In her opening remarks at the SCBWI WWA Book to the Future Conference, Deborah Wiles shared with her listeners that story comes from three places: What you know, What you feel and What you can imagine.
Deborah, who is never without a notebook to record everything from grocery lists to the unfolding of daily life, encouraged the audience of rapt writers to Ask Questions and Be Curious. Ask questions and produce lists that will allow you to dig deeper into your own personal history. Deborah commented that this capture of the narrative of one’s life should be the backbone of one’s fiction.
Alont with photographic images from her past, Deborah flashed on the screen a list of Maslow’s Five Basic Human Needs:
- To love and be loved
- To be safe
- To belong
- To do, have purpose/matter
- To understand
Finally, Deborah asked the question: If you could only tell one question, what would it be? She shared her own long and twisting path to publication, finishing with a description of her latest work, a totally cool fiction/documentary book about the 1960s.