Join us next week as Wendelin Van Draanen visits to tell you all about her new book The Running Dream (on sale January 11). Post your questions or shout outs for Wendelin on her forum here. In the meantime, here's a letter she wrote to all of you. Enjoy!
I’m excited to talk about my new book The Running Dream with you. It’s been a long process and I can’t believe it’s finally a book! I knew very little about prosthetic limbs or what people who need them experience, so writing about it with respect and authenticity was of paramount importance to me, and took time and serious focus.
There are certain things I believe we need to keep in our emotional arsenal as we navigate through life. Hope is a big one. The more of it we can carry, the better. My mission as a writer is to give my readers hope to carry with them, and to promote a belief that they can do anything they set their mind to. The people I met during the course of writing The Running Dream were inspiring testimony to the importance and power of that mindset. Especially remarkable was the amputees’ attitudes—the optimistic way they dealt with their situations; the way they turned limitations into new opportunities.
There’s so much to discuss. Are there characters in the book you identify with? Ones who remind you of people in your life or at your school? Do you know someone like Jessica or Rosa? Like Fiona? Is there a coach you know that’s like Kyro?
Or maybe you’re into running—maybe you can identify with Jessica’s not wanting to live after learning her leg could not be saved.
So many things go into writing a story—it’s like seemingly disparate experiences from life get lassoed by an idea and brought together to become a future experience. It’s impossible for me to anticipate a story like The Running Dream—it’s suddenly just there, crowding my mental corral, demanding my attention.
So let’s talk! I’m looking forward to discussing whatever aspect of the story is of interest to you. Thanks for participating!
-Wendelin Van Draanen"