An interview with 16-year-old author Solomon Schmidt

Warrior Kid Podcast


Today we have a guest on the podcast by the name of Solomon Schmidt. Now Solomon then Schmidt is still a kid but he's an author he's sixteen years old he's already written five books and all the books are history books he also plays piano and is a member of the Civil Air Patrol. Pretty good track. He's got going right now. Solomon Welcome to the show. Thank you so much for having me on. It's very good to meet you you too so all of the books that you've written our history books. What made you start to get interested in history? Well my mom has been reading to me from the time. I was really young For as long as I can remember she was putting books in my hands. And she's the one who taught me how to read and write and I guess there never really was a time when I wasn't has an interest in history I can remember specific children's book. It was an overview the statue liberty and how it was built was brought to America. There was a little picture book for eight eight nine year olds. But that's that's the first American history book I can clearly remember. I remember from that. I was really interesting. That titanic for the longest time so. We're not a lot of books on that. I watched the nineteen fifties sixties version of it. And like you said I just can't remember a time when I wasn't interested in history and it it spiraled into getting interested in specific topics like World War Two which I was on for the longest time Winston Churchill all the battles and generals and civil war American Revolution Revolution usually military history so what fascinates me the most. But I can't remember a time when I haven't been learning about it and intrigued to learn more on read more and study more. Know if I've heard correctly is there some connection to your family in the military and specifically Pearl Harbor. Yeah my great grandma who turned ninety eight just a couple of weeks ago he was actually at Pearl. Harbor was attacked. Is One of only a few survivors left he was. He was removed from the main area of attack. He was getting his ammunition. Inspected in officer ran into the tent. And he said grab your guns. We're at war. And he said by the time everything was got everything was pulled out and gun ready for the attack to to fight against the Japanese planes. The first wave was gone and around. He he told me that he didn't have a big part in actually fighting against the Japanese. But it's it's always something that has stayed with him and he still villas memories of being there and a fighting the Japanese in the Pacific he drove trucks around. That was his job he i. I'm not sure if he was ever actually in like battles where he shot people but he he served in the war for four years and I really think think that's something that I can look back on and that's a tidy history right there in my own family. You know one of the few people that's actually survivor. Pearl Harbor is my great Grandpa by bombs. GRANDPA and he's he's just a great guy he's He's still plays his harmonica nursing homes. You know he's almost a century old but I I just I love people who have continued to keep the legacy alive by teaching people about history by carrying about our country and knowing knowing that patriotism and a love of country especially when you're serving in the military is is so important and he did have that and he loves America and Pearl Pearl Harbor. I think is something that has always stayed with him. He's usually pretty quiet when I talk about his military service or when I want to ask him about that but Pearl Harbor is something. He opened opened up to me more. I think because it's something that I said He. He wasn't like in the main part of the attack but he was definitely impacted by it. Yet will the military is a giant into organization and the Mount of people that are actually on the frontlines. Fighting is usually very very small much smaller than what people think. But in order to get those troops on the front lines to actually be able to fight there is a massive amount of logistics. What does the logistics means? It means that people need food. The people need fuel. The people need ammunition for their weapons. They need medical supplies. There's all these things that the soldiers that are on the front lines need and so your great-grandfather you said. Greg Great-grandfather for data admit is his name. And he played the role that he played for in serving. His country was to deliver those logistics in the front lines and even though he might not feel or you might think oh he. He wasn't fighting on the front lines. Trust me as a front as a guy that was on the front lines. If you don't have those back back logistics behind you to support you. You're not going to be able to make anything anything happened. So that's why whenever somebody tells me that they served no matter what capacity they served in the military. I always thank them for their service because they were doing what their country needed him into. New -solutely yeah. So you transitioned at some point from reading about history into writing about history. How old were you you when you wrote your first book I started writing it when I was twelve and I had been struggling for a little while to kind of wonder you know? What should I do what? What should my thing be? I started by making a board game called politics power and it was a little makeshift game. Made the book. The board game politic power. I started that I think when I was eleven. That's interesting and I started putting it together just so you know when I was eleven my friends and I were throwing mud at each. Yeah I think you're you're already progressed a little bit further than me. Okay so you make the board game politics power. Yes so I mean it just had it was Kinda like monopoly. It had a board exactly like a go position. And you know you sent to jail you commit a an illegal act in in politics but it had all these pieces and I. I've got everything but of course then it comes down to actually okay. But how do you finish and actually make it a board game so struggling to not to do that and I came down to the basement one day to my dad's workbench and we started talking and he said you know Sama. What do you really love? And I said well history debt and he said well. Why don't she writes history book for Kids Your Age and other time? I think it was eleven when that happened. And I was intrigued by the idea. And we know this man who's written over over a hundred bucks and he gave me a piece of advice. He said well actually told my dad. He said never do a project if somebody else has already done and done it very well focus on. You're just wasting your time so my dad told me okay. I'm glad for you. You should do this but be sure there isn't anything already out there like it so I did my research. I looked around around and couldn't find anything in the format or for the audience targeting about US history. And I knew that's what I wanted to do. And I finished D- I worked on it for several months. Finishing the sections and I can remember one time we run vacation in the Adirondack Mountains in New York. I remember. That's where I wrote the Cuban missile crisis. This is on the way. Remember that but certain things stay in my memory from all different points of writing the books Yeah that's how. US History Bites game to be now how you kind of breezed over the fact that in a few months you finish the book now as you know I've written a bunch of books as well and it's not easy to write a book and I always tell people people the books don't write themselves you actually have to get. You actually have to do the work. What was there any particular thing that you did to to ensure that you got your project done? Well I can remember with. I don't specifically remember with us. History Bites I remember that my goal was because at the time. I didn't think I was going to be writing any other one so my goal was just okay. I just want to read this book so I didn't have a specific time. I think no of course the research process is a completely different process and takes by itself. I think I left myself six months to actually write the thirty sections and I I can remember clear with my last books though With my most recent books I would. I would figure out what day of what month I needed to be done by and I'd figure figure out. How many sections I would need to do in order to achieve that goal and how I would need to break it up and I'd get it done and it really just came to a matter of each day I'd go okay whether I have a headache or not whether I feel like it or not? I have to get this section done today. I have to get this part of research done. I have to read about Gandhi today. And that's what I need to do and kind of like you talk about your books. I went to bed feeling great and I woke up the next morning feeling ready to go onto whatever was next one of the things things that I talk about when it comes to my writing process is I write a thousand words a day when I when I'm writing a book. I read a thousand words every a single day. It takes me about forty five minutes to an hour to get that done and what it does is a couple big benefits to it. We'll number one. You're slowly chipping away at this big giant project. And if you try if you woke up today and you said I'm going to write a hundred thousand words today. That would be very intimidating. And I don't recommend doing that. And if you wake up and you say look I'm GonNa find forty five minutes today. I'm GonNa find an hour and I'm going to do what I'm supposed to do. Which is hammer out these thousand words? What's good about it? That's that's good. You Get don little bits at a time. Which is it's easier you ever heard that expression about eating an elephant? How do you eat an elephant? One limited time. What one bite at a time right one bite at a time? That's all you can do. You can't eat that you can't stop that whole elephant in your mouth. Not that I advise Edna elephants but if you were to have to eat an element elephant you'd want to do a little bit at a time so the thing is that you're taking little bites of your project the other thing that's good about writing every day in my opinion is if I skip three days Of writing when I open back when I opened a computer backup to start writing again. I forgot what the last thing I wrote was. Now I have to go back and spend twenty minutes or thirty minutes or maybe even forty five minutes to an hour reading what I wrote to get myself back up to where I can start writing again. I have to redeploy my brain and that redeployment time takes time. So that's why I always recommend you. You take that and you you do every single day and what's good the reason I'm spending a little bit of time talking about this is that this applies to really anything really anything that you you WanNa get good at. Whether it's you WanNa get good. I play guitar. I know you play piano. You don't want to try and save up for a month worth of practice at piano and say oh well going to do is just one weekend. I'm going to practice eighty nine hours. You know. I don't even know if that's mathematically possible but you don't WanNa do that you will. It's much much better and and it's better for your skill to practice that instrument every single day. If it's a sport you want to get good at. If you want to get good at dribbling a basketball don't just say okay. Well one week before basketball. Ask Ball season. I'm just going to dribble a basketball a lot for for eighteen hours a day. That's not

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