Writing for children and young adults

My writing is diverse, which is another way of saying that I’ll write anything. My strength seems to be writing for and about children, although my heart is in psychological and medical thrillers for adults, simply because I love reading them so much. Give me a day with Tess Gerritsen, James Patterson, David Baldacci or Diane Chamberlain, and I’m a happy woman. I am currently reading the Kathy Reichs series that the TV show Bones is based on.

I digress. In combination with working on my young adult novel, I’ve been writing short stories for adults just to be able to have the satisfaction of completing a shorter term piece while finishing the novel. After reading two of my stories, one of the women in my writing critique group noticed that in both Remission, my first attempt at a medical story, and Mulberry Tree, which parallel’s a teacher’s personal and professional helplessness, that my writing was strongest in the scenes involving children. This gives me pause. Should I be concentrating my writing for children.

While I am pleased with my recent progress on my young adult novel THE MAGIC QUILT, I really wanted my next book to be an thriller for adults. I’ve enjoyed researching 1775 Boston, the setting for the later half of the YA novel. It has been fun writing about the world of colonial America. But writing for children requires a different mind set than writing for adults. In writing from the view point of a twelve year old, vocabulary, parents and the young psyche have to be considered. Yet, it seems that is where my strength lies.

I have had the most success in publishing educational articles, not fiction, which again, gives me further pause. I am passionate about educating and advocating for children and it comes through in my writing. This is a good place for a shameless plug.

What tools should teachers carry in their survival kits?
Find out in my article Methods for success as a middle school science teacher, that has just published in the September issue of Science Scope Magazine. Unfortunately, if you’re not a member of NSTA, you won’t be able to read the article Online.

As an aside:
There has been a long drought here in North Carolina and we’ve broken some records for high temperatures over the last couple of weeks. As a respite from the heat, I’ve had the opportunity to sip chilled white wine, courtesy of my husband, who writes a monthly wine column Ten Dollar Tastings with Harry Calhoun. Kumkani wine has just sent him a half case of wine to taste, and I’m looking forward to contributing my insights.


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