Lynn Hazen was the first friend I met when I started writing for children seventeen years ago. We’ve been friends – and readers for each other – ever since. It’s fitting that Lynn Hazen is the one who tagged me for my first ever blog tour. Lynn introduces me to many things that I end up later enjoying. Thanks, Lynn! Here goes…
What am I currently working on?
All my work is fiction. I’m revising a tween novel about a preacher’s daughter, which is completely different from my own family. My husband is a minister, but I have two daughters, the family in my novel has only one, and our real church is three blocks away from where this fictional church is set. My novel is completely different from my real life. Also I’m working on a young reader’s series about a male one-eyed cat. My one-eyed cat is female. I like to write outside of my comfort zone.
And I’m revising a middle grade novel about a leprechaun and a picture book about a little square. These two are, however, entirely factual.
How does my work differ from others in its genre?
Well, my YA is unfinished. My middle grade is unfinished. I have one Early Reader finished in a series, but it’s not published yet. Same goes for my picture books. I would say lack of an ending is the major difference between my work and the work I read. Since I’m a librarian, a good portion of the books I read are completed. Those, naturally, are the most satisfying, and entertaining, stories to read to children. As a writer, however, I do read a number of manuscripts in various states of completion.
Other differences include that I write about religion from an unusual viewpoint: from the inside but also slightly irreverently. I would also say my work is different because the worlds I create all closely resemble the real world, but are just a bit off.
If I could triangulate a place for myself on the literary landscape I would want to exist between Judy Blume, Richard Peck and Norton Juster. That’s a pretty big triangle, so even if I have really bad aim, I may be able to find myself somewhere in there.
Why do I write what I write?
Well, my main goal is to entertain. Only a reader would be able to say whether I’ve attained that goal or not. Someday I dream of inspiring someone to speak up, or to change. I think every writer wants that secretly: to better the world by changing somebody, or to give someone hope. That’s my secret desire: to save the world with a word or two.
How does my individual writing process work?
Horribly. It’s redundant, with many extraneous parts: like a Rube-Goldberg machine of writing. Sometimes I’m drawing (leprechauns and squares), sometimes I’m researching, Sometimes I’m staring at the wall. I call that thinking. Sometimes I’m reading. Lots of times I’m drinking Diet Coke. Sometimes I’m just scrolling up and down the pages really fast to see the blocks of text I’ve created and verifying that they look like a real book. Wowie! That’s when I know it’s time to go and watch TV. At least TV will have a plot.
Who’s next? Tag you are it!
I am tagging my multi-talented friend Susan Taylor Brown.
Susan Taylor Brown: Full-time dreamer, poet, writer, and artist.
Susan is the author of the middle grade verse novel Hugging the Rock, which was named a Notable Children’s Book. Some of her other books include Oliver’s Must-Do List, Can I Pray With My Eyes Open?, Enrique Esparza and the Battle of the Alamo, and Robert Smalls Sails to Freedom in addition to over 50 books for the ESL market.
Susan has been the recipient of several grants from the Arts Council Silicon Valley which allowed her to be Writer-in-Residence for the San Jose Alternative Schools At-Risk program and to teach poetry to incarcerated teens.
In addition to writing, Susan is a mixed-media artist, nature photographer, and a gardener obsessed with California Native plants. When she’s not doing something creative, she’s probably deep in conversation with Zoey, her white German Shepherd.
Visit some of these other authors on the blog tour: