Sunday, November 20, 2016

Connecting With Readers

I want my books to be a conversation with another person.

When I write, I imagine the characters and their world. I also imagine what a reader will think or feel. When they will laugh. Or gasp. Or maybe even cry.

Sometimes I'm lucky enough to find out. When I began writing Nature Girl, my first novel for kids, I lived with a young reader--my ten-year-old daughter Sofia. She happened to pick up the notebook in which I had begun the story of a girl named Megan. I could see by Sofia’s enthusiasm that she loved Megan’s journey. And I also knew when Sofia lost interest! Fortunately she could pinpoint exactly where my story had gotten off track, so I could fix it.

Now that my novels are published, I have conversations with more readers. Sometimes I get to meet them at school appearances. Sometimes they write to me to tell me what they like or didn’t like about a book. I love any kind of feedback.

I got a very special email the other day. My second novel, The Girl Behind the Glass, inspired Olivia in Biloxi, Mississippi, to create this fantastic display for a book fair.

Olivia stands in front of her prize winning display.

There’s the house, creepier than I envisioned. I love how it looks like it’s screaming. There are the hemlock trees. There are the twins at the closet door. Olivia even remembered to put in the bats.

Congratulations, Olivia! Your hard work and imagination is amazing. I’m so proud that my book inspired you.