Thursday, December 31, 2009

A Powell's interview with Christopher Paul Curtis

Here's an excerpt from an interview with the author of Bud, Not Buddy and other remarkable books:

When I write them, I really don't think about writing to kids. I know you're supposed to think of your audience, but when I wrote The Watsons Go to Birmingham - 1963, I didn't really write it as a children's book. I thought of it as a story, and the narrator happened to be ten years old.

It ended up as a children's book because I didn't know where to send it. Most publishers won't accept unsolicited manuscripts, so I sent it to a literature contest at Delacorte Press just to have a professional editor read it. It didn't win the contest because the narrator, Kenny, was too young for the contest and 1963, the year the story takes place, is considered "Historical Fiction," but they published it anyway.

When I wrote Bud, Not Buddy, I just had a story to tell and wanted to tell it. I didn't think of it as a children's book, per se. There are things in Bud, Not Buddy that kids won't get, but that doesn't detract from the story. Some things adults won't think are funny, kids will think are hilarious. I don't think that takes away from your enjoyment.

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