English 10: Writing Portfolio
Catholic Memorial High School
|Dear Mr. Jarvis:
My name is Joe Carter. I am a sophomore at Catholic Memorial High School in Boston, Massachusetts.
I am fascinated with your books having read many when I was younger. I really enjoy books with
characters that I could both like and hate. And you include such action, adventure and fantasy in
all your books. I believe to be a successful author you need to be very creative, and judging by
all the books I’ve read of yours, it seems that you have a very creative and imaginative mind. I
also found that I learned a lot about history and about London from you and your characters.
Another thing I find very interesting is that you produce all the artwork for your books. I read
that you make a “map” for the storyline of the book and models for all the characters. I guess that
can be pretty difficult when your characters are not human. I remember reading that you said the
real fun begins when you have to name your characters.
I guess I would say that my favorite book was the one you wrote that had human characters, The
Whitby Witches. I can still remember the village of Whitby. I can imagine climbing up the 199
steps to Abbey to the graveyard at the top. I read a quote, “You have to work hard to make the
readers suspend their disbelief...to want to live in, or at least visit the places you’re writing
about.” I can tell you that I wanted to visit Whitby. I read in another interview that you enjoyed
writing The Whitby Witches the most because of the human characters that the fantasy elements seemed
more real and exciting. You were right.
I would like to offer an invitation for you to come and speak to our class about all your books. I
am sure that we all curious about how you decide what to write about and how you go about creating
your characters. Whether it be rodents or humans, I am sure it would be very interesting. Hearing
about your childhood in Liverpool and how you went on to study at Graphic Design at Newcastle
Polytechnic. We would also like to hear about your work in the television and advertising
industries as a model maker and your life now in South London. You once said, “When I am writing
I’m looking at a wide screen picture in my head and just taking notes.” I know you would have
everyone’s attention when you tell us about that.
Please let me know if and when you would be available. We all look forward to seeing you and
hearing about your life. Thank you.
This letter from Robert Browning to his wife
Elizabeth Barrett was written on January 10th, 1845.
The English language is like the ocean and all
the words are like fishes swimming in the sea. The