When my daughter was old enough, I told her stories about dark brown girls like herself, girls who sailed the skies and saved the world. It was important to me that she saw herself in stories.
Each month, we ask one distinguished author or illustrator to write an original post that reveals insights about their process and craft.
“the condition of the human heart is unchanging. Your age, the period you live in, and your economic or cultural background don’t matter; we are all linked by our need to be loved and understood, and our fear of loneliness and sorrow.”
Injustice makes me want to leap into the fray and help, but it also leaves me with a feeling of helplessness because I’m not sure how to be most effective.
It had never occurred to me that authors could be (nearly) as important as teachers and librarians in the process of a child becoming a reader.
Much to my surprise, the question I heard most often, phrased in different ways, was: How do I write queer characters that are three-dimensional?
Years later, when I embarked upon writing The Underneath, I thought about how we are all subjected to hard things in our lives. We all experience pain.
For my upcoming book, I had to imagine what it might be like to be related to the Queen of England. To better imagine, I turned to research.
But not everyone fights a war with blade or bullet. Some were fighting their own shadow war of secret letters, false names, fake passes and perilous bluffs. I became fascinated by the spies – cunning, bold, ingenious and quite often female.
When I was a kid, I was obsessed with stuffed animals. I had 40 or 50 of them, enough to sag a bookshelf. They didn’t quite have distinct personalities, but in my mind Mrs. Lion, Mr. Hawk, and Princess Panther were brimming with life.
My experiences have not made me afraid to go into the bush. They have taught me valuable lessons. They have given me an appreciation of my capabilities—and kept me in awe of nature.