Without further ado I'm pleased to share award-winning children's author, Penelope Anne Cole with her guest post, "What Inspires Me to Write." Welcome Penny!
What Inspires Me to Write?
by Penelope Anne Cole
I’m a parent, a teacher, and a tutor. Reading literature and writing have always been a part of my life from the first book I read on my own, to the first story I wrote in school. Since then I’ve been writing, much of it in memoir form and journals. In elementary school, I wrote some short stories featuring kids who struggled with hurts and problems. I wish I still had those stories. I remember the emotion from those early stories actually made me cry. Like most writers, I love the written word and want my stories published and read.
I got back into writing children’s stories when inspired by my neighbor’s autistic son who turned ten and celebrated the magic of “double digits!” That gave me an idea for a children’s story about a boy who had magical powers to fix things. He kept his magic a secret from his family until his friend Lily began to suspect. What should he do? Telling her would be a risk. He confides in his Grandma Nonie. Matthew has several problems and challenges to deal with in my story.
At first, I thought Magical Matthew would be a “stand alone” story, but then at the end I introduced a twist that led me to the next story, Magical Mea. What if his little sister also has magic? What would she do? Will she be like Matt or will she rebel? Then I had a series. The third book is Magical Mea Goes to School, where Mea has to learn how to do the things all kids learn in school and she has to learn to do magic secretly. Magical M and M brings twin boys into the family. Will they have magic? And if they do, will they be like Matt or Mea? I even have an idea for a fifth book to close out the series.
Often ideas come to me when I’m out walking. After the Magical series, I was inspired to write a remembrance of spending time with my brothers over the year at our Grandma’s house called, My Grandma’s Pink House. It is set in the 1950’s, when we kids were free to roam all around her property and the neighborhood pretty much on our own. In the story, Grandma does what grandmothers did then, cooked, cleaned, planted, harvested, canned, sewed, knitted, read stories, and sang songs to us.
Another children’s book I’ve written is about eating food from other countries and cultures, called I’m Going to My Friend’s House for Dinner. Lexie talks with her friends about strange and different foods they’ve eaten as she looks forward to eating dinner at her Nigerian friend’s house. Will the food be weird or yucky? I thought it would help to show our multicultural society with respect to food. Those are my shorter children’s stories, inspired by events, memories, people, even foods. These two stories are ready to be submitted for publishing.
I have two longer stories—novel length—that I’m working on. These were inspired by books, articles, and stories I read or heard. One is a historical novel set after the Vietnam War involving racism, grief, loss, and survival, The Perfect Home. The other is a time travel fantasy that has historical elements about Amazon warrior-priestesses, The Young Amazons. These are so much harder for me because of multiple points of view, longer plot arcs, movement through beginning, middle, and end. But I want to see these through to completion and publication.
Penny, it's a pleasure hosting you today! I'm looking forward to profiling you in the August issue of my Write What Inspires You! newsletter!
In the meantime, visitors please visit Penny at…
Penny's website is http://www.penelopeannecole.com
Penny's blog is accessible there, too. Or directly http://penelopeannecole.blogspot.com
Donna M. McDine
Multiple Award-winning Children's Author
Connect with Donna McDine on Google+
A Sandy Grave ~ January 2014 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc. ~ Story Monster Approved, Beach Book Festival Honorable Mention 2014, Reader's Favorite Five Star Review
Powder Monkey ~ May 2013 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc. ~ Reader's Favorite Five Star Review
Hockey Agony ~ January 2013 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc. ~ Reader's Farvorite Five Star Review
The Golden Pathway ~ August 2010 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc.
~ Literary Classics Silver Award and Seal of Approval, Readers Favorite 2012 International Book Awards Honorable Mention and Dan Poynter's Global e-Book Awards Finalist