Fredericksburg Parent

April 2015

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 11 of 39

12 Fredericksburg Parent and Family • April 2015 BY KERRY L. PINTO A Q&A with Local Author Steve Watkins A Q&A with Local Author Write On! S teve Watkins is an award-winning author living in Fredericksburg with his wife, Janet, and is the father of four daughters — Maggie, Eva, Claire and Lili. He is the 2009 recipient of the Golden Kite Award for Fiction from the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators for his young adult novel, Down Sand Mountain. Most recently, he has written a middle grade series, Ghosts of War, which takes place in Fredericksburg. How were you drawn to write middle grade and young adult novels? SW: My agent, Kelly Sonnack, who is with the Andrea Brown Literary Agency, saw the YA potential in my first novel, Down Sand Mountain, a coming of age story set in the rural, segregated South of the 1960s, and put me in touch with Candlewick Press. I loved working with my editor at Candlewick—Kaylan Adair—and I've gone on to work with Kaylan on three more books after DSM. One thing that keeps drawing me back to YA and MG—besides the contracts and royalties—is the hopeful nature of the genre. Not necessarily neat and happy endings—rarely those, in fact—but almost always forward-looking, hopeful resolutions. In your middle grade series, Ghosts of War, your contemporary setting is Fredericksburg. What made you choose this location? SW: I thought my daughters would get a kick out of it, and they have. It's cool for them to read about downtown Fredericksburg, and various landmarks and people they know. I manage to work in a few familiar names here and there in the books. It's also helpful to me as a writer to develop my own little postage stamp of native soil, to use William Faulkner's phrase, to anchor and help identify my contemporary characters as they dive into these histori- cal war mysteries. And of course Fredericksburg is steeped in history, starting with the Native American communities that thrived here, and the arrival of the Europeans, the Colonial era, the Revolutionary War, the Civil War. Steve Watkins

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of Fredericksburg Parent - April 2015