They Say to Write What You Know—So What Do I Know When it Comes to Sci-Fi and Fantasy?
Here are some things from my own life that influenced Tardy Bells and Witches' Spells, Hex-Ed, Witches Gone Wicked and other books in the WOMBY'S SCHOOL FOR WAYWARD WITCHES Series:
As a school teacher, I have an abundance of weird stories and situations that I channel into my writing. Some of these experiences include:
My Hair Color
I have dyed my hair a number of different colors during my life. Possibly the only colors it hasn’t been is green and blue. I do think blondes have more fun. Redheads are allowed to be fiery and angrier and I am complimented the most when I have freshly died my hair bright auburn. At the same time, I have been given the hardest time over red hair, probably perpetuated from South Park. I like being a redhead but I hear natural red heads complain and hate being called “carrot top” or “ginger” from the time they were in elementary school. Some of the red-hair experiences in the books come form my own experiences and that of family members.
In Hex-Ed, Clarissa goes on a date with someone who said he was divorced but actually he was a “separated” but still living in the house with his ex. Yeah. Been there. Done that. What a jerk.
Weirdos Who Chased Me Into Traffic
While I worked as a substitute teacher, subbing in Portland, I lived between Hawthorn and Belmont Street, a cute quirky neighborhood where you might spot naked bicyclists at midnight. It was a Bohemian neighborhood with hippies in Birkenstocks and hemp made clothes on every corner. There was a large population of panhandlers and homeless people though for the most part they were friendly and polite. One night as was walking home from a friend’s house, two smelly hippies with dreadlocks jumped out of a tree next to the sidewalk, their faces smeared red. They chased me out into the street where I was almost hit by a speeding car. I don’t know what they were high on, but they were scary. That made it into Hex-Ed.
A Nerdy Passion for Sci-Fi and Fantasy
My character is obsessed with Harry Potter, Narnia, Lord of the Rings, Star Trek, Star Wars and Dr. Who? I’m only obsessed with half those fandoms. I did once teach a class called Myth, Magic and Muggles to elementary school kids in an after school program. I actually got paid to wear a witch cape and hat, talk in a horrible British accent that shifted from received pronunciation to cockney without warning and teach second graders to read palms and play Quidditch. I should point out placing a bunch of assorted sports balls on a field (soccer balls, basket balls, volley balls and a tennis ball) with a group of six to twelve-year-olds with brooms turned out to be a highly unstructured activity that I hope use some day in one of the novels.