Latest Entries »

DSC00111 - Copy

I wrote JUST JUICE in this house in Williamsville, Vermont. Less than a year after I took this photograph, the house was swept away during Hurricane Irene.

may 6, 2017lc 2017-05-03 031

In an attempt to make my books more inclusive, I often opt out of naming a specific town as the setting, or I give the town a fictionalized name. The research I did for JUST JUICE extended beyond any small town in Vermont, even beyond Vermont itself to many other states in the country. This story could take place anywhere.

 

may 6, 2017lc 2017-05-02 106

I give you the age of Juice’s sisters but not the age of Juice herself.

Her two little sisters are under five. Her two older sisters are over ten. I imagined Juice to be somewhere between.

webmail.myfairpoint.jpg

Join us for a lively discussion!
SCRIBBLERS THREE: How does being in a writer’s group expand and sustain your work? Eileen ChristelowKaren Hesse, and Liza Ketchum, authors for young readers, have been in a critique group for more than thirty years. They will discuss how their writing changed and developed as the group evolved, and will share their most recent books:  Robins! How They Grow Up!(Christelow), My Thumb (Hesse); and The Life Fantastic (Ketchum).
Join the discussion on April 29, 2017, 4:00 pm at the. Northshire Bookstore, Manchester, Vermont.

jan-8-2017lc-2017-01-07-012

When I write in free verse I usually avoid formal constraints. Though I do love occasional internal rhyme, I try not to overdo it as too much makes the work seem self-conscious and contrived. Instead, I arrange the  verse to suggest the rhythm and cadence of the character’s native language or accent. I think of my novels in verse more as theater than as one long poem.

A writer must carefully balance foreshadowing. Too much and it feels manipulative. Too little and the reader feels disoriented. Either way the reader is pulled out of the book and a writer never wants that to happen.
The foreshadowing is there…perhaps when reading the book again someday you will find what on first reading eluded you. 
dec162016lc-2016-12-16-024

dec-312016lc-2016-12-28-002

I agree.

78020d62-d268-4e0b-a4c4-3f1a156f6c8e-014

THE CATS IN KRASINSKI SQUARE was inspired by a story I discovered in a newspaper from the 1940s while researching ALEUTIAN SPARROW. This is the closest I have come to tackling the unbearable subject of the Holocaust.

9b303ed8-c1e3-4883-ab72-9d1ad7dea20d-108

While researching, I come across multiple articles on certain events. I also peruse numerous advertisements for everything from baby bonnets to basketball games. I make an effort to fold these bits and pieces from the period into my narrative in a way that reflects how often I came upon them in my research. So yes, the events in the book, from the accidental fire to the curiosity about the Dionne quintuplets received multiple mentions and attention in the media of the early 1930s.

road-trip-with-kate-to-arizona-2016lc-287There are no guarantees in life. If a formula existed for becoming a best-selling author  the market would be flooded with best-sellers to the point that “best-seller” would cease to have the meaning we presently give it.  I’m certain there are successful writers who followed a path to fame and fortune, who sought publicity first, placing the goal of being a “best-seller” above the deeper goal of communicating profoundly with other members of the human race, and I’ll bet some of them are quite satisfied with their choices, but it would not be my advice to you to follow that path. Perhaps a better goal would be to write books  on subjects and themes you care deeply about. Dig down into your material, dig  down into your understanding of yourself and of the world. Understand that there are mountains, beyond mountains, beyond mountains, that the superficial has its place but may not be as enduring, or as gratifying as the longer view. Write what’s in your heart, write what’s on your mind, and if it becomes a best-seller, you have that, too, to celebrate at the end of the process.