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Savvy's Corner

by: Savvy Pletcher Age 11

Hi. My name is Savvy (SP), and I will be doing interviews with interesting people for The Link. I am a 11-year-old homeschooler from Southern California.The following is an interview with Mr. Dave Strohm (DS) of Boomerang! Audio Magazine.

SP: How many people does it take to make a BOOMERANG! Tape?

DS: When we first started Boomerang! There was a cast of thousands helping out with everything. (Well, 20 people anyway.) Right now, itís me.

SP: What goes into making a Boomerang tape?

DS: The way things work is generally this: I go to the library and get a bunch of books about possible subjects. By skimming them, I decide on my topics, then go out and get at least a couple of books on all the main segments. After research, itís time to write. Though the first draft is pretty complete, each script goes through many rewrites. Each rewrite is cleaner and cleaner. Then I bring the kids in to record. Finally, I add music Ė much of which I write and record Ė and sound effects and "mix" the final master CD. That goes off to be duplicated.

SP: Were you always a writer?

DS: I wrote my first "book" when I was 7, about all the Presidents. My next one, when I was 8, was about different sports. They were heavy on humor Ė well, at least I thought it was funny Ė but plenty of research as well. I typed the books in an office next to my dadís. As my dad was a writer, I guess I always had that in my sights. Like him, I graduated in journalism from the University of Illinois.

SP: When did Boomerang get started?

DS: Boomerang! got its start in 1990. I was watching the Berlin Wall come down on T.V. with Jessica, my daughter, who was then 8 years old. She seemed sincerely interested in this incredible story of a wall 28 miles long, separating families and citizens. I figured there might be a place for an audio publication that explained complicated stuff through the prism of storytelling.

SP: Where do you get your ideas.

DS: Many ideas for BOOMERANG! Come from material I happen across in research for other stories. Some stuff is suggested by subscribers. Other times, I literally trip across books in the library about unusual subjects. Thatís what happened with complex story about the transition throughout the world from Roman numerals to Hindu/Arabic numbering system and the concept of zero.

SP: Besides California what other states and countries get Boomerang?

DS: Boomerang! goes out to all 50 states and 15 other countries.

[For more information on Boomerang!, please see their ad on p. 42 and be sure to see Dave Strohmís workshops and the Boomerang! booth at The Link Homeschool Conference, June 10-13, 2004 in Pasadena!]