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Posts Tagged ‘YA novel’

The Kelpie: Trusting Children’s Intellect by T.J. Wooldridge

You have to write the book that wants to be written. And if the book will be too difficult for grown-ups, you write it for children. – Madeleine L’Engle

thekelpie_front_only “One of the (many!) cool things about working with Spencer Hill Press is that I know our rights sales person and we occasionally get to hear feedback from people who want to buy rights for the various books—be they foreign publishers or movie or TV execs.

For The Kelpie, I received rejections saying that it was too complex for them, particularly TV or movies. They didn’t say it was too scary, at least, but we’ll get to that.

Thing is, I had about a dozen beta readers in my “target demographic” – kids 11-13—and they all followed it fine. My crits from them were mostly on how my kids spoke and, especially, how they texted and wrote on Facebook. I also got word from several teachers, librarians, and booksellers that they needed advanced reading for kids in this age bracket. They were running out of stuff.

That warmed my heart.

One of my most admired authors, one who was a light shining through my childhood thanks to her books, is Madeleine L’Engle. I still see kids carrying her books around. Not but a few years ago, they were all re-released with new covers.

There has yet to be a movie or even mini-series that has done any of her work justice.

Maybe it’s not so bad to be “too complex.” That’s why we read, right? Books are written because they are the best medium for the stories they tell.

I wrote The Kelpie for readers. I wrote it for kids.

I’ve always believed most kids are smarter than adults give them credit for. Goodness, I know plenty of kids who are smarter than most adults sometimes. In fact, I would even offer that kids lose some of their spark the older they get, the less they believe. I also believe children are braver than adults. They have to be.

As a kid, everything is still new. And scary. You don’t know a lot and you’re thrust into situations they don’t know and they have to flounder and figure it out. That’s normal life. A kid as to adapt faster than adults. New schools, various family events, changing friends, changing enemies. What you say and do can change things in big scary ways.

Magick exists. Magick is the power of the unknown. The things not yet discovered. It can be amazing and helpful. It can also be terrifying. Deadly.

In books, for children, it’s another thing to adapt to.

Heather, Joe, Rowan, and all my Kelpie kids come up with some pretty unexpected and imaginative ways to cope when magick and the dangerous monsters that turn their world upside down. They have ideas that adults wouldn’t have. Plans that just might work because they haven’t “grown up” too much to discard an “impossible” idea—the idea that just might work.

They don’t disbelieve in the magick. It can hurt them…but it can work for them, too. Because they believe.

Most writers I know share that quality with kids: We haven’t “grown up” too much to discard our “impossible” ideas.

Don’t let anyone tell you that your magickal ideas are impossible, either. They might just be the ideas that work!

Happy Halloween!”

T. J. Wooldridge’s debut novel, The Kelpie, from Spencer Hill Press, will be available through all bookstores (request it if it’s not on the shelf!) and Amazon on December 3rd. You can pre-order your copy today from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or your favorite local bookstore!

The Wicked, Weird and Whimsical Words Halloween Blog Tour runs every other day October 23-October 31. Join us all five days for Halloween fun! Be sure to say hello on any post to be entered in a giveaway at the end of the tour!

Thanks to Trisha Wooldridge for her guest post. Be sure and visit the other blog sites for fun Halloween-themed posts (including my guest posts). Coming up on Whimsical Words on All Hallow’s Eve: a bit of Halloween lure from yours truly.

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November is officially here – which means it’s NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month).

This year, I’m going to see how many words I can complete on a YA novel I’ve been planning for some time. In addition to keeping you up to date on the progress of YA Urban Fantasy, as the novel will be known until I’m certain of a title, I’ll be blogging about other tidbits in this writer’s life.

Firstly, I needed to take a few deep breaths, relax, and get in the novel-writing mood. To read more about what I find stressful in my writing life and how I deal with that stress, check out my guest blog at Amber Polo’s Relaxing the Writerhttp://tinyurl.com/relaxing-interview  And I’ll give you a hint – the recent pre- Halloween snow hasn’t helped with my outside gardening time!

Once I was a little more relaxed, it was time to put fingers to keyboard, and begin to write my YA Urban Fantasy. My report on Day 1’s results: I managed to get 2,000 words down in reasonably good shape. It’s a long way from my goal of 60,000 or more words – but it’s a start!

Secondly, and this has nothing to do with writing, but it sure was fun & relaxing – I baked a double batch of chocolate chip cookies in preparation for hosting a pre-Thanksgiving family gathering at Woods’ Edge.  Of course, some cookies were consumed, but a plastic container of the treats were popped into the freezer. Now, if only I can ignore them for 3 weeks!

And lastly, I submitted a poem to a “ship” themed issue of an online magazine. We’ll see if the editor likes Penelope well-enough to publish the poem.

So wish me luck – and I send good wishes out into the ether for all those other brave writers who’ve decided to write a novel this November.

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