by Christine Bailey
The Greek poet George Seferis said, “To say what you want to say, you must create another language and nourish it for years with what you have loved, with what you have lost, with what you will never find again.” I often come back to this quote when I write. It not only reminds me why I write but also how I write.
When creating characters and settings, we often bring what we’ve experienced to the act of writing; our life experiences enrich the stories we create on the page. The motivation for Girl in the Middle came from my own experiences—from what I had loved and lost and from what I’d never find again, including a first love and the loss of an innocent view of life.
And while those teenage years of angst, blemishes, awkwardness, and incessant self-doubt are long gone, I find myself there again and again in writing YA fiction. I guess those adolescent years gave me more than I ever imagined possible. I’ll end with a question or two: To fellow writers, what experiences have shaped your identity as a writer? To avid readers of YA fiction, what keeps bringing you back to novels with teenage characters and adolescent themes?