Ah... Childhood Memories....

 By Charlotte Bennardo

Photo by Victoria Borodinova from Pexels

Ya just can't escape them. No matter what any author tells you, we bring part of our childhood, even if subconsciously, to our writing. Looking back over my writing life, when I first began, I wrote about what I was most familiar with- my personal life. Who knew better than me what I experienced? It was easy to have characters react the way I would. Of course that leads to a limited world but as I matured and experienced more ups and downs, my writing depended less on my personal life and more on what I saw happening around me.

But... we are a product of our environment. Looking critically at my writing, I can see that some of my characters are a lot like me. In most of my novels, my characters are not angsty, 'if I don't get this, I'll die' type of characters. Maybe they seem a little distant and cool to some readers, but I'm not one for dramatics (although if you listen to my mother I was all about drama when I was 8). Even Jack, my gray squirrel main character in the Evolution Revolution trilogy, while he could be emotional over losing his woods and home like most of us would be, he wasn't over-emotional. I can throw a fit, but I don't pine. I get over whatever threatens me emotionally and forge ahead. In my teen years, I was never hung up on boys, dating, and popularity- that whole jr/sr high school vibe. (Good thing, because I wasn't popular.) Just once though, I left that chill demeanor out of Sharisse, the one main character I created in Blonde OPS. She was all about the clothes, the makeup, the popularity. It was fun to step outside of my literary and personal skin and be someone totally different. It was almost like living a different childhood through my character.

So while we use our childhood memories in our writing, sometimes it's nice to step completely away from those memories and imagine something different.

Charlotte writes MG, YA, NA, and adult novels in sci fi, fantasy, contemporary, and paranormal genres. She is the author of the middle grade Evolution Revolution trilogy, Simple Machines, Simple Plans, and Simple Lessons. She co-authored the YA novels Blonde OPS, Sirenz, and Sirenz Back in Fashion. Currently she is working on several novels for both children and adults. She lives in NJ with her family, two demanding cats, and a crazy squirrel couple who just moved into her backyard oak tree.


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