The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

November 5, 2013

Writer returns to his roots; motivates students

By WARREN DILLAWAY - warren@starbeacon.com
Staff Writer

KINGSVILLE TOWNSHIP — A recently published child author came home on Monday afternoon to help young students fulfill their dreams.

Burton Cole, an editor at the Warren Tribune, grew up in Monroe Township and had dreams of becoming a writer from the time he was in fourth grade.

He said he loved writing from the time he was a young child and wrote a six-page “novel” in fourth grade entitled  “Vanish the Killer Whale”.

Cole went on to study journalism at Kent State University and has worked at numerous newspapers, including The Star Beacon, over the last 30 years.

The dream of writing a book has lasted almost half a century; and recently came true when he got “Bash & The Private Pig” published late this past summer.

For a long time, Cole said he wasn’t sure what he would write about but decided he would go back to his experiences growing up on a farm with family and friends.

“Some of the things we did my mom didn’t know we did until she read the book,” Cole said.

He said his early writing experiences made him happy. “I was day dreaming on paper,” he said.

As he began to put the book together Cole said it was a challenge to edit his own work. He said he started with a book of 63,000 words and had to reduce it to 45,000 words.

Cole told the students that rewriting is a big part of the literary process.

Many students identified with Cole and one said she had already written a nine-page “novel”.

“You can do this. You can be an author right now,” he said.

Cole said his book is sold at book stores across the country and he has even seen it on the Internet in South Africa.

“They are event translating this (book) into Norwegian,” he said.

Two new books are already in the works, Cole said.

JoAnn Bernard, a fourth grade teacher at the school, set the wheels in motion to bring Cole to the school.

Cole was more than happy to take her up on the offer of visiting the school.

“This is fun. This is so much fun. I want to share my enthusiasm for writing at the age I started,” he said of the elementary school students.