A couple of weeks ago I wrote about my last author visit to a local school. I wrote about how much I enjoyed the experience and answered some of the questions students had asked in the little notes they sent afterwards. One young lady’s response warranted an entire post.
This one’s for Lily. Not my Lily of the Seed Savers, but another Lily. A real girl from a school I visited.
I did some rapid fire presentations at a middle school recently. I talked about myself, my writing process, and my books and took questions from sixth graders all in about 20 minutes, then did it again, five times in row. Some of the teachers asked students to write me thank you notes afterwards and ask any questions that I hadn’t answered. Lily took it one step further. Lily gave me the plot idea for a whole other book.
“If you write another book” she wrote, “you should base it on your presentation … a person from GRIM comes and gives a presentation on illegal foods that grow and a boy goes on a mission through the country. He finds a forest and finds a bunch of mysterious plants. A withered old man tells the boy they are good for him…” She goes on to offer up the title for this would-be book and suggests that the boy’s name should mean something good, like “the finder.”
What can I say? Wow.
The first thing I wondered was if Lily had read any of my books yet. Second, (and this is just raised-in-the-1970s me), I wondered why a girl was making a boy the main character. My next thought was, her name is Lily! Lily is the title character of my second book! Then I thought how she might be amazed that some of her ideas were already in store for future Seed Savers books. There is a boy on a mission. There is a withered old man.
But, Lily, here’s the other thing: I am so impressed with the storyline you thought up so quickly. Have you ever heard of fan fiction? Fan fiction is writing a story based on someone else’s character or universe. You could write your own little Seed Savers fan fiction story! Or better yet, just write your own story. What a great imagination. You go, girl.
And Lily, if you do go with the story you suggested to me, here’s my suggestion for you. Maybe the boy’s name could be Ranger, guardian of the forest. I’ll be watching for it.
S. Smith is the author of the awesome and award-winning middle grade series, Seed Savers. Visit her Facebook and Pinterest pages. Follow her on Twitter. Sign up for the newsletter.
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