|Shari Green, photo by Pedersen Arts Photography|
Q: How did you come up with the idea for your character Macy?
A: Like most of my characters, Macy just popped into my head one day. She was there several years before her story was, actually!
However, it wasn’t until I started outlining the story that I realized Macy had lost her hearing at a young age. (I have two nieces who are Deaf and a friend whose parents are Deaf, so I’m sure that all contributed to my subconscious deciding my character was Deaf too.)
A: On one level, I simply hope they’ll enjoy reading it, and I hope some readers will take delight in the book references sprinkled here and there through the story. (I sure had fun slipping them in there!)
On another level, I hope readers will think about how people are more than meets the eye, how we all have stories to tell—stories that are sometimes wonderful, sometimes surprising, sometimes heartbreaking—and these stories connect us with one another.
Q: Do you usually know how your novels will end before you start writing them, or do you make many changes along the way?
A: I usually know the ending, although the details often are fuzzy when I start writing. I rarely know how the characters will find their way to the ending, but discovering their journey is part of the fun!
If they don’t do quite what I was anticipating (and they never do), I go back and revise things again and again, so hopefully it all eventually ties together well.
Q: What are you working on now?
A: I’m working on another middle grade novel. It’s still in the early stages, though, so I’m not going to say anything much about it yet! Stay tuned…
A: I’ve found it interesting to see common themes emerge in my writing—hope, family, the importance of community. I think we can learn much about ourselves by telling our stories, whether through writing fiction or through sharing our real-life experiences and emotions.
And we can learn much about people and about the world through listening to the stories of others. Stories connect and shape us. Stories are for sharing!
--Interview with Deborah Kalb