1. I was a guest lecturer at Clinton Community College this afternoon, and I loved talking with the English & History students who came to hear my presentation. There were two questions during the Q and A period that were especially interesting to answer:
Q: When you’re writing about someone historical who’s dead, do you worry about saying the wrong thing? Or does your research make you feel okay about that?
A: Yes, you worry — and yes, research helps you feel like you’re being true to your character. I’ve chatted with other writers of historical fiction about this, and the truth is, we all want more than anything else to write words for our characters that ring true — words that our characters would look at and say, “Yep…that’s me…” Research helps, but I still have lots of quiet conversations with my characters in my mind to check in with them and see if I’m on the right track.
Q: How are book sales for Spitfire?
At this point, I started to explain about royalty statements, and how you’re not sure about much until they show up, but then a young woman in the audience raised her hand and said, “I work at Borders and I sell at least two copies of your book every time I work.” I wanted to hug her!
3. I’m reading The Mysterious Benedict Society, a 2007 Cybils nominee in the MG category, and loving it.