Students at Douglas Elementary School were in for a real treat this week!   Writer and illustrator Jonathan D. Miller, creator of the “Sammy the Wonder Dachshund” book series, traveled up from Charleston, S.C., to share his writing secrets. Miller, 35, visits more than 100 schools each year, introducing youngsters to his hero, Sammy, a necktie-wearing wiener dog who works as a fact-checker for the Internet.  Miller’s books are illustrated using layers of construction paper and tiny pieces of card stock, a process that can take up to 30 hours per page.  Miller starts with a sketch, puts it under carbon paper, traces it, then begins to cut and paste with help from an X-Acto knife.

Students had a chance to purchase one of Miller’s books and have it personalized.  After Miller read the book “Sammy in Space,” Addison Temples asked “How long did it take you to write this book?”  Miller explained that it took him over 150 days from start to finish.

Although he loved art and did really well with it from elementary school to high school, Miller chose to major in business at the College of Charleston and even thought about pursuing a law degree. However, he explained that his mind was made up when he had to come up with a present for friends who were taking him in for Thanksgiving. “I took a bunch of pieces of cut paper and made a card with a turkey on it,” Miller said and the rest is history.

Miller left the students with this word of advice: “Dreams sometime seem as far as the stars, but with a lot of hard work, anything is possible.