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MargaretLane


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#1 MargaretLane

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Posted 05 April 2013 - 12:22 PM

Hiya. I'm MargaretLane. A lot of ye probably know me from around the forums anyway.

 

If you've any questions for me, this is the place to ask them.


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#2 Pheonix Potioneer

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Posted 05 April 2013 - 10:01 PM

Oooh, yay! You finally made a meet the author page! I've got a question for you:

 

How did you come up with the names? (like Nathan, Derek, and Ramsus?)


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#3 MargaretLane

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Posted 06 April 2013 - 11:06 AM

For the "ordinary" or Muggleborn names, I just choose names that seem to fit the character. I go through baby name books and sometimes lists of old students and so on, until I find a name that sounds right. I try as best I can to fit with things like social class and ethnicity, though being Irish, I'm not always 100% sure how names are perceived in the U.K. I also obviously avoid names like Aisling and Siobhán and Seamus, unless the character is meant to be Irish. 

 

For purebloods from more traditional families, I either check the unusual names section of a baby name book I have or else google something like "Greek mythology names" or "star names girls" or "Latin names boys" and then look through the meanings to find one I think that character's parents would be likely to use, like for a Malfory, I'd try to come up with something related to the stars or for a child born right after the war to a family that had been targeted, I might look for something with a meaning indicating hope for the future or for a very ambitious, arrogant family, I might choose the name of a Greek or Roman god or a name meaning something like "the greatest".

 

Honestly, surnames give me greater trouble, because British surnames and Irish ones are quite different and I want to avoid stereotypically English ones along with Irish names. I have been known to make background characters Irish just because I get fed up with trying to come up with British sounding names.

 

I also, for background characters, sometimes choose a name mentioned in canon, since a lot of purebloods are distantly related, so the chances of many of them having one name is reasonably high.


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#4 Pheonix Potioneer

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Posted 12 April 2013 - 01:00 AM

That actually pretty cool info!

 

And how did you get the idea to write an Albus Potter story in the first place? It has been over five years since the Deathly Hallows was released.

 

Thanks for responding!


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#5 MargaretLane

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Posted 12 April 2013 - 07:32 PM

Some friends and I were having a gift exchange and the person whose name I got said they'd like something next generation. So I started thinking of personalities for the next generation characters and what I came up with for Albus seemed to match with Ravenclaw, so I worked from there.


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#6 Freda&Georgina

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Posted 20 December 2013 - 04:48 AM

I also wondered why you decided to put Albus in Ravenclaw. I was surprised that the characters didn't find it more shocking.

 

What made you decide to switch to Rose's PoV for the sequel to writing on the wall?

 

Where did your user name come from? (since it's not potter-related as far as I can tell)


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#7 MargaretLane

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Posted 20 December 2013 - 07:34 PM

Hiya Freida&Georgina, good to meet you.

 

I gave part of the reason for putting Albus in Ravenclaw above. In more detail, he actually seemed kinda like a Hufflepuff to me, but I've already written a story where a child of Harry's was in Hufflepuff and that character had a similarish personality to how I imagine Albus (that story was written before the final two books were published), so I wanted to avoid writing the same character again, just with a different name. So as that character struggled with schoolwork, I decided to make Albus good at it, which fit with Ravenclaw and I also preferred to avoid Gryffindor and Slytherin, as I liked the idea of Albus being placed in a house he hadn't considered. So that left Ravenclaw.

 

As regards the sequel, there were just a few scenes that wouldn't work as well from Albus's point of view. "A Council of War", which takes place at Hermione's house for fairly obvious reasons was one of them. I was thinking of having Albus staying with Rose at the time, but it seemed a bit contrived. Also I have a boggart chapter planned for after Christmas and Albus's boggart is something a little unexpected and I think it works better seeing it from the point of view of somebody who doesn't realise immediately what it represents. And just in general, Rose has a closer link to Hermione, who is very much involved in the whole "employment" campaign.

 

I'm afraid I can't really answer the last question without giving away some personal information, sorry. No, my username has no link to Harry Potter. It's related to stuff in my real offline life.


Edited by MargaretLane, 20 December 2013 - 10:09 PM.

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#8 maraudertimes

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Posted 27 January 2014 - 05:00 PM

Hello!

Mind answering a few questions?

 

1. Why did you decide to join the HPFF and HPFF forums community?
2. You write in many different eras. Is there one you prefer? Why?
3. Where do you draw inspiration from?
4. What would you patronus be and why?
5. What would you think of when conjuring a patronus?
6. Out of all your MCs, which is your favourite and why?
7. If you could ask J.K. Rowling one thing about the HP verse, what would it be?
8. Which one of your stories are you absolutely, completely in love with and why?
9. Top 5 favourite fics on the archives and why?
10. Top 5 favourite spells and why?

 

Thank you so much!

Lo:)


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#9 MargaretLane

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Posted 27 January 2014 - 06:38 PM

Oh wow, those are good, but hard to answer, questions.

 

1. Why did you decide to join the HPFF and HPFF forums community?

Back in 2004, I came across a mention of fanfiction somewhere online and decided to google and see what it was. I decided to google "Harry Potter fanfiction" as Harry Potter was so popular at the time that I figured it would have a large amount of whatever it was. I read a couple of next generation fics (which of course were OC centric back then) and many had Harry's children defeating the next Dark Wizard, which is a good storyline, but I started wondering "what if Harry had a child who wasn't particularly heroic? How would they deal with the expectations they'd be bound to face?" And the rest is pretty much history.

 

2. You write in many different eras. Is there one you prefer? Why?

Probably Next Generation as it is pretty much a blank canvas. My first love is original fiction and I tend to write more character centred than plot centred stuff, so I like the freedom to develop the characters in different ways. And it also allows for the inclusion of the effects of the war and how society has changed, or not, as a result.

 

3. Where do you draw inspiration from?

I honestly don't know. I guess stuff I read has an impact, but a lot of it just seems to come from thought processes and what ifs, like the what if above about what if Harry had a child who wasn't particularly brave or heroic or magically talented? I've also written a few stories based on attempts to understand various characters, like what made Fudge change from an ineffective but basically decent person who cared enough to rush out himself and join in the search for a child in danger to a cruel and paranoid man who allowed his underlings to physically abuse children?

 

4. What would you patronus be and why?

My immediate thought was a unicorn, just because I really like them, but then I thought maybe a tiger, as I also really like them and they are very powerful. One of the two anyway.

 

5. What would you think of when conjuring a patronus?

Possibly the time an original novel I entered in a competition where the prize was a publishing deal got through to the second round and got really good reviews from the judges.

 

6. Out of all your MCs, which is your favourite and why?

This question isn't one I'm going to be able to give an entirely fair answer to, as the characters I'm writing at the moment are probably going to attract me more than ones I haven't written in 8 or 9 years. Currently, probably Lydia Blackburn, just because there is such a depth of issues going on there and she's sort of struggling to cope, (why yes, I do like ruining my characters' lives) and she's not a typically heroic type of person and really just wants it all to go away, but there is one point where she's put in a position where she could take an, admittedly rather cowardly and dishonest, way out and doesn't even consider it.

 

I was also rather fond of my James Potter II, who was created back before there was a canon James Potter II and whose personality is almost the complete opposite of what we see of the canon version, because he was such a sweet kid and was under so much pressure from the weight of expectations on him.

 

7. If you could ask J.K. Rowling one thing about the HP verse, what would it be?

This is rather a weird one, but whether Sirius's time in Azkaban was inspired in any way by real cases of Northern Irish people being imprisoned for terrorist crimes they hadn't committed. 

 

8. Which one of your stories are you absolutely, completely in love with and why?

Again, I find this a rather difficult question to answer. I am very fond of "No Room at the Inn", apart from the last couple of paragraphs. I can't seem to get an ending that flows properly. And I really like the story I'm currently working on, The Rise of the A.W.L. too, but there are a few chapters I'm not that gone on, as I feel one issue has been dragging on a bit too long and is really only killing time until the real plot of the story gets off the ground. I guess most of my stories have some parts I feel could be improved. Actually, "Behind those Prison Walls" is one I'm pretty pleased with, even reading it over now years after having written it, but I wrote it too long ago and the character it focuses on is sort of too canon for me to feel completely in love with it. I find it harder to feel as strongly about stories about canon characters, as I often feel I am only filling in what has already been hinted at in canon anyway.

 

9. Top 5 favourite fics on the archives and why?

OK, I know I am going to miss out on a couple here because there are so many awesome fics, but here are some of my favourites.

Facing Tomorrow by Flavia:

This story is just fantastic. It's about a young teacher at Hogwarts shortly after the war (about 5 years later, I think) who is struggling to cope with her experiences during the war and their effects. It's amazingly written and gives a real insight into both mental illness and teaching. It's probably the one fanfiction where there are chapters I've reread over and over again. 

 

Albus Potter and the Path Left Untrodden by Gryffin_Duck.

Year three of Gryffin_Duck's amazing series. There is a really mysterious teacher of Defence Against the Dark Arts and you are left guessing right until the end about exactly what is going on.

 

Albus Potter and the Potion Master's Solution by Gryffin_Duck.

Year five of the same series. A whole load of mysteries - a mysterious potion, a strange new teacher, two wizards murdered in Muggle style and one of Albus's friends is acting strangely. I just love the extra insight into Matt's issues in this story (I can't explain too much without giving away spoilers, but Matt is a friend of Albus's who has some issues to deal with) and I also love the character of the Potions Master and the fact that while there are numerous hints and things that seem important, I still haven't a clue who could be behind the murders or what the motivation could be and it's now only four chapters from the end.

 

Politics, Prejudice and Purebloods by Leonore.

This is about the first Muggleborn Minister for Magic and his struggle to be accepted and to try and make the wizarding world a more equal place. Again, it is just brilliantly written. The issues which arise are completely realistic and reminiscent of civil rights movements in the real world. There is a sense of lost opportunity and Nobby is just such a sympathetic character. You can see that he genuinely cares about the people he was elected to serve, but he is hampered at every turn in his attempts to improve things.

 

I'm finding it difficult to choose a fifth, as there are a few that would be very similar. Maybe The Worst by adluvshp, as it really portrays Dominique's feelings about becoming a werewolf realistically or Leonore's "Bitten", which again gives a very emotive portrayal of when Remus was bitten. And then there is Lily Weasley's Next Generation series. And I'm sure I'm forgetting a couple.

 

10. Top 5 favourite spells and why?

Hmm, I really don't know. If potions count, I like Felix Felicis. I also like Expecto Patronum. Muffliato could be useful also.

 

Honestly, I don't pay that much attention to the actual magic in the series. My love is for a British boarding school story combined with good old-fashioned British mysteries where the least likely person is guilty and you can't figure out what's going on, but when you reread, it all makes so much sense.


Edited by MargaretLane, 27 January 2014 - 06:40 PM.

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#10 nott theodore

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Posted 07 August 2014 - 07:02 PM

Hi Margaret!  I've just got a few questions for you :)

 

1. In Guilt, how did you go about working on Demelza's characterisation?

2. Did you have to do much research before writing about the psychological effects from the war?

3. When you write a character, how important do you consider their house to be for their characterisation?

4. What's your favourite genre of story to read on HPFF?  Is it different to your favourite genre to write?


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#11 MargaretLane

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Posted 07 August 2014 - 09:17 PM

1. In Guilt, how did you go about working on Demelza's characterisation?

To be honest, I began that story with the idea of writing about a character who hadn't been able to stand up to the Carrows and had major guilt issues as a result of what they'd been forced to do. It was written in response to a challenge to write either from the point of view of a villain (which I have already done quite a few times and couldn't think of anything original for) or to write about a "good" character struggling with a dark side and I figured there must be many students at Hogwarts who wouldn't stand up to the Carrows. Not everybody has the courage of people like Ginny and ultimately Neville. And I liked the idea of its being a Gryffindor, since they have a good deal tied up in the idea of being "brave" and are less likely to be able to easily forgive themselves for giving in under pressure.

 

So I went looking for a Gryffindor who wasn't shown to be part of Dumbledore's Army or to have been present in the Battle of Hogwarts. And the connection with Ginny was a bonus, as I like the interaction there.

 

From there, it just kind of fell together.

 

2. Did you have to do much research before writing about the psychological effects from the war?

Actually, no, I have done research on post-traumatic stress for previous writings, including original stuff, so I had a general overview and apart from that, I just worked from what made sense and let the character lead a little.

 

I'm sometimes a bit wary of writing war trauma, because living in a neutral country, it's very much outside my experience, but I guess this was easier as it's not so much the battle itself Demelza is dealing with as the situation under the Carrows and that bears less resemblance to real life situations than some of the other events.

 

3. When you write a character, how important do you consider their house to be for their characterisation?

That's actually a really good question and a hard one to answer. I think I find it important mostly in the way I already mentioned about why I wanted the character in "Guilt" to be a Gryffindor - that it gives an indication of what the person considers important and is likely to have influenced their identity to some degree. If you are told you're part of the brave group or the smart group, it's likely to affect how you think of yourself. I have another story in which a character is placed in Hufflepuff and feels that means they are insignificant because the other houses seem to stereotype Hufflepuffs in that way.

 

4. What's your favourite genre of story to read on HPFF?  Is it different to your favourite genre to write?

I always find it difficult to describe the sort of stories I enjoy - reading or writing - or to fit them into a genre. I like character driven stories, particularly about minor characters or OCs. I like stories which explore why characters behave in the way they do or ones which show the effects of the war or other things like being a Squib.  I also like mysteries, particularly next generation ones.

 

I guess that matches fairly closely with what I like to write.


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#12 nott theodore

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Posted 10 April 2015 - 04:26 PM

Hello, back again with some more questions :happy:

 

1. What themes are the most important to you to include in your writing?

2. You always make lots of thoughtful and insightful comparisons between the UK and Ireland in your posts on the forums - how do you think being Irish influences your stories, if at all?

3. You've got a background in studying/teaching English and History - does this influence your writing?

4. I notice that, as well as writing about Albus, a lot of your favourite stories to read are about him.  Are any of these versions your head canon for him?

5. What's the most challenging thing in writing characters that are children starting out at Hogwarts?

6. Have there been any scenes or chapters in your stories which were totally unplanned, but that you loved once you'd written?


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#13 MargaretLane

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Posted 10 April 2015 - 08:36 PM

These are really good, and some quite difficult, questions.

 

1. What themes are the most important to you to include in your writing?

Hmm, I'm not sure I really make a conscious decision to include specific themes. It's important to me to write realistically and to follow up on the issues I introduce, but mostly I just focus on telling the story I want to, rather than on including a particular theme.

 

2. You always make lots of thoughtful and insightful comparisons between the UK and Ireland in your posts on the forums - how do you think being Irish influences your stories, if at all?

This is harder to answer than I would have expected, as I don't know how I'd write if I wasn't Irish. I definitely think it affects how I see the wizarding wars, and probably other aspects of wizarding politics too. I am wary of introducing war effects into next generation fics, as I know there are people in other countries who do have relatives who fought in wars. Strangely enough, I'm comfortable with writing about the immediate impact of the war, but writing about how it continues to affect people decades later is something I find more difficult. On the other hand, the war itself is far more recognisable to me than it appears to be to people from other countries. I've heard some people comment on the forums about how different the wizarding war is from "real world" wars, whereas it is pretty like many of the wars from Irish history. 1916 even had the younger kids sneaking into the city of Dublin to take part in the Rising against orders. And the rebellion was started by their Headmaster. And of course, people being jailed for terrorist crimes they never committed is something I'm very familiar with. This is one thing that has definitely appeared in my writing, as I wrote a song-fic about Sirius, using one of the protest songs.

 

I intend including references to the Irish Ministry of Magic later in my series. Actually, at the start of year three, Hermione is going to go on a rant about them refusing to admit there is pure-blood prejudice in Ireland. Leonore and I created an Irish Ministry between us for use in our stories. We're also writing a collab about the Irish Ministry's reactions to the wizarding war.

 

Another way it affects my writing is that I have to remember to try and write in British-English. This can be difficult, as the differences aren't just different words, but also sometimes different sentence structure, so there are times I have to rephrase a sentence, for example changing, "I'm after forgetting..." to "I have forgotten..." English surnames are also difficult to think up.

 

3. You've got a background in studying/teaching English and History - does this influence your writing?

I don't know, to be honest. I haven't actually written much about history in my fanfiction. I was thinking of writing a Founders era fic in which a couple of Irish kids were fighting after the Battle of Clontarf, to commemorate its 1,000 year anniversary last year, but I didn't get around to it. I'm also sort of considering a 1916 centenary fic.

 

4. I notice that, as well as writing about Albus, a lot of your favourite stories to read are about him.  Are any of these versions your head canon for him?

My own version probably comes closest to my head canon. A lot of fics have him as braver and more like Harry than I see him.

 

5. What's the most challenging thing in writing characters that are children starting out at Hogwarts?

It can be hard to avoid making 11 and 12 year olds either seem too old or too young for their ages, as they are neither clearly children nor clearly teenagers. But actually, I don't find them too difficult. I'm more worried about the fact one of my older characters is approaching 26 and will be 30 by the end of the series. I find it hard to imagine her that old.

 

6. Have there been any scenes or chapters in your stories which were totally unplanned, but that you loved once you'd written?

Hagrid randomly turning up with a sleigh pulled by thestrals in "A Magical Christmas." At that point, I was just like, "OK, I've totally lost control of these characters. I had no idea that was going to happen." But I did like the mental image.

 

I'm sure there are others too, as my characters do like to do their own things, but that's the one that comes to mind.


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#14 Veritaserum27

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Posted 27 April 2015 - 12:31 AM

Hey there!

 

I'm here with your MTA questions!

 

1.  Erm... HOW DO YOU DO IT?!  You have so many stories up and you seem to update rather often.  Do you have a writing schedule?  Is it just built into your daily routine?

2.  What is your favorite non-HP book?

3.  Owl, Cat, or Toad?

4.  What makes you a :Ravenclaw: ?

5.  Your next-gen series seems well planned out.  Do you have all seven years of Rose's time at Hogwarts planned with a major event for each year?

6.  What is one genre/era/pairing that you would NEVER write and why (you canNOT say Dramione - too easy :D)?

7.  You write young adults (I think Rose is 12-13 in Rise of the A.W.L) so well!  Any tips or advice?

 

I can't wait to read your responses!

 

:wub: Beth


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#15 MargaretLane

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Posted 27 April 2015 - 11:56 AM

1.  Erm... HOW DO YOU DO IT?!  You have so many stories up and you seem to update rather often.  Do you have a writing schedule?  Is it just built into your daily routine?

How do I do it? Well, I've been a member of HPFF for over 10 years, so that's a large part of it. Generally, I put 7-8 in the evenings down to writing five or six days a week, though it depends. If I'm very busy at work or something, it has to get dropped, obviously. I also haven't been doing much writing of original fiction in the last couple of years, so that leaves more time for fanfiction.

 

2.  What is your favorite non-HP book?

The Bluest Eye is the best book ever.

 

3.  Owl, Cat, or Toad?

Cat, no question.

 

4.  What makes you a  :Ravenclaw: ?

Well, the only two houses I could possibly fit are Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff. I am a complete coward, hate inequality and used to get yelled at for being too honest as a child. And really, with Hufflepuff, it's only that the traits don't specifically not fit me. 

 

I remember longing to go to school when I was four, because I wanted to learn to read. My mum says now she could easily have taught me to read herself, but she didn't want me being too bored when I started school. I also loved history for as long as I can remember and was fascinated by the theory about Ring-a-ring-a-roses referring to the plague. I think any five year old who is more interested in the possible history behind children's games than in playing them has got to be a Ravenclaw.

 

When I was at college, I once came home for the weekend, talking about some book I'd found in the college library - a biography of de Valera or an account of 1916 or something - and my sister stared at me and asked, "you read history? For fun?" How she'd managed to miss that in the previous 14 or 15 years of her life, I don't know, because by the time I was eight, my mum was giving me her magazines when they contained historical stories.

 

I used read the newspaper when I was too small to hold it, so I used lie down on the floor, spread it out in front of me and read it that way.

 

I'm not super-smart or anything, but Ravenclaw cannot possibly be filled only with geniuses as it has to take about 25% of the students and we know the brightest students aren't necessarily in Ravenclaw, since somebody could be both the brightest and the bravest kid in their year. 

 

5.  Your next-gen series seems well planned out.  Do you have all seven years of Rose's time at Hogwarts planned with a major event for each year?

No, I don't. I have the first four years more or less planned out and a possible idea for the fifth. There is a villain I need to bring in at some point because it just works so well. So I think I've an outline for year five as well. But all I have for year six is a subplot - think something like Remus being a werewolf in Prisoner of Azkaban or Tonks' depression in Half Blood Prince. And I've nothing for year 7 except a few details like the careers people are aiming for and a wedding and stuff like that.

 

6.  What is one genre/era/pairing that you would NEVER write and why (you canNOT say Dramione - too easy  :D)?

Young adult romance, probably. Or a straight romance story. Romance as a subplot is one thing - though I still can't say I enjoy it. There's a part in A.W.L. about Teddy and Victoire's relationship (I won't go into detail as you haven't reached it yet) and just that conversation nearly made me drop the whole subplot relating to their relationship. But a story about nothing else other than two people getting together just doesn't interest me.

 

I wouldn't entirely rule out writing Dramione actually, but if I did write it, it would include things like Draco feeling torn between his father and his girlfriend and having ongoing guilt issues about just standing there watching her being tortured and being unable to prevent it and tension between them over the whole house elf thing, because if he fully supports her campaign, he has to admit to himself how badly he and his parents treated Dobby (and confront the dichotomy between how loving his father always was to him and yet how cruel he is to those he considers his inferiors), but if he doesn't, Hermione will think he's still the same arrogant and prejudiced guy underneath. And her reactions to visiting his parents, in a house in which she was tortured, knowing his father was part of an organisation dedicated to eliminating people like her. I doubt I'd write a relationship between them, but it does have potential for a fair share of conflict and angst.

 

7.  You write young adults (I think Rose is 12-13 in Rise of the A.W.L) so well!  Any tips or advice?

Honestly, I don't know. I'm glad you think I write them well, because I don't think of their age so much. I think the hardest part about writing 10-13 year olds is trying to avoid making them either too old or too young. I've come across stories in which they act like 15 or 16 year olds and stories in which they act like small children. I guess one of the things I have worked on is that they often understand more than they can deal with. Like with the A.W.L's campaign, they are old enough to understand and have opinions about the issue and also old enough to realise when a teacher or parent is upset or having difficulties, but not old enough to really know how to respond to stuff like that. 

 

 

Thank you so much for the questions. It must have taken you forever to get around to everybody.


Edited by MargaretLane, 27 April 2015 - 11:58 AM.

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