Kid Literature are pleased to have Shana Gorian on their blog today talking about - what made us decide to write fiction for kids? and meeting Rosco the rascal.
Shana Gorian is the author of the Rosco The Rascal Series. Her chapter books, for young readers ages 6-9, includeRosco the Rascal Visits the Pumpkin Patch, Rosco the Rascal in the Land of Snow, and her newest release coming in July 2015, Rosco the Rascal Goes to Camp. Please visit her on the web at shanagorian.com.
Author Interview, Part 1: What in the world prompted you to write fiction for kids?
In the first of a new short series of blog posts, I’ll be answering some of the questions I’ve frequently been asked about my writing.
First question: what in the world prompted you to write fiction for kids?
It all began several years ago, when I started writing a picture book about my fun-loving German shepherd. I had invented a character based upon him – Rosco the Rascal – as this enormous, overgrown puppy pulled us around on his leash in the evenings. My kids and I would laugh at his funny behavior as he encountered the usual sights and sounds that make a dog’s life interesting.
A squirrel would run by and he’d use his massive strength to pull on the leash as if the world would end if he didn’t catch that squirrel. We’d have fun narrating the monologue that might be going on inside his head as we walked. “Get that squirrel. Gotta get that squirrel.” Nothing complicated. (He never got that squirrel, fortunately.)
But Rosco the Rascal’s character grew, because this real dog of ours was always getting into trouble and providing a multitude of inspiration. He chewed up the license plate and the mud flaps on my minivan. He chewed up our outdoor barbecue. He got bitten by a squirrel. He ran off with the tennis ball when you tried to play fetch, willing us to chase him instead of just chasing the ball again for us like most dogs would. He ran off to neighbors’ homes when we thought he was safely in the yard. But he was mischievous only because he was a dog being a dog. He had a good heart and a steady temperament. What he lacked was a solid set of manners. (We’ve since worked on that with the real dog, fortunately, through a lot of training.) But that early lack of manners and the outrageous behavior are what Rosco’s character is based upon.
Time went on, and I eventually wrote a short story about him for my children. Rosco had human-like thoughts and actions, but he was just a dog, like any pet. He would find or make trouble, then fix the problems he created; learn something every time, grow up a little more, just like a child. Simple personification of a dog. My story was to be an illustrated book for ages 4-6.
My own children were much younger than they are now, when I started writing it, (4 and 7 at the time) and still reading picture books on a regular basis. The story line was cute and sweet and funny and accessible.
It’s worth mentioning that we were that family that had three library cards, one for me and one for each kid – who visited the library each week, and often maxed out the cards as we filled our tote bag with books. So many cards were necessary in case each child wanted to play the games on the library’s computers or if we had a fine on one card and I didn’t have cash on hand to pay it. Or if we went over the 30-book limit in our wild freedom of choice, we’d never have to leave empty-handed. But I was always the sorry-looking mother crouching over from the weight of the bag as I limped back to the car holding my smallest child’s hand.
Every night we had ‘books time,’ in which we read three or four picture books, taking turns reading out loud. We loved it. But, I digress; back to my writing.
Needless to say, over the years we had literally read hundreds and hundreds of picture books. So I ‘knew my stuff’, as far as picture books went.
Please read more here shana gorian-what-in-the-world-prompted-you-to-write-fiction-for-kids/
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