Published on October 25th, 2010 | by JulieG0
The Goal: A Really Good Story
Just one more chapter? Please.
I remember being so consumed by a story when I was a kid that I couldn’t put it down. There were those books where you’d get to the end of the chapter and you couldn’t stop. Not now. So you turned off the light, dive under the covers, switched on your flashlight and read one more… and then another… and another after that until your eyes wouldn’t stay open any longer.
That’s the story experience I was after when I started creating Ruby Skye P.I. I wanted to build a world that kids didn’t want to leave and a story with momentum, the audio-visual equivalent of a page-turner.
As a writer I always feel a responsibility to my audience, but when the audience is children, the responsibility is larger and more important. Or maybe it’s just that I have mother written into every cell of my being.
Story can nourish the mind and the soul or it can be empty calories. We wanted to build a great entertainment vehicle dense in nutritional value: delicious and filled with ideas and meaning. We wanted to engage kids’ imaginations and get them thinking.
Harry Potter proves that kids have long attention spans for great stories. They don’t need jolts per minute or MTV cutting to hold their attention through 600 page books — just a great story rich with detail, humour, action and well-drawn characters.
As we set out to produce The Spam Scam, the first Ruby Skye P.I. mystery, the goal was deliver to kids great entertainment that respected their intelligence and their imaginations.
We also wanted our characters to look like real kids. We’re all bombarded with images in the media of idealized people with perfect hair and perfect bodies clothed in outfits put together by Hollywood stylists. We wanted our kids to look real.
We wanted them to be smart kids too. Independent and able to solve their own problems. Especially the girls.
These are lofty goals. Kids are the only ones who can say how well we succeeded. But The Spam Scam is just our first adventure in Ruby’s world. We plan to keep building it and writing new stories. With each one, we hope to get closer to our goal.
Kids deserve it.