I commiserate with about twenty children’s writers, all members of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, on a regular basis. Most are novelists for mid-grade and young adults. Some are brave picture book writers. I must say we are a fine lot, though quirky sometimes. But, why not? We are writing for the toughest critics on earth, children who are immersed in an age of instant gratification and electronic wizardry. Our words had better be good.
We write from the depths of our own cluttered life experiences. Our protagonist is smitten with our own childhood woes; uncaring parents, moving from town to town, relatives snatched by death. Whatever crumbled place our emotions rose from when growing up is revisited by the brave, noble, and eventually triumphant child who forms at the end of our pen. Through him or her we face the dreaded enemy and win, after all.
Somehow the wiser-now-that-I’m-older person must totally connect with the over-stimulated, yet inexperienced young person. What an amazing fact that connection occurs. I never cease to be amazed. How about you?