The art of writing books for a younger audience Chatting with visiting children’s author Lindsay Eland
EDWARDS — The Bookworm of Edwards welcomes children’s author Lindsay Eland to the store for a book signing and discussion. Eland recently released “A Summer of Sundays,” following the release of “Scones and Sensibility.” Her voice is one of passion for the middle-grade reader.
Eland was also a judge for the Bookworm’s first annual children’s writing contest. From the contest, the Bookworm self-published a compilation of the winning authors titled “Ungoverned Children.” Eland will also discuss her experiences with the local children’s writing community.
We had a chance to catch up with the author who was able to give us some insight not only into herself as an author, but to her passion, her start and more.
Vail Daily: How did you get started writing children’s books?
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Lindsay Eland: I first wanted to become a writer in 5th grade, when I won honorable mention in a local library competition. How I got writing books for children specifically? Well, books for kids — specifically middle grade fiction — have always been my favorite to read from the time I was in 5th grade, up until now. So when I decided to work (and it’s a lot of work) at becoming a published author, my heart was already in middle-grade fiction. I’ve never looked back.
VD: What is the best part about writing for a younger audience?
LE: Everything! But seriously, it’s true. I love the themes and characters I can explore in middle-grade fiction, along with the resounding hope that is always threaded throughout stories for this age group. Ages 9 to 12, (the age range publishers use) live in a state of enthusiasm, deep emotion and hope for what life has in store. I love being apart of that. I also love writing for this age group because of where they are in their lives — standing on that tightrope between young and old, innocence and experience. I have so much respect for them and what they are going through. So I guess, again, my answer is everything.
VD: What inspired your books?
LE: With “Scones and Sensibility,” I was inspired by my love for Jane Austen and L.M. Montgomery’s “Anne of Green Gables” series. I wanted to create a humorous story about a girl who takes her love for these books a little far with hilarious and disastrous results.
The forgotten, left-behind and left-out feeling that we all experience at one time or another in our lives is what I wanted to explore most of all in “A Summer of Sundays.” That alone-and-unnoticed feeling. That resounding middle-grade theme of “too old for this” and “too young for that.” And what better way to explore that feeling than through a 12-year-old middle child trying to find her place in her large family? My hope in “A Summer of Sundays” is that readers, young and old, will be able to see themselves in Sunday and realize, as she does, that they are far from alone or lost in this great big world.
VD: What was it like working with local children?
LE: The quality of the writing in the submissions for “Ungoverned Children” was astounding. Each entrant had such creativity and great story elements. It was a delight to see the world through their eyes. Children writers are passionate about what they create. It is wonderful to see children find joy in writing.
VD: What’s next for you?
LE: I am always working on something new, brainstorming ideas and practicing my craft. Right now, I am working on another middle-grade novel, as well as brainstorming other ideas percolating in my head for future novels.