Children’s author to sign copies of book on Saturday

By Tim MacVean

Staff Writer

ELKINS – A former Elkins resident has written his first book, which is designed to educate children by entertaining them with time travel and dinosaurs.

The children’s book, written by Joshua Rader, is titled “You Can’t Teach A Dinosaur.”

The 24-page hardback book is a “story about a little boy who wants to have something amazing for show and tell, so he builds a time machine to bring back a real dinosaur,” Rader said in an e-mail to The Inter-Mountain.

“This is a children’s book but in and since college, I have mostly written short fiction and poetry,” he said.

Rader said the book is most appropriate for early elementary age children in the kindergarten to third grade range.

The book has been a work in progress, Rader added.

“I had this idea in my head for a few years. It was something I thought my nieces and nephews would like,” he said. “Last summer, while waiting to hear back from publishers on a short story, I finally took the time to put pen to paper.”

Rader will be at the Elkins Public Library for a book signing at 1 p.m. Saturday.

Partial proceeds from each book sold will be donated to the library.

The book will also be released to major retailers, such as Barnes and Noble and, on

March 4.

Rader was born and raised in Elkins. He graduated from Elkins High School in 2006 and moved to Huntington to pursue a degree in history and a minor in English, with a focus on creative writing, from Marshall University. He graduated in 2010.

Rader currently works for the federal government in the Washington, D.C. area but loves to read and write in his spare time.

“I was always interested in stories,” he said. “It was always just kind of a hobby until my senior year at EHS.”

This is the first book that Rader has published but he has long written for fun.

“I am happy just sharing my stories, even if it’s only with my family,” Rader said.

“Writing a story, even if only I am the final audience, is a new way of exploring the world.”

Rader said his ideas come from observations, adding you never know when a good idea is going to hit.

“Observations – it may be something I read or see or hear but you never really know when something is going to set off a promising thought in your head. One of the best things I learned in creative writing classes at Marshall was to always have a notepad,” Rader said.

“A good thought could hit at any time. I even sleep with a pencil and notepad on my nightstand. Sometimes the best ideas hit in the middle of the night.”

Rader said the hardest thing about writing is editing, as it requires you to be very critical of yourself. However, he said that the easiest thing is getting a good idea.

“Inspiration is easy, what you do with it is the challenge,” he added.

Rader also loves to read. “I am never not reading. Some of my favorite books that immediately come to mind are ‘Bag of Bones’ by Stephen King, ‘Catcher in the Rye’ by J.D. Salinger and ‘The Killing Joke’ by Alan Moore.”

The books he is currently reading are “Horns” by Joe Hill, “Firestarter” by Stephen King and “Batman: Odyssey” by Neal Adams.

When asked where he saw himself in five years, Rader replied that he would be happy to still just have writing as a hobby.

Rader also urged aspiring writers to never give up.

“Don’t get discouraged. The hardest critic is always yourself,” Rader said. “Also, never get attached to something you have written and, of course, always have a notepad.”