As the author of young adult novels that tackle gritty and difficult subject matter, I am often asked why I write what I do. What I think fuels my desire to write about these topics more than anything is the idea that life can be challenging, and reading about real issues is important. We need to know that we are not alone in our struggles, and that no matter how dire things may seem, there will be brighter days ahead. I hope that when the characters in my novels dream beyond their current circumstance, it inspires the reader to do the same.
This has been a very sad week indeed. So soon after losing one author, we are saddened to announce that author Patricia Bow passed away on January 7, 2017.
A writer of on science, and history for the University of Waterloo by day, her passion for fiction came out in children's fantasy and wrote such titles as The Bone Flute, which was nominated for a Silver Birch Award in 2006. She was also the author of a 2-book young adult fantasy series called Passage to Mythrin.
When people ask me how I came to write a novel — And Then the Sky Exploded — about the bomb that was dropped on the city of Hiroshima, Japan, on August 6, 1945, and the devastation that followed, I have to be honest and admit I’m not really sure.
Actually, I didn’t chose suicide as the topic of my latest YA novel. The topic chose me.
Inspiration for a book comes from unexpected places, and from every era in an author’s life. I’ll share two parallel examples with you.
Gina McMurchy-Barber talks to us today about her latest book in the Peggy Henderson adventure series Bone Deep.
Tell us about your book. How did you come up with the idea for this work?
My birthday is in July so going back to school was one way I kind of felt in sync with the outer world. Beginning each new grade I had a new age, a new season, new clothes (or at least different hand-me-downs) and a new shot at something. Summer holidays were long enough that, come late August I was usually, if only secretly, beginning to make the equivalent of New Year's resolutions to myself about how studious and on time I would be. Not that I was a bad student.
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.