Thursday, August 27, 2015

On Having an Adult Narrator in Kids' Fiction - Linda Fausnet Guest Post

If you're like me, you enjoy reading middle-grade books. Many of them are funny, entertaining, and yes, even educational. The vast majority of middle-grade fiction is written from the perspective of a middle-grader, the idea being that a reader of that age can best identify with a similar character in a book.

While it may be true that it's easiest to identify with a character who is most like you, part of the fun of reading is learning about other people and experiencing new adventures. For my middle-grade novel, THE JOYVILLE SWEAT SOX, I decided to mix it up a little and write from the perspective of an adult; an adult who is forced to deal with kids who know absolutely nothing about the sport she loves. I thought it might be for fun for young people to hear the inner thoughts of a grownup who is often annoyed by the young baseball players she's saddled with. In reading this book, we get to see how the main character, Konnie Mack, goes from being extremely frustrated with the kids to becoming very protective of them. By the end of the book, she considers the young players her kids, and anyone who messes with them had better look out!

Naturally, the traditional publishing world passed on THE JOYVILLE SWEAT SOX, mainly citing that the POV was from an adult perspective. That idea was different and, therefore, it was no good to them. Of course, this judgment was passed without reading a single word of the manuscript...

One of the best things about self-publishing is that we are allowed to take risks. We can publish a book with an exciting new idea or a unique perspective, then step back and see what happens. If it sells well, great! If not, a good author will do what she does best. Write another book. In the meantime, it's possible that the first book will eventually gain traction. That simply won't happen in the traditional world. If a book doesn’t sell well immediately, it will be yanked from the shelves and you'll just never know what might have been.

The trouble with never taking risks is that you can end up with a lot of lookalike, cookie-cutter –type of products. The movies are a prime example of this (that's why there is such a glut of superhero movies and bad sequels. It's safer. They are pretty much guaranteed to make money, even if they’re terrible).

I am a married, mother of two. If every book I read was from the perspective of a mother who is the same age as me, I think I would get bored pretty darn quickly. I love to read – and write – books from a totally different perspective from my own. I also write adult fiction, and my debut novel was written in the first-person perspective of a gay man. My second adult fiction book was mainly written in the perspective of a single woman in her 30s. I am currently writing a paranormal romance about Civil War soldiers, and I deliberately made the Confederate soldier the romantic hero, the "good guy" if you will, because I knew that would be a challenge.

Challenges are fun. Writing and reading about people who are different than we are can be challenging, but it can be also be a rewarding experience. I already know how a married woman with kids might see things because I am one. Kids already know how kids their own age see things, so why not give them a new perspective to consider? In THE JOYVILLE SWEAT SOX, they can hopefully laugh along with Konnie as she rolls her eyes, pops her gum, and mutters sarcastic comments under her breath while she struggles to keep from losing her temper. I also hope the kids reading the book will feel a little tug on their heartstrings as Konnie comes to love and protect the kids in the end.

Reading is a wonderful way to be transported to exciting new worlds and to explore different ways of thinking. It is my hope that there are lots of kids out there who will enjoy going on this special journey with Konnie and me. 


I thoroughly enjoyed THE JOYVILLE SWEAT SOX--sweet, funny, and incredibly cinematic. Be sure to grab yourself a copy. And keep up with Linda: @LindaFausnet,


  1. I won a Kindle copy of this book and look forward to reading it soon.


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