are really learning tools.


Q.6 Why do you think it is important for children to develop a love of reading?

A. Reading opens the doors to learning anything that you want to. If you are a reader, you can learn anything you want to. A trip to the library will allow you to learn how to fix your car or learn about any place in the world you might want to travel to. Reading allows you many opportunities.  

Q.7 What’s your writing schedule while you’re working?

A. I work many hours as a principal. Nights and weekends are the best time for me. However, I like to jot notes on ideas as they come to me at any time of the day. These notes then help me flush out bigger ideas as I write.


Q.8 Many writers describe themselves as “character” or “plot” writers. Which are you? What do you find to be the hardest part of writing?

A. I think I’m more of a plot writer. I have the plot thought out for weeks or months before I ever start writing a book. I believe that the hardest part is getting each detail to be just right. I can go back and change a word here or there. I can move sentences around. The process could really go on forever. I just know at some point I have to stop and move forward.

Q.9 Which children’s book most inspired you as a child?

A. I’m not sure if I could say that any particular book inspired me. However, I enjoyed the encyclopedia brown box as a child. I also love Dr. Seuss books. The creativity and the great message that each book has is always wonderful.


Q.10 How do you select the name of your characters?

A. I use real people in my life to inspire my characters. So, most characters in my book are developed from some real people or a combination of real people in my life.

Q.11 Do you have any advice for aspiring children’s book authors?

A. Go for it! I think that fear of failure can often be a problem for anyone in any new endeavor. I would say to any aspiring Arthur that you should get out there and try it. Explore. Read about what authors do. Research for yourself. And then it is trial and error until you get your book the way you want it to be.

Q.12 Do you believe in writer’s block? If yes, how do you deal with it?

A. Absolutely. I believe it’s challenging from time to time for me to write. There have been weeks or months that go by without me writing much of anything because I’m just not moved to it. Writing should bring joy. When it doesn’t, you should take a break and explore other things until you’re ready for that project. When the time is right, you will have all the energy you need to get past any blocks that occur.

Q.13 Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with good or bad ones?

A. I read many of them but not all of them. I think that bad reviews help you to be a better writer in the future. And good reviews can also motivate you to continue writing. Both serve a purpose, and I think we need them as writers.

Q.14 Do you have any unique and quirky writing habits?

A. Not really. I believe everyone does things differently. And I’m still developing my writing habits, to be honest. I have tried a couple of different methods, and I guess I really haven’t settled into any particular way so far.

Q.15 Outside of your family members, name anyone entity that supported your commitment to become a published author?

A. I have had many mentors who have helped me be better in a variety of things. Many of my teachers were motivational to me. I have also had several supervisors that taught me a great deal and helped form a basis for my fundamental beliefs that helps me each day.


Q.16 How will you describe your life before and after getting published?

A. I don’t think my life has changed too much. I have spent a great deal more time in front of the computer over the last year with writing and working on public relations for my book.


Q.17 What three things readers should expect from your books?

A. I hope that each of my books will have a good lesson, entertainment, and it will bring joy in some way to the reader.

Q.18 Which famous person, living or dead, would you like to meet and why?

A. I have always found Benjamin Franklin to be a fascinating person. He did so many things and was a lifelong learner. I believe spending some time speaking with him would be an incredible experience.


Q.19 What is your favorite book (apart from children ones) and why?

A. There is a book that I read by Joel Manby be called Love Works: Seven Timeless Principles for Effective LeadersIt helped form many of my leadership practices as an elementary school principal. I would highly recommend this book to anyone.


Q.20 Share the experience of your journey so far?

A. I have been blessed on my journey. I had very hard-working and loving parents to laid a good foundation for me. I have a loving and caring wife and children. I have family and friends that love and support me. I think we all need to look for the joy in our journey. And I try to do that every day. Some days are more successful at it than others. But find the joy in the journey.


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