Friday, July 8, 2011

Fess Up Friday: Are We What We Write?

At the conference I attended last month, a presenting author who had written a zombie novel whimsically said her own life had been like a sci-fi novel. This made me think...are we what we write?

While I'd like to write books for all age groups someday, right now I'm concentrating on kidlit. The world revealed from the perspective of a young person has always appealed to me.  My inner child and teenager and its accompanying juvenile impulses, wonder, angst, and hope is still alive and kicking. So it makes sense I'm writing kidlit. Let's see here... Some of my current WIP include a young adult novel and a middle grade novel- both projects deal with magical realism with a dash of dark fantasy. 

I confess...growing up, I'd sometimes find myself in circumstances wishing I knew magic or possessed a superpower so I could right a wrong,  fix something that couldn't be fixed, or feel extraordinary when I was feeling ordinary. When you're a child and there's so little of your world you have control over, the prospect of having a magical power can be mighty appealing. Access to magic comes with the promise of control and the potential to change an undesirable situation. As an adult, I'm able to transfer these emotional imprints from years past into my writing.

And are we what we read? I say, it might often be the other way around. What we read,  if  the writing is compelling, influences us.

AS A KID: After reading THE LION, THE WITCH, AND THE WARDROBE by C.S. Lewis, I poked around in the back of my grandmother's walk-in closet, hoping to find a pathway to Narnia. After reading CHARLOTTE'S WEB by E.B. White, I began taking a closer look at spider webs, hoping to spot Cynthia Rulez somewhere. After reading CARRIE by Stephen King, I wondered if  early on, Carrie had been aware of the compassion one girl had shown her, the one who persuaded her boyfriend to take Carrie to the prom, if it would've made a difference in the ending. 

AS AN ADULT: After reading J.K. Rowling's HARRY POTTER  AND THE SORCERER'S STONE, who's to say I'm  not an undiscovered Muggle-born?


Anonymous said...

Much to my mother's chagrin, I built a "raft" out of a blanket and a music stand in my bedroom and hung out there reading for months, while reading The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.

Cynthia said...

Brooke, that was so clever!

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