My son Luke, who will be 13 soon and is already trying on the teenager for fit, has really been focusing on his reading and writing lately. So I interviewed him.
Q: When did you start writing?
A: When I was six, I think.
Q: What is your favorite thing you’ve written so far?
A: The Very (blank) Man series. There was The Very Sick Man, The Very Fat Man, The Very Thin Man, and The Very Fast Man.
Q: I remember those. The Very Sick Man was my favorite. He was totally covered with dots. So what are you working on now?
A: It’s a story called Darkness. It’s about a boy, the son of the city’s mayor. One day the sun doesn’t come up, and it stays that way for weeks. The boy tries to help everyone survive.
Q: How do your ideas come to you?
A: I’m not sure. Some come from reading, some just pop up, some are, I don’t know, like parts of dreams.
Q: What advice do you have for other young writers?
A: Use your imagination.
Note: After this interview, my son read my wife and I the first four chapters of Darkness and I must say I’m pretty impressed. There’s a distinct top story and a distinct bottom story. He uses very little back story, staying instead with the action and maintaining forward momentum. He uses a dream premonition. His dialogue is sharp. Every chapter ends with tension.
Maybe I should sign up for a workshop with him.