Fan Mail: Indian Shoes

From a young reader, Jessica in Wisconsin, I received a letter yesterday telling me how much she enjoyed reading my short story collection, Indian Shoes (HarperCollins, 2002)(ages 7-up), and asking “Why doesn’t Ray ever go to school?”

From my reply:

Ray does go to school but none of the short stories focus on his time there. The reason is that the stories in Indian Shoes are linked together because they are about Ray’s relationship with Grampa Halfmoon—the two of them together, and Grampa doesn’t go to school.

One of the decisions a writer has to make is which moments should be in her story and which ones don’t need to be talked about. Think about all the stories you have read or even the movies you have seen. They don’t show every second. Instead, they feature those moments that make a difference and move the story forward. They focus on a theme—like the relationship between a boy and his grandfather.

Cynsational News & Links

David Macaulay will be featured at a signing, interactive children’s event, reception, and dinner June 16 at the National Center for Children’s Illustrated Literature in Abilene, Texas. David’s books include the Caldecott Medal winner, Black and White.

My husband, author Greg Leitich Smith, is blogging lately about preliminary research.