I was honored recently to attend a school event with children’s author, Sally Lloyd-Jones. You may recognize her, as I did, from her book, The Jesus Storybook Bible. Or perhaps you know her, as I did not, from her mainstream books, Poor Doreen, How to Be a Baby, How to Get a Job, How to Get Married, or Being a Pig Is Nice.
There were a few things that stood out to me about Sally’s event:
- She is as good with kids in person as she is in writing books for them.
- She gave solid writing advice whether you are just learning to write or whether you’ve been toying with words forever.
- She is well-acquainted with the phenomenon of persistent characters.
I’d like to take a second on this last point and introduce you (as she introduced me) to the subject of her book, Poor Doreen: A Fishy Tale. Doreen is a fish who started pestering Sally while she was trying to write a beautiful book about a riverbank. But every time she tried to write something beautiful, Doreen popped in and changed the book into something funny. “I did not want to write a funny book,” said the author to Doreen. “I wanted to write a beautiful book.”
But Doreen the fish persisted. She wouldn’t even settle for being put into someone else’s story. She demanded her own.
So Sally wrote her story. And the school librarian, along with all of the children, loved it.
I’m looking forward to getting into Lloyd-Jones’ other works, now that I’ve heard her speak. If you are a parent, I think you might like them too.
Fellow writers, have you ever had a character pester you into existence?