Landon, from Powell, Ohio asks, “Why do you tell some stories from a girl’s perspective like in Charlotte Doyle?”
Well, Landon, as I understand it, slightly more than half the world’s population is female. I do not think I want to ignore that many people. I have many good friends, boys, girls, men, and women. Moreover, in our culture, I think girls tend to read more than boys do—though I wish both boys and girls read equally.
In addition, in our culture boys and girls often (not always) learn to think differently about the world. When you write a story, it becomes deeper and, I think better, when different characters react differently to the events in a story.
In the case of True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle, I think the story is interesting because it is about a girl’s transformation from one kind of girl to another kind of girl. It is not that she becomes a boy, but that she remains a girl, even as she becomes truer to herself.
As for Ida in The Secret School, I wrote it the way I did because I heard stories about going to a one-room schoolhouse from a woman who went—when she was a girl—to such a school.
Most recently there is Sophia’s War. She is the main character because she is torn between her affection for John André (the British soldier) and her passionate belief in the American Revolution. I think that is what makes the story interesting.
I do not want to write boys’ books or girls’ books. I want to write good books.