Tonight is a fun show; you'll hear my conversations with Jon Scieszka and Carl Brookins. If you missed it, check out the archive. Jon Scieszka (which is as hard to spell as it is to pronounce "cheska") made me laugh a lot....he's a funny guy who thinks kids are the funniest things ever. You see that in his writing with a very distinct sense of humor. He's the new ambassador of young people's literature for the Library of Congress and is serious about getting kids to read. They couldn't have picked a better guy for the post in my opinion.
You've got to check out his website; it's hilarious!
He's got a special website for parents and kids for the Trucktown series too, along with a blog.
Jon mentioned some of his favorite children's books authors - including Adam Rex, Mo Willems and Brian Selznick.
We also talk about how to get kids reading, and how to get boys reading especially. We talked about Minnesota author Will Weaver's latest endeavor - a series of novels for middle-high school age boys about the life of a stock car racer called "Saturday Night Dirt". Will's got lots of information on his website and a blog on writing as well.
My other conversation on Realgoodwords is with Minnesota mystery author Carl Brookins, as part of The Big Read of Dashiell Hammet's "The Maltese Falcon". Carl's latest, the first in a series, is called "Bloody Halls". Carl and I talked alot about the process of writing...
"My detective in "The Case of The Greedy Lawyers", Sean Sean, just showed up in my office one day with a stack of files and said to tme that he had these stories he thought he wanted me to tell. One of the things that happens to people when they get what's called writer's block - I don't think it really is writer's block - it's when the characters refuse to do something that the writer is trying to get him to do that is out of character."
"I hear these voices and when the characters come to me sometimes I don't know where they are going. I sometimes say that I write these stories to find out what's going to happen just like the readers do...The reader and the writer have a contract -
you bring certain expectations to the book - I as the writer bring certain expectations. It's not a question of who wins - it's a question of whether I'm successful in writing the kind of a book that
will get A reaction from you - it may not be the reaction that I necessarily want, but some kind of reaction . To be ignored is the worst thing."
Carl also mentioned his favorite, first mystery as a kid, Freddy the Pig.