HONOLULU (KHNL) -- Students at Moanalua Middle learned the power of persuasion, after an award-winning author read their heartfelt letters and agreed to visit their school.
Graham Salisbury has a group of seventh graders in stitches, as he shares a story from his childhood.
"Had all that mud all around," he told the laughing students. "He said, 'No, look, you're sinking!'"
A mischievous boy, the author says he was destined to make up stories.
After reading "The House of the Red Fish" in class, the kids wrote to Salisbury in Oregon, asking him to visit them during his next trip to Hawaii.
"I kind of told him that it would be really cool to meet an author and learn how he became an author and like what he had to do," Mykell Fountain, seventh grader, said.
"This package came to me," Salisbury told KHNL News 8. "There must have been over 100 letters."
The letters worked.
"Almost all of them said that Moanalua Middle School is a great school and you gotta come here because we're well-behaved, great students who are going to ask great questions," Salisbury said. "How could I turn that down?"
After answering questions about his books and talking about his writing process, the former Hawaii resident accepts gifts from the grateful students.
Jonathan Rosen wants to be just like him.
"I like writing because then you can write whatever you want," the seventh grader said. "And then stories is, it like opens another world."
"I really want them to understand that I'm just a regular local yocal who actually went out there and did something, and that they can too," Salisbury said.
Salisbury is also scheduled to take part in a literature festival on Lanai, Molokai and Oahu this week.