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Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Immersed in writing ... and reading

“I love to write. I love to make things up. I'm in a library or a bookstore most days of the week, because I love to be around other people's books, too. Reading and writing books takes up most of my life.” – Caroline B. Cooney

Born on this date in 1947, Cooney has written more than 80 Children’s and Young Adult novels, earning dozens of honors and accolades along the way.

She credits a 6th grade teacher with giving her the writing bug.  “Every Friday, he made us write a short story,” she said.   “He had a stack of covers from New Yorker magazines — detailed and brightly colored, like cartoons. He'd pass them out and we'd have to write a short story to match the picture we got. I was the one in the class who never stopped.”

Cooney said she loves all of it, thinking up the plots, getting to know the kids in the story, their parents, backyards, pizza toppings.  All the details.  And, she said making up the final details is really the way to go.  If you write a story based on a real     
person, she said, you're trapped by the details of the real person and his life. It gets in the way of writing your own story.

Cooney is a master of mixing spellbinding suspense with thought-provoking insight into teenagers' lives.  “I write about good kids trying to do their best, even if the world around them has crumbled and doesn't always offer good choices.”

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