First off, let’s get one thing straight.
I don’t write books for kids. It’s not like I have anything against kids. Frankly, I think they’d like my books although I suspect parents and other adults in a supervisory position might disapprove.
And I tried once to write a children’s story. It’s about a boy who tries to save his mother from Death by stealing the Crown of Feathers* from under her pillow. Unfortunately, it turns her into an undead thing and he has to consult three witches to help sort it all out.
While writing it, I consulting with my daughter who is far more mature than me.
“So….do you think it would be okay if I let the Zombie Mom eat the boy’s dog?”
“Okay. How about if she eats the Grandmother?”
So, even when I try to write something for kids**, it all turns out weird.
Which gets me to the point of today’s post.
I was at the annual Dickens of a Christmas festival in Franklin, TN selling books with the Middle Tennessee Author’s Circle*** when this little girl, maybe 9 or 10 years old, comes into the tent and says she likes spooky stories.
Fingers point towards me.
She gravitates instantly to my book, The Problem at Gruff Springs, a Weird Western story.
Her mother tries to push her towards another book. It has a unicorn on the cover. “Look, honey, fairy tales!”
The girl rolls her eyes and picks up my book so I go into my Spiel.
“That story is about Alan Pinkerton who is sent to look for stolen Confederate gold and finds that there are some horrible things in the mountains. Mainly cannibalistic trolls.”
The girl’s eyes widen. “Cannibal trolls! This is the one for me!”
The girl’s mother looked at me with even wider eyes.
“There is no sex or cursing however there is violence and, well, cannibal trolls.”
“This one. I want this one!”
And the mom paid and the kid went home with my book.****
*It’s an Appalachian folk tale. Look it up.
**Even though I think kids like weird and morbid stuff.
*** Truth be told, I was TRYING to sell books. Mainly what I did was stand there, feeling like a freak on display. “Oh, look. So, that’s a Writer, in the wild? How odd.”
****And I spent the rest of the afternoon trying to remember if there were any curse words. I did remember there is a scene with the troll queens pendulous breasts swaying about. Jesus. I’m going to hell.