Guest post by Janet Lee Carey
When I was a child, I read my favorite books high up in the branches of my reading tree. I had big dreams and by age eight I knew I wanted to be a writer. The trouble was I wasn’t the least bit good at writing. I wrote some plays with my friend, Molly. (Admission price 5 cents.)
But I couldn’t write good stories. So how did I become an award-winning author of novels for children and young adults? I had encouraging teachers who believed in me, savvy librarians who kept giving me books, and I had a passionate belief in the power of stories that kept me working year after year.
We talk about the power of stories on my school visits. How important it is for each of us to tell our own stories, and share them with others.
Our stories bring us together, expand our world, and sometimes they give us one of the greatest gifts of all — a belief that each one of us, no matter who we are, matters. I know this is true when I open letters and emails from readers like the one I got last week that began, “Your book changed my life,” and went on to share how reading Wenny Has Wings when she was ten helped her deal with her brother’s death. She coped by writing letters to her brother in a journal, the way Will did in my book, telling her brother about her life and how much she missed him.
Writing helped her survive that hard time. Writing has also helped me find hope in dark times and share that hope with others through stories.
As an author I’ve been privileged to meet and talk with hundreds of students on my school visits. It’s my goal to encourage children and teens to keep reading and writing; to discover the power of words because word by word we light our candles in the dark and help each other along.
School visits are one of the best parts of being an author. I always leave inspired.
Janet Lee Carey is the award-winning author of nine Young Adult novels including her newest release, In the Time of Dragon Moon book three of the Wilde Island Chronicles, ALA Best Books for Young Adults. Winner of the Mark Twain Award and finalist for the Washington State Book Award, her books highlight the courage of children and teens, and explore the challenges of staying true to your values while following your dreams. School Library Journal starred review calls her work, “fantasy at its best-original, beautiful, amazing, and deeply moving.” Statistics have shown that children who read are more compassionate. Janet links each new book with a charitable organization empowering youth to read and reach out. She tours the U.S. and abroad presenting at schools, book festivals and conferences for writers, teachers, and librarians. Janet and her family live near Seattle WA.