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Eugene M. Gagliano (1946-) Biography - Personal, Career, Member, Honors Awards, Writings, Work in Progress, Sidelights

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Surname is pronounced Gall-iano; born 1946, in Niagara Falls, NY; Education: State University of New York at Cobleski, B.S. Religion: Catholic. Hobbies and other interests: Gardening, camping, canoeing, hiking, painting, and singing.

Career

Elementary school teacher in Honeoye, NY, 1969-73; teacher in a K-5 country school, Buffalo, WY, 1973-77; elementary school teacher in Buffalo, WY, 1977-2003; full-time writer and lecturer, 2003—.

Member

Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, Wyoming Writers, Wind Writers.

Honors Awards

Arch Coal Teacher Achievement Award, 2001; Western Horizon Award from Wyoming Writers, 2002, for Secret of the Black Widow.

Writings

Secret of the Black Widow, White Mane Kids (Shippensburg, PA), 2002.

Inside the Clown, Publish America, 2003.

C Is for Cowboy: A Wyoming Alphabet, illustrated by Susan Guy, Sleeping Bear Press (Chelsea, MI), 2003.

Eugene M. Gagliano

Work in Progress

Falling Stars, a novel about Alzheimer's Disease; My Veggie Friends (children's poetry); research on the Loretto Chapel.

Sidelights

Eugene M. Gagliano told SATA: "My seventh grade English teacher, Mrs. Erwin, recognized and encouraged my writing. Thanks to her, I had my first poem published in the school newspaper. I continued to write poetry and have it published in numerous national anthologies throughout high school and college.

"As an elementary teacher, and father of four children, I've read a lot of children's literature and met many authors, like Wilson Rawls, Marguerite Henry, Ken Thomasma, Bruce Coville, Will Hobbs, and Roland Smith who all inspired me to want to write for children. My wife, Carol, encouraged me to take a writing correspondence course through the Institute of Children's Literature, even though we couldn't afford it. This helped further develop my writing skills.

"I received a full scholarship to attend the Highlights Writers Conference, which was a turning point in my life. I was inspired by award-winning author Pam Conrad, to write my first published book, Secret of the Black Widow, after attending her workshop.

"Katherine Patterson, Patricia MacLachlan, Eve Bunting, Will Hobbs, Roland Smith, and Ben Michelsen are some of the authors I respect and admire.

"I was thrilled to write C Is for Cowboy: A Wyoming Alphabet, because it gave me the opportunity to tell about the beauty and wonders of my adopted state. I wanted Wyoming children to learn to appreciate and take pride in their state.

"In Secret of the Black Widow, children come to realize that it's best to face their fears, and that all children have the same feelings despite their differences.

"Inside the Clown addresses the issues of teenage suicide and depression. I wanted teenagers to understand that there is always hope and a way out.

"Hopefully my work will touch the hearts of those who read it. It's important to me that my readers make connections to their own lives. Making readers aware of the beauty and joy in life, as well as the tragedy is another goal. I want to make children see the humor in life and make them laugh.

"My best writing time is in the morning, so after taking my golden retriever, Rosie, for a long walk, I write. In summer, I divide my day between my two passions, writing and gardening. When I was teaching I would write mainly on the weekends or during breaks at school. I use a computer, but sometimes a pencil and paper is all that I need.

"Four words define my success as a writer: practice, persistence, patience, and prayer. I love children and relate well to them, and so I wanted to write books they would enjoy while learning about life."

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