Want to score some points with your favorite middle-grader? Pick up one of these!
Let's take a little peek inside the marvel that is Trudi Trueit.
What are you currently writing?
I just started a middle grade fiction novel about a fourth-grade boy who wants to be famous. He thinks writing a book will help him reach the pinnacle of success he desires. Along the way, he steps out of his comfort zone to make a new friend, but must decide if the fame he seeks is worth risking that friendship. He also learns to be grateful for the life he leads, rather than longing for one that he imagines will be better.
What makes your work different?
I write what I think kids want to read, not what adults think kids should read. There can be a big gap between the two. If an adult says ‘I just didn’t get your book,’ that’s okay, but if a kid says the same thing I know I have missed the mark. I also want my characters to be able to laugh at themselves and life so my books usually contain plenty of humor.
Why do you write what you do?
I love writing books for middle grades and tweens. The years between ages 8 and 13 fascinate me. For me, it was a golden time, a time of imagining what I could become and where life could take me. Yet, it was also a time of struggle. I wrestled with things like self-image, friendships, love, school, and family issues. I guess I write for this group because I want kids to know they are not alone. We all struggle to find out who we are and where we fit in the world. We all search for our potential.
What is your writing process?
I usually write a one-page synopsis, a character study of my main characters, and a loose outline with some major plot points. When I talk to students, I tell them I think of writing a book as taking one long, relaxing road-trip. You need to know where you’re going to start and where you want to end up, but everything else is up in the air. You know how when you are driving along and you see that sign that says, ‘Biggest Ball of Twine in the World, Next Exit,’ you just have to pull off to see it? It’s the same with the writing. I don’t want to be so rigid that I plan every detail and miss some of the great stuff that organically flows out when I am at the keyboard. If you give your characters a strong voice, you can step out of the way and let them drive the car (i.e. the story). They will talk to you. They will tell you which direction you should go, when you should pull off the road, and when you are off course. Many times, they reveal some amazing gems you didn’t even know were inside you and it’s those surprises that are, truly, the best part of the journey!
Connect with Trudi (who also does virtual school visits):
And one more thing before we go... search Trudi on Amazon and get a load of all the non-fiction books she's written! What can't she write?