Season 2, Episode 21: Children’s Books Are Everyone’s Books

In this episode:

Shout-out to Paul Skidmore, author and filmmaker! Paul was laughing hysterically in Starbucks while reading Abby’s story, and that’s something that’ll make you feel awesome. If your story is enjoyable by people of all ages, you’re doing something right.

“Where the children’s story is simply the right form for what the author has to say, of course, readers who want to hear that will read the story or re-read it at any age. I never met the Wind in the Willows or the Bastible books until my late 20s, and I do not think I’ve enjoyed it any less on that account….the good ones last. A waltz that you can only like when you are waltzing is a bad waltz.” – C.S. Lewis

Do MG writers have to fight the idea that their work is less-than because they’re writing for kids? Absolutely, but they shouldn’t have to! It’s like saying you’re “just a mom”. Every single mom out there knows how hard it is – and every single writer knows how hard it is to write a book. Our MG readers, and upper MG readers, are full of questions, they’re between childhood and adulthood and they’re very impressionable – MG writers have a power and responsibility in helping these kids form opinions and ideas that they’ll carry with them for the rest of their lives. It’s important!

The only way you can write a story for everyone to enjoy is to pick a specific protagonist – you have to make them exactly who they are, their specific age and circumstances, and do a beautiful job writing them. 

Deeper-level, meaningful writing appeals to all ages – there’s something for everyone to enjoy. In the rest of the episode, Kemlo and Abby dissect word choice and how some words are funnier than others, what works and what doesn’t, and what hits as “funny” or just weird. 

One of the things that takes a book from appealing to a very limited audience to having more universal appeal is the work you do on the deeper meaning of the story.
— Kemlo Aki

 Mentioned in this episode:

By paul andrew skidmore



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