Cynsations interviews Sara Pennypacker

>> Friday, October 1, 2010

There's a great interview up right now at Cynsations, where Cynthia Leitich Smith (Eternal, Tantalize, Blessed) asks Sara Pennypacker (Clementine series) great questions about her work and the world of kidlit. My favorite exchange:

Looking back, what was the single best decision you made in terms of advancing your craft as a writer?

Several years ago, I had an experience that profoundly changed the way I thought about writing for children. I just happened to hear someone quote Carl Jung - apparently Jung was asked during an interview why there was evil in the world. His answer was, "Young man, there is evil in the world because people can't tell their stories."

That resonated with me, and I started to think about it a lot in terms of children.

I realized it takes four things to tell one's story: a strong voice, language skills, a platform and an audience. Most children don't possess those things, but I am lucky enough to have all four.

Since then, I have tried to write for children a different way--as though I am telling their stories, because I can when they can't. I like to imagine my readers holding up my books to their adults and saying, "This is how I feel. This is what it's like for me."

I think it's given me a better voice, and better things to say.

Read the whole interview here.


Britt Kaufmann October 1, 2010 at 8:45 AM  

I LOVE the Clementine series... must get the new book. In my opinion, Pennypacker's work is FAR superior to the Junie B. Jones grammatical nightmare.

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