As a children’s writer, I have been asked many times, why do you write for children? It’s a question that always pops up whenever my books are mentioned. I also had a discussion about this recently with a very dear friend of mine, children’s writer, Neha Garg. She asked me to answer the two age old questions…
1. Why do you write for children? (Is it just easier?)
2. If it isn't easy then how is it all that different from writing for adults? Aren't the skills transferable?
Here are my views on the subject.
1. There are lots of reasons why I write for children, I could talk about it all day. From a child's perspective, anything is possible. That is such a great resource for a writer to tap into. Anything! Imagine that. That alone is an inspiration for any author. When you sit down with young children and get into a conversation with them, it's the funniest thing in the world. Their perspective on life puts us adults to shame. You soon realise they have a craving for a world filled with magic and awe. As a writer, how could I not want to take advantage of that and create something that will be truly appreciated and believed?
Another aspect that really appeals to me is that my stories will hopefully stay with a child throughout their whole lifetime. All of us can remember our favourite childhood stories. We remember them with such fondness even through our adulthood. I can clearly remember being so excited and amazed as a youngster with some of my favourite stories with my imagination running wild. If my stories have the same effect on children as those stories had on me, I will be a very happy man.
Children are the most awesome creatures that ever walked this Earth. They are FUN! They laugh all the time. They see the world so differently from adults. Their innocence is their most endearing feature. That's what I love to write about. I try to capture this in my stories. When I'm writing, I laugh out loud. I gasp in wonder at the thought of things that would normally be impossible, become possible, just like I wanted them to be possible when I was a child. I even cry at the sad things that an adult would probably brush off as being silly, but a child would find distressing. Yes, I'm an emotional person and I'm proud of it. I want to be ten again! I want to live in a world of innocence again! When I write for children, I can.
I believe in Father Christmas and Tooth Fairies. Why, you may ask. Well, that is simple, because I was Father Christmas AND the Tooth Fairy for many years with my children. (See article, The Real Santa.) How dare any adult try and tell me I never existed! I will tell them they are insane. To be a children's writer, you have to believe anything is possible, because it is. I refuse to grow up and become a cynical, boring, judgemental adult. Writing for children to me means writing about all the best things in life that make life worth living. There is way too much horribleness in the world when you reach adulthood. Why would I want to write about that? I want to escape the real world in the same way as a reader does when they read a book. I want to escape to a world of innocence, fun, excitement and laughter.
Writing for children is simply awe inspiring. I could never see myself writing anything else.
2. This is quite a difficult question. Writing for children is actually harder than writing for an older audience. There are so many rules you have to apply to. For example, there are lots of words you can't use that you would normally use in every day life. Bear in mind you are writing a story from a child's perspective, so you effectively have to become that child in order for the story to sound realistic. You have to think and speak like that child. You have to see things as a child would, their humour, their emotions and every aspect of how they view whatever world they find themselves in. This isn't an easy task for lots of adults to do. Luckily for me, I have the mental age of a ten-year-old, so it's not that hard for me to get into that mindset.
When you write for kids, you also have to take into consideration morals. We raise our children with a strict set of morals in the hope they will become good people as they grow and develop. A children's author has a huge responsibility. We effectively engage on a close personal level with children throughout the world depending on how successful we are. It is our responsibility to promote the same set of morals that we would with our own children.
Another thing to bear in mind is, becoming a children's author is probably one of the hardest markets to break into. Believe me, I know, I have been trying for seven years. If anyone tells you writing for children is easy, they are wrong.
Please share with me the reasons why you write for children or young adult.
And please pay a visit to Neha’s awesome website, Scribble Desk, for some great articles, children’s stories, and may other things related to children’s writing. And don’t forget to leave a comment J
Truth Teller is now available from here:
UK: Click here to sample or buy
US: Click here to sample or buy
Smashwords: Click here to sample or buy
Goodreads: Click here to sample or buy
Shelfari: Click here to sample or buy
Barnes & Noble: Click here to sample or buy
You can connect with the author at:
Author’s Web page http://kurtchambers.net/
Author’s Blog http://geniusborderinginsanity.blogspot.com/
Truth Teller Reviews:
Dawne Dominique - Multi-published author and professional cover artist.
The Truth Teller is one of the best children's fantasy book I've read in a long while.
Charlotte is so easy to picture in my mind, and the fantasy aspects are brilliant! There are underlying currents of "real life lessons" that are subtly included...ideal for parents looking for that perfect bedtime story to read to their children. I loved the entire premise of the novel and will definitely be purchasing the next ones in this series.
Kurt Chambers has captured the genre with a wonderful story that will delight many a child's (and adult's) imagination.
Annie McMahon - Editor, published author and Novel Workshop moderator.
This book has everything a bestseller should have: compelling story, endearing characters, vivid descriptions, genuine emotions, and a lot of surprising twists and turns. This is a story about a friendship that transcends race, gender, age, and even realms, between Charlotte, a ten-year-old girl, and Elderfield, a teenage elf. Beautiful and heartwarming. I strongly recommend it and have reviewed Kurt’s story on my blog, Dutch Hill News.
Ralene Burke – Writer, Editor for Wives in Bloom:
Honestly, I can’t wait until my kids are old enough to read these books. Kurt has written an amazing series that emphasizes such wonderful themes as friendship, family, hope, and faith. I’ve read Truth Teller and Wrath of Siren and, even though they are MG, enjoyed them immensely. If you’re looking for wholesome reads for your children, check out the next big thing for MG.