Children’s author Liz Garton Scanlon went through the process of writing a book during her visit this week with Nacogdoches ISD second-graders.

“We’re going to start by brainstorming,” she told students Monday at Emeline Carpenter Elementary. That was part of an exercise where students created a story about a rocketship.

“What do you need for a rocketship?” Scanlon asked.

Boosters, wings, nose cones and oxygen tanks, to begin with, students said.

“Now, we’re going to turn all that brainstorming into a story,” she said.

Over the course of three days, Scanlon visited all NISD elementary schools. Second-graders in the district received a signed copy of Scanlon’s latest – “Full Moon Pups.”

Scanlon grew up in Colorado and now lives in Austin. Her first book, “A Sock is a Pocket for Your Toes” was published in 2004. The author has now written 20 picture books, two chapter books and two novels.

On Monday, at Carpenter Elementary, she read through two of her books and described the process to create and write a story. That includes many iterations that are polished after feedback from her editor.

“I send it to my editor, and she says, ‘I really like where it’s going, but…” Scanlon said to students, comparing the process of perfecting a book to students receiving their assignments back from the teacher for some additional work.

“How many of you need to do additional work on an assignment to make it a little bit better?” Scanlon asked.

After coming up with a story idea – or, “brainstorming” – Scanlon said it can take three to four years to complete the book, have it illustrated (“The illustrator turns the words into pictures”) and printed before it shows up in school libraries or in bookstores.