Writing Teen Books

Writing Teen Books

Posted on August 15 by Lynne Kositsky
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I have written for almost as long as I can remember, most recently young adult novels.    I am frequently asked where my ideas come from. I guess they come from who I am and what I’ve experienced in one way or another. Let’s start at the brilliant piece of literature I remember creating, at the age of six:     


    I am a pixie

    My husband’s name is Dixie

    We live in a hollow tree house.

    We live near the ground

    Where the tree is round as round

    What a nice little hollow tree house.


The poem, if poem it can be called, went downhill from there. I was inordinately proud of myself, feeling I could write as well as Enid Blyton in her Magic Faraway Tree series. This was clearly where I got my idea from, though I didn’t realize it at the time.
When I was young I was a voracious reader, of novels, poetry, newspapers, and cereal boxes. Cereal boxes excepted, I don’t think you can be a good writer without reading just about anything that comes your way. If toilet paper had hadprint on it, I would have read that too.

My first  decent poem, which I wrote at work at Woolworths I believed was influenced by e e cummings, whom I adored. I was mistaken: it was e e cummings.

My first novel, Candles, was a book brimming with ideas: a tale of my mother’s war years in London, my uncle’s in the British Air Force, my two golden retrievers, Angel and Jessie, my mother in law’s Chanukah Menorah, and the murderers next door, all suitably camouflaged and sprinkled with fairy dust. My publisher said she accepted and loved the book because of the two fictional dogs in it. Fictional? Haha!

My first book with Dundurn, Minerva’s Voyage, was actually sourced by all the research I was doing, along with an American professor, Dr. Roger Stritmatter, on the Date, Sources and Design of  Shakespeare’s The Tempest. Why waste all that good research? I thought, after the scholarly book was published.  I turned it into a parody of one of the orthodox sources of a shipwreck in The Tempest, and also used Minerva Britanna, an emblem book of the time, to create ciphers and secret codes in the novel.

And The Plagues of Kondar, my newest book? All I’ll say about it is  that  I learned of a plague in Eyam, Derbyshire that took place in the 1660’s, near where I lived at the time; I visited the village with its plague houses stiil standing, and eventually turned my research into a novel that takes place “a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away…” I bet you can figure out where that idea comes from!!

Lynne Kositsky

Posted by Dundurn Guest on December 6, 2014

Lynne Kositsky

Lynne Kositsky is an award-winning poet and the author of several novels, including . Her fiction has won the White Raven award and has been nominated for the Geoffrey Bilson, White Pine, Golden Oak, and Hackmatack Awards. She won the Canadian Jewish Book Award for The Thought of High Windows. She lives in St. Catherines, Ontario.