Andover Townsman, Andover, MA

Arts/Entertainment

July 30, 2008

From the beach to the bookstore: Beach-inspired writer's first book is children's book about divorce

Carol Ekster had no intention of writing a book. She already had a wonderful full-time job teaching in the Derry, N.H., school system.

But at the beach one day, "something just came over me," she said.

She had the urge to write and ran to her car where all she could find were some pens and a stack of sticky notes.

"I wrote my first story on Post It notes," she said.

Six years later, Ekster is publishing her first book, A children's book called "Where am I Sleeping Tonight? A Story about Divorce."

"Where am I Sleeping Tonight?" is told from the perspective of Mark, a fourth-grader whose parents are newly divorced. In the story, Mark talks about how the difficulties and confusion of divorce affect him and his younger brother, Evan. For example, at their dad's house, the boys can play video games as much as they want, while the rules at their mom's are a more strict one hour of video games.

The most difficult thing for Mark is when he is at one house and he forgets something at the other. When he is in school he often realizes that in moving from one house to another, he has forgotten his homework — again. Mark's teacher is constantly getting frustrated with him and Mark knows he needs to be better organized in this new situation.

Ekster got the idea for her story after seeing a request for a divorce story by Boulden Publishers on the Web site for the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, she said. After sending her story, she received an answer six weeks later.

In the past six years, she has written 20 books, but this is the first to be published, she said. She wanted to write a story that shows divorce affects not just adults, but children as well.

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