Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The Goliath of Story Topics

A few years ago, I had a brilliant idea for a new YA novel. It was inspired by true events in my native Holland during WWII. The story was epic, exciting, and I started writing it with the enthusiasm you have when it's a first draft.

Then I went to Holland. For my research, I visited the Dutch Theater (Hollandse Schouwburg in Dutch) where one of my characters would be held. I felt the sadness of the place, read the letters of those who perished, saw the baby shoes of babies who never got to grow up.

And I stopped writing. The story was too big. The responsibility of getting it right too great.

I've put that project aside; maybe I'll finish it someday. For the moment, I'm right where I should be, writing Linc's story and keeping it on the lighter side.

But for some strange reason, the whole Holocaust stories for kids topic came up twice at Springmingle, a recent SCBWI convention I went to. I talked with Claudia Pearson of Look Again Press, a small publisher in Birmingham, AL. She was passionate about a book by Eve Tal called A Truth to Tell. It's a critical look at children's books on the Holocaust, and how so few stories exist on the ghettos and camps.

Tal talks about how Holocaust stories are so indicative of culture: here in the States, we like stories to be hopeful; in Israel, those same stories speak more of resistance. Fascinating stuff. Not your light reading for the night, but a very interesting analysis if children's books are your business.

Find out more here.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Follow along with the MIDNIGHT AT THE BARCLAY HOTEL blog tour!

I'm so excited for the Aug. 25th release if MIDNIGHT AT THE BARCLAY HOTEL...!  If you want to join the fun, follow along with the bl...