Author Libba Bray could easily have a second career as a comedian. At the recent SCBWI Summer Conference in LA, she had me and most of the other 1350 people in the audience laughing our heads off.
But for me, the most memorable thing she said was down right serious. When reading a book that doesn’t grab her, Libba says she feels like it didn’t cost the writer anything to write [it]. To write with honesty, it’s got to cost you something.
Each story demands something different. Often the demand is to realize you have preconceived notions and be open to learning about yourself as well as your topic.
Patsi Tollinger worked for nearly ten years on her picture book biography of jockey Isaac Murphy.
It was a sense of injustice for Isaac that motivated me in the beginning. Later, after I started digging into the research, Isaac turned into my teacher and wouldn’t turn loose of me until his story was done. I thought I knew a lot about the complexities of southern history. Isaac convinced me otherwise.
Isaac Murphy, the first jockey to win three Kentucky Derbies, had nearly disappeared into history. With the help of Illustrator Jerome Lagarrigue, Patsi brings him to life beautifully in PERFECT TIMING.
Do you agree that good writing must cost the author something? I’d love to hear other writers thoughts about this. Please comment and share your personal experience.
I'm fascinated to discover little-known stories of history. Stories of people and events that provide a new perspective on why and how things happened, new voices that haven't been heard, insight into how the past brought us here today, and how it might guide us to a better future.
I also post here about my books and feature other authors and their books on compelling and important historical topics.
Occasionally, I share what makes me happy, pictures of my garden, recipes I've made, events I've attended, people I've met. I'm always happy to hear from readers, in the blog comments, by email or social media.