Disturbing Inspiration

Do you want to know the most disturbing children’s book I’ve ever read?Cover of "The Giver"

The Giver. And I mean that in a really good way. A twisted dystopian society with complex characters who are young but have to come face to face with some real deep issues–it’s absolutely fascinating. And best of all, I got to hear Lois Lowry speak this last sunday at my school:) Want to hear some neat facts about an author who is getting paid (really well) to do what she loves?

5 things I didn’t know about her/her stories:

1. She got the idea about the Giver from her father who had alzheimer’s disease. It was really an incredibly personal story and it added a lot of potency to her story which I always thought was interesting but didn’t really think was horridly tragic. Now I think differently. Isn’t it interesting how knowing the physical, emotional, and psychological context or background of the author can change your (the readers) perception of the text? Food for thought.

2. She wrote an entire Giver quartet. Her latest book Son is the fourth book in the series and the 40th book she has written. I can’t believe I’ve only read one book she’s written! And I call myself an English major:P

3. Her characters come to her fully formed and with a name which she generally uses for her stories. If you have ever wondered why her dialogue is so realistic, this is why. She knows exactly who her characters are, all she really is doing is sticking them in different setting she comes up with and makes they sort of speak from themselves. Pretty cool!

4. She originally wanted to write novels for adults but got asked to write a children stories after a publisher saw a short story that she had gotten published. (I know, it would be awesome to be asked to write a story.) So she did that obviously and started getting the fan mail. As she read these letters from all different countries she realized something: children are profoundly effected by what they read. Unlike adults who know more who they are, children are changed by what they are taking in. Many children told her that her story changed their lives. She found that so incredibly rewarding that that is what she stuck with.

5. Her latest book Son was originally going to be called Birth-Mother…until she realized that no teenage boy would go near a book with that title! So she switched it.

Lois Lowry signing Crow Call - 3/21/11

Lois Lowry signing Crow Call – 3/21/11 (Photo credit: MrSchuReads)

And Moral of the story: Go to book readings if you can!:) As a reader you get a whole new perspective on what you read and it makes the book much more personal. As a writer you get to pick up some tips and see if that is really what you would like to be doing with your life.

Which as it turns out…is what I would like to be doing with my life!:)

Happy Writing!!

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One thought on “Disturbing Inspiration

  1. Literally, just before I read this post, I got Goodreads’ October newsletter, advertising Son. It was something of a shock, then, to see your post! I definitely will be reading the rest of the books; as of now I’ve only read the Giver.
    And you’re right, it was rather disturbing– dark, but it also had beauty. I think that’s what made it inspirational.

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