The discussions you miss while spending time away from the internet and our blog. Over President’s Day weekend, we went cross country skiing and time away from the computer does open up one’s brain without needing Mac’s Freedom program. I have stopped bringing my laptop along on these weekend trips, but still have that trusty notebook to jot down ideas and prioritize all that I will get done upon my return. Besides the thinking time, I love listening to radio programs in the car with my husband. Somehow the contained space allows the interviews to really sink in and gives me time to reflect. We went over the border into British Columbia, so I enjoyed CBC radio’s enthusiasm for Canadian Olympians – refreshing. And I enjoyed the interview with American author Kate Walbert – A Short History of Women. What a novel about five generations of women, starting with a suffragist in 1914. Such a thoughtful interview about her work.

Made me sad that children’s/YA authors don’t usually get to discuss their work in such depth. Makes me appreciate so much our lectures at Hamline where we do. It also made me wonder if the internet is the only way to communicate with young readers about what they are reading. Yes, schools visits give us face time with kids. But that is usually about our own books and perhaps their writing. Not so much about what they are reading and how it affects them.

WE also listened to a show about Charles Darwin and I thought again of how much I loved the book Charles and Emma: The Darwins Leap of Faith. When I got home I took a look at that book again and wondered. Do teens like it as much as I did? A friend suggested I log onto Goodreads. I enjoyed the discussion about the book but was disappointed that it was mostly adults commenting. Many of them also wondered if teens would like this NF book as much as we adults.

Thanks for reading my riff. What is your take? How do we connect with young readers as well as the gatekeepers? I know Lisa has younger friends on Facebook. Some of you still have children of the age you write for. What’s a writer to do?
As always, the best books are those that resonate with young and old. Let’s get writing them.