Meet the faculty of the 2017 Austin SCBWI Writers & Illustrators Working Conference. We’ve asked all our faculty members to answer 4 quick questions so we can get to know them better.
Lindsey Lane, Author
Lindsey Lane is the author of the young adult novel EVIDENCE OF THINGS NOT SEEN (Farrar Straus Giroux) and the award-winning picture book SNUGGLE MOUNTAIN (Clarion). Before she received her MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts in 2010, Lindsey was features journalist and an award-winning playwright. She is a featured presenter at schools and conferences as well as a Writing Professor at Austin Community College and also teaches at the Writing Barn.
What attracted you to children’s books?
The purity of story. I think you have to be honest when you are telling a story to a young person. Yes, you can be whimsical and humorous and your characters can run the gamut from innocent to unreliable but first and foremost you are telling a story that has to be real and honest because that young reader deserves an honest and true story. I think writers of children’ books have a sacred responsibility to give kids great diverse stories so we create lifelong readers.
What’s the best part of your job?
Remember that feeling when you meet someone and you like them and you want spend hours on the phone with them or drinking coffee or taking long walks? Well, after the first draft, when I know the story, I love that feeling of wanting to tuck myself away for an hour or two every day to deepen the storyline and all the characters. It feels like that goopy, falling in love feeling when you want to be with a person all the time getting to know them more deeply and falling in love with them. Yeah, that.
What’s the most challenging part of your job?
First drafts are tough. When I am creating a story, I have to work really hard to turn my critical brain off. First drafts are for playing and experimenting and getting the story down and trusting my voice. Once I have the story down, then I can go back with my critical brain and deepen the characters and tighten the plot and shape the creative gems that washed up in the creative process. But man, that first draft and battling the critical voice? That is a mess.
What’s the best piece of advice you were given that helped drive your career?
Tell the next story. Publishing is a funky business. And really, it’s a sweet result of all your hard work. BUT don’t confuse the storytelling and the writing with publishing. My job is to write the stories.
Come see Lindsey at the 2017 Austin SCBWI conference, May 20-21, 2017