Saturday, August 1, 2015

Jane O'Connor: Borrowing From Life: Creating a Character

Jane O'Connor is the author of over eighty books for children, including the bestselling FANCY NANCY books.

"What the heroines all shared in the books I loved best was spunk!"

Jane said these girls were her role models. She wanted to be like them, but she lacked in the brave department.

When Jane started writing, she mapped out RAMONA THE BRAVE to see how Beverly Cleary made it work. Most of all she paid attention to what Beverly Clearly left out. Jane let us know that you don't have to describe a brick wall brick by brick, instead tell the reader what's interesting.

Jane stuck pretty close to home when she created characters.

If you're having trouble borrowing from your own life, steal from those close to you (carefully), like you're kids.

FANCY NANCY came from Jane's own desire to be fancy and always dressed up when she was a girl, but also from the way she was always encouraging her chic but understated mother to be fancier. 

Jane wanted to write about Fancy Nancy when she was older, which brought about the early readers, NANCY CLANCY.

When Jane was nine she was obsessed with Nancy Drew. So, she figured Nancy would read these books, too, and solve a mystery. The mystery in this story was stolen from a time a sister "borrowed" a marble.

It's no wonder charm find its way into Jane's books, because she is full of it.

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