Saturday, February 14, 2015

6 Questions: An Author Spotlight Series: Todd McClimans

Todd McClimans, author of Time Traitor, answers our questions!

Favorite MG authors? Illustrators you admire?

Lois Lowry is my all-time favorite author.  I was a fifth grade teacher and I loved using her books in my classroom.  She provides so many opportunities for kids to think and grow along with her characters.

How/why did you start writing?
I had always enjoyed writing, but I really got started writing stories for my fifth graders.  One of the best ways to get them excited about writing was to write stories for (and about) them.  It never failed to bring great stories out of them as well.  That's where my idea for Time Traitor came from.  Part of our curriculum was the Revolutionary War and I wanted to write something that would entertain kids and trick them into learning some real lessons about history as well.

One piece of advice for young writers?

Write what you know and write about what you love.  Writing is a way to escape into fantastical worlds where you make the rules and determine the outcome.  Think of the most amazing place you'd want to go, real or imaginary, and travel there with your characters.  Smell the air, talk to the animals, and even get into a sword fight or two.  Have fun with it and write something you'd like to read!

What are you currently working on?  (Give us your elevator pitch!)

I'm working on a sequel to Time Traitor, Time Underground.  Kristi, one of the main characters from Time Traitor, discovers that her great-great-great-great-great grandfather was a slave who'd escaped to the north along the Underground Railroad.  But she also discovers that her grandfather had a brother who had run away with him, but was captured by slave catchers and never heard from again.  Kristi and Ty go back to 1858 to find Kristi's ancestors and bring them both to safety along the Underground.
Are your characters/stories inspired by real people/events?

All of the events in my stories are real event, or epochs, in American History.  My characters are somewhat of a conglomeration of many of the interesting students I've worked with over the years.  No one in particular, but bits and pieces of many.  

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