It is my privilege, today, to introduce Darcy Pattison to everyone. Darcy is a well-published children’s writer with a host of fiction and non-fiction titles on her shelf. Her shelves also contain books on writing and publishing in today’s market. She holds writing workshops at Highlights Foundation Workshops at Chautauqua and at other conferences as well as online.
|Children's Writer, Darcy Pattison|
Darcy is going to talk about her newest title, Liberty, a middle grade adventure story on the high seas. This is a tale of struggle and hard work to obtain dreams. It’s a tale of learning to believe in oneself in order to help others.
Welcome, Darcy, to Adventures in Writing. And thank you for sharing some of your writing expertise with our readers.
My pleasure, Victoria Marie, and thank you for having me.
One of the most important elements in children's literature is a sense of wonder. As a children's book author, you must remember that children don't have a strong base of experiences to draw upon. Everything is new - and full of wonder. The appeal of fantasy is exactly the same thing, that this story reaches outside the realm of everyday and takes them to a new place for new experiences.
In my new middle grade fantasy, LIBERTY, I play upon that need for new experiences by starting with pigs on Farmer MacDonald's farm, the normal world. Quickly, though, you realize this story won't stay near home. Santiago Talbert is a pig who wants to sail the seven seas! Pigs at sea? Yes!
|Darcy Pattison's new |
release book cover
The story started soon after 9/11 when I sat at the dinner table with my elementary school age son and his friend and asked what I should write about next.
Pigs, they said.
Okay, but what will the pigs do?
From a simple conversation the concept grew. Santiago and Penelope Talbert leave the farm and go to the mythical land of Liberty, where any intelligent creature—human or animal—can get ahead in the world. They learn the world of sailing and map making and finally join the crew of the H'alloween, where the polar bear Captain harbors a dark secret.
It's a journey or a quest, a coming of age story. The character's growth was important to keep in mind. They move from naive about the world to savvy sailors. But the deeper question is how do you decide what you value in life? The Talberts' character qualities are challenged by their adventures. Will they pursue selfish dreams? How will they treat others?
For this type of fantasy, it's been important to keep the character change in mind. The adventures aren't just for action's sake, but instead to put the characters in positions where they must choose a course of action. Quests are about discovery of new places, but most importantly about discovery of a character about him/herself. While revising, I went back often to check exactly what they said at important points and made a list of these statements. Then, I read through them to be sure there was an emotional progression that made sense.
LIBERTY is a story about following your dreams while holding onto your ideals. Set in the fascinating era of tall ships, it's a rousing story of danger on the high seas. But in the midst of the action, Penelope and Santiago grow up and become the sort of pigs that take care of their friends.
Thank you so much for this post, Darcy. If you are interested in purchasing Darcy’s new release, you may access it through these links:
Mims House publisher's site for print books: http://mimshouse.com/books/liberty
Have a beautiful day, everyone!