Last spring, I went on a blind date at a coffee shop. The guy, knowing I was a writer of some sort, told me he'd be at a table reading some Jacque Cousteau or something... to which I replied, I'd be the redhead reading Meg Cabot's Princess Diaries 2, Princess in Training.
After a chuckle he said, "Teen Romance, wow. That must be like bulging muscles and swooning."
I paused. "Actually," I said, "my books are about believing in yourself and discovering exactly the sort of person you want to become. Which is exactly what 12 year old girls need to hear."
Needless to say, the date (can you believe I still went!) didn't go well.
But yes, I really did say that about my work, becuase that is why I do what I do. I write for the young teen I was, to tell her exactly what I wished I could have somehow known. I write for my former students who need a fun adventure that might remind them of how special they are. I write to make myself laugh. I write because I have something to say that I hope will be of value.
My dad was here last week on a visit and read the marked-up copy of my manuscript my editor had just sent me. He kept stopping to tell me what she'd written in the margins! (I hadn't got to read it yet, so that was really not fair.) But in the end, he proclaimed it, "Pretty good."
So I figure if my English teacher dad can enjoy my not-quite-revised book written for teens, then maybe I'm on the right track.
Maya Angelou said, "The bird doesn't sing because it knows the answer. The bird sings because it has a song." Isn't that beautiful?
So, why do you write what you write?
Heather Davis is the author of
NEVER CRY WEREWOLF
coming in April 2009 from HarperCollins