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My homework is due tomorrow, can you answer these questions?

You’d be surprised at how many kids ask me this question. The simple answer is, no. Your teacher wants you to research, learn or understand a scientific concept and having me do this work isn't going to help you.

Who is Leslie Johnstone?

Leslie Johnstone is my best friend and my writing partner. When I say, “we”, I mean “Leslie and me. Leslie”. LJ as she is known by her family, is the department head of science at a large high school. We are a team and work on the books together.

Why didn’t my science experiment work?

There can be many reasons why an activity didn't work. Make sure you have used the correct materials, followed all the instructions and have not substituted any items. If you are doing an activity that involves batteries, check to see if the batteries are fresh. Try the activity again, just in case you missed a step or didn't follow the instructions. Because our books are published in different countries, formulas or strengths of certain items may not be the same. An example of this was when the manufacturer of the laxative changed their formula so that the color changing part of the experiment no longer worked.

Have you tried all the activities in your books?

Yes, we always try each and every activity so that we know you will be able to get the same results. We try to find the easiest way of explaining how to do the activity based on our experiments.

Where do you find all the information for your experiments?

We research, read, and experiment. Sometimes we attend conferences where we share information with other science teachers.

Do you have kids and are they scientists?

I have two kids and Leslie has three kids. Thus far none have pursued science as careers. My eldest child was a department head for 3D CAD design and laser cutting of the miniature sets for a movie, then supervised the construction of these sets. When she is not doing movies she is a specialized CAD drafter working with architects and Realtors. My son is a real estate agent. Leslie’s eldest child is in university studying history. Her other two kids are in high school.

Will you come to my school?

I would love to come to your school! The email address and phone number for my booking agent is on the bottom of this page and your teacher can contact him to arrange a presentation.

How can I send you a letter?

Why waste a stamp and paper. Do something nice for the environment and email me. Go to Contact Me on the bottom of the page and send me a note.

Why do you write science books? Do you ever write other kinds of books?

We love writing science books and the people who publish books contact us for projects. I have done other kinds of activity books including books on balloon creations, marbles and yo-yos. I have written an adult book that has not been published, and am working on a young adult book. Leslie and I have written a graphic novel.

Did you like science when you were a kid?

Yes, I loved science, but I really loved business and marketing. I used to write newspaper ads for my father’s company when I was 10 years old.

How did you become a writer?

I owned a toy store in Vancouver called, Einstein’s the Science Centre, and I used to run science classes and science birthday parties. A wonderful representative from John Wiley and Sons came to visit me one day and asked if I could write. I told her I could and my first book, Projects for a Healthy Planet was a success. Other publishers then asked me to write and design for them.

I’ve written a book, how do I get it published?

There are a number of web sites that can offer you very good advice on how to get published. CANSCAIP and CWILL can give you a hand getting started.

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