Thursday, May 3, 2012


Today I've posted over at Smack Dab in the Middle "On the Importance of Parents in Middle Grade Fiction."

In honor of that, I wanted to share a picture (circa 1991, and yes the bride is me!) of my parents, whom I have always considered one of my biggest blessings. I mean, you don't get to choose who you're born to. I was lucky.

But my relationships with them hasn't always been peaches and cream. I was reminded of this on the panel last Saturday in Monroeville when someone asked a question about what do you do when you've written about real people in your life, how do you handle hurting their feelings?

My answer is simple: DON'T DO IT. I've written many poems about my parents that will never be seen by anyone. That's because I value the relationships with them over the desire to get published.

It's not worth it to hurt them.

Truth is not the most important thing.

And truth is relative anyway.

Only the writer can decide. But, please, remember this: despite what the old playground rhyme says, words CAN hurt. And often those wounds never go away. Especially when they're in print somewhere to haunt forever and ever.

Good luck!

And thank you to my wonderful, amazing, inspiring, supportive parents, who have given me a life worth writing about.


  1. Awww, I wanted to see the photo (isn't showing up for some reason). Great post and your new book sounds fabulous!

  2. I wish with all my heart that I had my mother with me to write about and my daddy... and his family... good grief some group some where would have me committed if I wrote about all of the things I've seen and heard. Love Y'all ... hehehe
    To be serious.... I get into my characters head and frankly I don't want to go there if it was family or friends...come on Irene, would you want to be in my head??? Go ahead, I dare you! heeeeeehahe

  3. Thanks for the advice, Irene. I suspect sometimes it's tempting, but it would hurt no matter what. Looking forward to your new book!


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