When I write for children, most
of my stories feature an animal as the main character. My characters are
based on the four-legged creatures that I've read about or the animals that
I've known and love. In my upcoming children's book Maggie and the Summer Vacation Show
and Tell one of the main
characters is a dog called Trooper.
Trooper is based on a lovable dog called Charlie (check out his adorable picture to the right). Charlie
belongs to a good friend of mine. His coat is warm brown and and eyes full of
expression that say "come give me a hug." On our first meeting,
Charlie gave me with lots of wet kisses. With his big loving personality
I knew he'd make a perfect character for one of my stories.
The other character in the book is a little girl named Maggie.
Unlike Trooper, Maggie is purely invented. She popped into my head
(more like barged in) when I began to write the story about Trooper.
Maggie is a kind of Charlie Brown-like character, a woe is me, down on
her luck kind of kid. Every time I sat down to write, her voice was loud
and clear. It wasn't long before Maggie told me she wanted to be Trooper's
In my book, these two characters interact naturally which is
pretty cool given that one character is based on something real and the other
character is invented. Both characters have a problem. One problem has a
good chance of being resolved, the other situation cannot be resolved.
Yet despite the problems, there's this chemistry, a real devotion
between the two that brings magic to the story. So, you may have surmised
that one of the themes of the story is love.
Now that you know a little about the characters, I invite you to
meet Trooper and Maggie this summer. You will be able to see how their
personalities play off one another in a story that is sad, funny, and joyous.