Glad to have made it!
So how did you find your way into becoming a kidlit author and why do you love it?
Unlike many writers who were born with a book in their hands and always love to read, I had trouble learning to decode text on a page, and was not drawn to books as a kid. Reading was hard enough, but writing? It was my least favorite subject—all of that spelling and grammar and punctuation stuff. The best way to spend time at school, as far as I was concerned, was on the playground at recess. It wasn't until I was in my early 20's that I got bitten by the reading bug, and early 30's when the writing bug struck. I've been scratching those itches ever since.
It's a scratch that must be itched (or is it the other way around?) Do share! What project of the heart have you been scratching out recently?
I've just started a new YA, tentatively titled Blowup. It's about 17-year-old Riley Lowe, a sensitive, good-hearted kid who, in a moment of teen brainlessness, throws an M-80 off the bridge into Salvation Creek Canyon, and starts a wildfire that blows up and threatens everything he loves. As you can see, it's a comedy . . .
Kidding. Although not completely. I find that life, even when it's hard and is pushing us to the point of breaking, inevitably has funny moments in it. To leave those out of a story would paint only a partial picture of the human struggle to overcome adversity. It's not just about me, the author, providing a bit of comic relief, giving the reader a break from the intensity of conflict; it's about depicting characters living life fully, in all of its nuances, including humor.
A tragicomedy for teens? Sounds like something teens will really enjoy reading. What do you love about working with Kelly Dyksterhouse of Raven Quill Literary?
After 30+ years with another agency, the culture there shifted and I realized it was time to go. I wanted a smaller, more intimate, hands-on agency, and an agent that was aligned with my sense of literary aesthetics. Kelly fit the bill perfectly. She has fantastic editorial chops, and is diplomatically relentless in her expectations, guiding every step of the way. She brings out the best in me. Working with her has been everything I hoped for. I could not be more happy with the change.
Change can often be good for the soul! Well, thanks again for hopping on over! I've enjoyed having you!
Happy to acquiesce!