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Secret Ingredients – 1

I’m starting a new series on here about the books that influenced me growing up.

These are the books that shaped my brain. Gave me my fears, values, and passions.

The Secret Julie Ingredients!

E.B. White

I can remember reading The Trumpet of the Swan and being delighted over watercress sandwiches.

I can remember the sound of Stuart Little‘s toothbrush, his brother on the rowing machine, his adoration of Margalo, and laughing like a goofball at the dentist scene.

Don’t let anyone tell you not to write dialect. If it’s done well, it’s brilliant. What? You don’t think Dental Patient is a dialect? It totally is. I bet you’re fluent.

And then there’s Charlotte’s Web. My god.

I am as earnest as Wilbur. I swing the sword of truth like Fern. And, I am the Giving Tree that was Charlotte.

Our first literary death, yes?

The first time I finished a book sobbing. The first time I saw for real what words on a page could make me feel. Could gut me. Could break me. Could give me hope.

Some people have asked – Why this book? Why are you writing Ferals & Blights?

My secret-inside answer is E.B. White. I want to give children characters they can step into and step up to. I want to help them navigate the scary world of adults and Bad Things that happen. I want to help them find hope and strength within themselves.


How about you? What books draw a straight line from childhood to your heart?




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