Saturday, October 6, 2007

The Return of Grandma

No more books about grandmas? That's like saying, no more books about squirrels. It's not the grandmas or the squirrels that make or break a pb, it's the story, story, story. How about: no more corny, sappy books about grandmas and squirrels?
What I want is no more books that are aimed at grandma more than they are at children. Much of what I see in slush has this quality, and comes from a motivation that is more "oh my grandchildren are so precious" or "oh my relationship with my grandchildren is so precious" or "god I wish my grandchildren were as obsessed with me as I am with them", none of which are attitudes that the actual grandchildren can identify with.
Put whatever characters in your manuscripts you like. But write them for children, or face my wrath.

I warn people about the squirrel manuscript epidemic just as an fyi. If there's suddenly 10 thousand squirrels on your front lawn, you're not going to care that one of them might be the most beautiful squirrel ever born. You're going to break out your broom and start laying about you with abandon.


Anonymous said...

I totally agree with your comments about writing books aimed at children, not their grandparents. Now about beating up small creatures that overpopulate your lawn--I am a huge fan of SLUGS IN LOVE, but one slug on my porch is cause for battle.

cynjay said...

Last night, I was watching Zooey 101 on Nickelodeon (not necessarily by choice), and the entire storyline was that all the 13ish boy wanted for his birthday was a visit from his dear beloved grandma who happened to share his birthday. My ten year old turned to me and said "What stupid kid would want that for his present?"

This from a kid who does dearly love his grandparents...

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