Essays

Why I Love Books for Children and Teens: The Whole Story
“The most important feature of fantastic stories for children, whether they take place in some quasi-medieval kingdom or a bleak dystopia or a galaxy far, far away, is the presence of hope.”

Past Watchful Dragons: Why One Christian Author Chose To Write For The General Market
“I wanted to write a story that could be read and enjoyed by a wider audience, including and especially those readers who did not already share my beliefs.”

So You Want To Read Middle Grade: Why I Love MG Romance
“…what grabs readers isn’t the physical payoff but the spirit of the relationship between two characters, the sense of chemistry and potential between them. MG novels can create that sense of deferred longing and anticipation just as well as any other genre — or better.”

The Beautiful Other: or, Why I Write About Faeries
“I wasn’t interested in exploring what faeries are and have, so much as what they aren’t and haven’t…”

Bad Disability Tropes in Children’s Fiction: Please Don’t
“Please, let’s stop writing characters with disabilities as though they’re all doomed to suffer nobly and die tragically…”

Sex, Violence and the Challenging of YA Books: Is There a Double Standard?
“I believe that what’s really at stake here is not the kind of behaviour the conservative parents involved approve or disapprove, but the behaviour they are most concerned their children will emulate…”

How I Fell In Love With [Megan Whalen Turner’s] Queen’s Thief Series”
“…as soon as you know what happened I was sold. An author with the courage to do such a radical, life-altering thing to her hero might be capable of anything.”

The Problem of Susan
“I have heard many indignant complaints about C.S. Lewis’s treatment of Susan in the Narnia books, particularly in The Last Battle…”